UK: Plans to invest up to £200m to create a ‘state-of-the-art factory to manufacture and commission trains’ at Goole in the East Riding of Yorkshire were announced by Siemens on March 2.

Siemens has signed a long-term agreement to lease a 27 ha site on the Goole 36 development adjacent to Junction 36 of the M62 motorway. It would start phased development of the plant ‘if investment conditions are met, and subject to the company’s success in major future orders.’

The company envisages that the factory could employ up to 700 people in engineering and manufacturing roles, plus an additional 250 people during construction. Around 1 700 indirect jobs would be created throughout the UK supply chain.

‘We’ve said for some time that future success for Siemens in the rail industry would see us opening a rail manufacturing plant here and this announcement provides additional substance to those words’, said Siemens UK CEO Jürgen Maier. ‘Having considered multiple locations in the UK, I’m delighted to confirm that we’ve identified a site in Goole for our new UK rail factory which not only has the potential scale we need for a facility of this size but also ready access to the skilled people we’d need to build and operate the factory.’

Siemens has supplied more than 3 000 vehicles to the UK rail sector from its plants at Krefeld in Germany and Wien in Austria. Within the UK, Bombardier Transportation operates a long-established rolling stock factory in Derby which currently has orders to supply trainsets to customers including South Western Railway, West Midlands Trains and Greater Anglia. Hitachi Rail Europe’s purpose-built plant at Newton Aycliffe is producing trainsets for the Intercity Express Programme as well as for ScotRail. Spanish company CAF has orders from Caledonian Sleeper, TransPennine Express, West Midlands Trains and Northern, and is investing £30m building a plant at Newport in South Wales to supply its UK customers. Alstom operates a refurbishment plant in Widnes, which it has said it would use to build new vehicles if it were successful in future tenders.

Major orders expected in the UK rolling stock market include Transport for London’s Deep Tube Upgrade Programme (formerly known as New Tube for London), fleet replacement and expansion at the Docklands Light Railway, orders to be placed by the future Wales & Borders and South Eastern franchisees, and the High Speed 2 rolling stock contract.