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Talgo names Fife as the chosen site of its first UK train factory

Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has revealed that is new train-building factory will be built at Longannet in Fife, bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Scotland.

Talgo will build its first UK manufacturing base at the site of a decommissioned power station on the north shore of Firth of Forth, transforming it into a 70,000 sq ft factory over 18 months.

Longannet’s connections by sea, road and rail, and the availability of skilled workers, were said to be the key factors in the decision after five other potential UK sites had bid.

Talgo will also establish an innovation centre at its second preferred choice in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, which it says will bring together UK suppliers – but the whole plan is dependent on it winning train orders.

From its £40m base, the Spanish company – which specialises in design, manufacture and servicing of fast lightweight trains – will build a new generation of high-speed trains which will supply rail franchises in the UK, including HS2, and be exported globally.

Talgo’s president Carlos de Palacio said: “This has been a tremendously challenging mission for Talgo, and I have personally seen excellence in all corners of the UK.

“The establishment of a manufacturing facility at Longannet is a significant part of Talgo’s future strategy.

“The location has been chosen because of its good connections, and availability of skilled workers.”

Talgo says it is working with the Scottish Government to develop the branch line to the former power station, and discussions are taking place about electrifying the line.

It also wants to create a ‘pipeline’ of engineers and innovators, and has created what it calls an ‘all Britain’ strategy designed to protect and develop the UK supply chain and train young people.

The president continued: “Talgo’s aim is to establish true UK manufacturing – rather than assembling from parts made elsewhere.

“This will be a team effort, requiring the ‘Best of British.’ Our 18-month mission has revealed a determination and willingness across Britain to do just that.

“Although there can only be one factory site, we have developed excellent relationships with areas that we have visited.

“We are continuing those relationships to ensure that Talgo’s ‘All Britain’ strategy provides opportunity across the UK. The Innovation Centre at Chesterfield will create a focus for some of this work.”

Talgo, which is on the shortlist to produce the new fleet for HS2, announced its shortlist for its first UK base last month.

 Image credit - Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/PA Images

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