UK: Work is underway on the factory which CAF is building at Newport in south Wales to support its expansion in the UK rolling stock market.

The company expects to employ 200 people at the plant when it opens in autumn 2018, increasing to 300 in 2019. Recruitment is to start this spring, with opportunities for skilled technicians and engineers, management and support staff. Training and apprenticeship schemes will be offered from this autumn.

CAF is investing £30m in the plant, which is being built by principal contractor Bowmer & Kirkland at St Modwen’s Celtic Business Park on the site of the Llanwern steelworks. It has also received grant support from the Welsh Government’s Inward Investment Programme.

The Spanish company currently has orders to build coaches and multiple-units for Caledonian Sleeper, TransPennine Express, West Midlands Trains and Northern, and said the factory would ‘strengthen its position as a manufacturer of choice for the UK rail industry.’

The 46 000 m2 site with a floor area of 15 000 m2 is being designed with the flexibility to build a range of different vehicle types, including trams, metro, suburban and inter-city trains and high speed trainsets. This will provide ‘the flexibility to allow us to respond to the exacting demands of both existing and new customers by providing the most complete offering of any rolling stock provider operating in the UK’, according to CAF’s UK Director Richard Garner.

CAF also plans to develop a cluster of local and national companies to supply components to the factory.