Brush produced the Class 60 diesel locomotives (Photo: Ken Short/GB Railfreight)

Photo: Ken Short/GB Railfreight

Brush produced the Class 60 diesel locomotives.

UK: Wabtec has announced its intention to close its manufacturing operations at the Brush Traction site in Loughborough.

‘Decisions like this are never easy but over the past few years, our site has experienced reduced volume and this decrease is no longer sustainable’, a Wabtec spokesperson told Rail Business UK. The decision to close the plant would ‘help to simplify and optimise the company’s manufacturing footprint in today’s cyclical environment, as well as better position Wabtec for success’.

The proposed closure is subject to consultation. Wabtec said was fully committed to all customer commitments, and ‘providing the employees affected with resources and benefits to manage the transition.’

Wabtec acquired Brush Traction for US$31m in February 2011, with the aim of strengthening the US firm’s position as a locomotive aftermarket service provider in the UK market. Tracing its ancestry back to the Falcon Works of 1865, the Loughborough plant has been working in recent years on the repowering of Class 73 locomotives for GB Railfreight and the conversion of Class 319 EMUs to electro-diesel Class 769s for various operators.