A new train manufacturing plant in Scotland is to create more than 1,000 jobs. Talgo, a Spanish company bidding to win HS2 rolling stock contracts, will build its first UK manufacturing base at the site of a decommissioned power station at Longannet on the north shore of the Firth of Forth. The company is also to establish an innovation centre in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, which will bring together UK suppliers.
“We have learned about the many rail-related initiatives across the UK, intended to boost capability for research, development, and testing. There is an engineering renaissance under way, and I want Talgo to be a leading partner. Talgo wants to see a steady supply of engineers and other skilled people enter the workforce, and be the innovators of the future. As part of Talgo’s commitment to the UK-wide supply chain, our preferred second facility – in Chesterfield – will act as a catalyst,” explained Jon Veitch, Talgo’s UK director.
The construction of the factory will take around 18 months, and the announcement comes as demolition work continues on Longannet power station. The power station was closed in 2016, bringing an end to coal-fired power production in Scotland.
“This has been a tremendously challenging mission for Talgo, and I have personally seen excellence in all corners of the UK. It has been a difficult decision to make as the quality has been so high in so many places. 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,” said Carlos de Palacia, the Talgo president.
Talgo works in the design, manufacture and servicing of fast, lightweight trains and has bid to win the contract for HS2 rolling stock.
“Should Talgo be successful in its bid to win the contract for HS2 rolling stock, this new factory at Longannet would bring a great number of new jobs to Fife, which would be a welcome boost for the local area. However, the full economic impact of such an investment, and the supply chain opportunities it would bring, would be felt right across Scotland,” concluded Scotland’s transport secretary, Michael Matheson.