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As lockdown restrictions ease and we start to consider travelling again, the future of cross-Channel operator Eurostar remains uncertain.
Eurostar is seeking financial support from the UK Government, citing higher access charges here as a reason.
The French Government has pledged to provide support for the operator, while £200 million has been provided by one of its shareholders, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure.
Registered in the UK and supporting 3,000 jobs either with the business or in the supply chain, the company is, however, 55% owned by SNCF (French state rail), 40% by CDPQ/Hermes and 5% by SNCB (Belgian state railways).
So: Should the UK Government provide financial assistance to Eurostar?

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Talgo names Longannet as site of new train factory

Spanish train manufacturer Talgo plans to build trains in Longannet, in Scotland, after confirming that its preferred location for its UK factory will be at the site of the closed power station.

The company made the announcement at Westminster today (November 14), following an 18-month search for a UK site. It also confirmed that a Research and Development site would be built at Chesterfield, although it would not be drawn on the relationship between the two sites.

It is expected that up to 1,000 people will be employed at the Scottish facility. Construction is expected to start in February 2020, with work on trains starting 18 months after that. The factory will cost £40 million to build.

Talgo intends to make use of part of the existing site, and is working with the Scottish Government to develop the branch line to the former power station, which could include the return of passenger trains. Discussions have also taken place about electrifying the line.

The site was chosen because of the proximity of rail, road and sea (both Grangemouth and Rosyth ports are nearby), while the company said there are also skilled workers available in the area. Talgo also wants to create a ‘pipeline’ of engineers and innovators - it has created what it calls an ‘all Britain’ strategy designed to protect and develop the UK supply chain as well as train young people.

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

“The establishment of a manufacturing facility at Longannet is a significant part of Talgo’s future strategy. However, our plans do not end in Scotland. Linked to our ‘all Britain’ strategy, we intend to create opportunity and harness skills across the UK.

“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’s approach keeps more money in the UK economy, and creates more skilled long-term jobs.”

Talgo UK Director Jon Veitch said: “When Talgo started this process, we were looking for just one site. However, we soon realised that all parts of the UK had something to offer.

‘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. As part of Talgo’s commitment to the UK-wide supply chain, our proposed second facility in Chesterfield will act as a catalyst.”

  • For the FULL in-depth story, read RAIL 866, published on November 21, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from November 17. 

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 14/11/2018 23:45

    Hopefully Talgo will soon create new jobs in Scotland. Aswell manufacturing new trains for HS2 and new Bi-mode trains for other major railway lines such as Midland Main Line to replace the Class 43+Mk3 HSTs used on East Midlands Trains London St. Pancras-Derby, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester and Leeds intercity routes. And possibly new trains to be used in Scotland.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 16/11/2018 03:29

    I can guarantee that Talgo not only would make trains in the UK. But also they could win the contract to build new HS2 trains aswell new trains for Northern Ireland and possibly new trains for Republic of Ireland. Plus ScotRail could order new trains to possibly replace the Class 170 Turbostar and Class 158 Sprinter DMUs and to cascade them to Northern. That are currently been used in the North of Scotland and on other lines such as the Edinburgh-Tweedbank line. As the Class 385s will soon be operated on the Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa lines and the Shotts Line. When the electrification is completed and the overhead wires are live.

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  • Anomynous - 22/11/2018 23:56

    Well done Talgo. I hope that they will create new jobs in Scotland. Which is possibly needed. Along with new rolling stocks to be built there.

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  • Anomynous - 22/11/2018 23:57

    Well done Talgo. I hope that they will create new jobs in Scotland. Which is possibly needed. Along with new rolling stocks to be built there.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 02/12/2018 18:59

    I actually think that Talgo should build new trains in the UK. And to create new jobs if Talgo were to build their new manufacturing facility in Scotland. And to build Bi-mode and BEMU stocks in Scotland. Aswell the rest of the UK. And if they did win the contract to build the new HS2 trains then they will support HS2 with dedicated train depots on the HS2 line.

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  • Robert ford - 07/01/2019 21:24

    Can you send me the job package please as I will bee looking for work in the longannet plant thanks hope to here from you

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