Bombardier, Tata, and Tory lies
On 30 March, the BBC reported on Tata Steel’s plans to sell its loss-making UK plants, and the company has written down their value to ‘almost zero’. And, earlier this month, Bombardier lost out to CAF on a £490 million Northern Rail train contract. It is demonstrably erroneous to suggest the UK does not have the capability to make trains from British steel.
Or is it? Bombardier UK does not have the capability to build trains from British steel, or anyone else’s steel. That capability disappeared with the closure of the company’s Prorail facility in 2005.
All Bombardier UK carbodies are now assembled from aluminium sections (imported from Germany, China, or elsewhere) and 100% of their bogies come from continental Europe. Bombardier UK trains are over 70% non-UK by value.
Obviously, the issues are rather more complex than some people think.