UK: Bombardier Transportation, CAF and Hitachi Rail have temporarily put the production of rolling stock at their UK plants on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘In the current unprecedented circumstances, we want to protect our people from Covid-19, support the government’s efforts to delay and mitigate the virus, and ensure sustainable business continuity’, Bombardier Transportation said.
It has paused manufacturing at Derby, heavy maintenance at Ilford and component refurbishment in Crewe pending further information from the government on social distancing rules.
Staff are working from home where possible, while ‘enhanced safe working practices’ have been put in place for rolling stock maintenance, technical support and materials supply staff who will ‘continue to play our part in keeping Britain moving’.
Production is also on hold at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe plant. Staff working in production, product introduction, testing and validation are on ‘controlled standby’, with a number of safety-critical, warehouse, production and security staff working at the factory to ensure that production can be restarted at short notice. The company continues to maintain rolling stock to enable key workers to travel.
Hitachi Rail said it was adapting its working practices to follow national and regional safety guidelines and respond to situations as they arise. This includes the implementation of international travel restrictions for all staff, while design, development and procurement activities are being undertaken using ‘smart’ home working.
Site cleaning has been enhanced, and the company said it was working with employees to support their mental health and wellbeing.
CAF suspended production activities at its Newport plant in South Wales on March 24. The company told Rail Business UK that it would follow directions from the government over the coming weeks and ‘keep everything under review’.