Widnes for the prosecution
‘A new £20m train manufacturing plant in north west England has been unveiled by Alstom UK’.
But is it a train manufacturing plant, or a ‘technical centre’?
How much ‘train manufacturing plant’ would £20 million buy? Could one build and fit out something like Vulcan Foundry, for £20 million?
[French train firm unveils plans for £20m plant in north-west England, Graham Ruddick, The Guardian, 7 Oct 2016]
Alstom has confirmed it will bid to build the trains for HS2 and unveiled plans for double-decker carriages. It is also bidding for the New Tube for London contract, which is worth up to £2.5bn and involves designing and building 250 next-generation trains for the Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines in London.
[Alstom UK and Ireland managing director] Nick Crossfield said that even if the government scrapped HS2, which is estimated to cost more than £40bn, it “would not change the investment perspective for us here in the UK because there is a very significant and healthy domestic rolling stock market”.
Nonetheless, Crossfield said HS2 is a “very significant opportunity” for Alstom, with the company eyeing up the contracts to build rolling stock and infrastructure for the network. He said it was “too early to say” whether the trains would be built in the UK if Alstom won the contract, but some work is likely to be conducted in Widnes. The company employs 32,000 people around the world, including 3,200 at 12 UK sites.