Scotland could welcome back train building for first time in decades

och aye

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Slightly click-bait title from The Scotsman.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/transp...-building-for-first-time-in-decades-1-4597667

Train building could return to Scotland for the first time in decades with Spanish firm Talgo looking at possible sites for a factory. Officials were meeting the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency and Scottish Enterprise last night to discuss the plans.

At least 600 jobs are expected to be created, with the factory scheduled to open around 2020. Talgo said possible sites include at Hunterston on the Ayrshire coast or the former Longannet Power Station site on the Forth in Fife.

They are adjacent to or near deep water ports for the import of materials and export of completed trains.
 
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ian1944

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The rest of the article:

ScotRail is about to introduce two new fleets, so any built by Talgo are likely to be for other parts of the UK, or Europe, at least initially. The Spanish company is also looking at possible locations south of the Border for its first UK factory.

Jon Veitch, Talgo’s key UK and Ireland account manager, said the availability of skilled staff, such as in engineering, would also count in Scotland’s favour. The company, based near Madrid, specialises in high-speed trains, which operate in countries such as Spain and Saudi Arabia. It has said that trains for HS2, which are due to run between London and northern England and on to Edinburgh and Glasgow in a decade’s time, must be built in the UK. However, it is also looking for opportunities to build other types of trains, and get involved in associated work such as the refurbishment of rolling stock.

Richard Clinnick, assistant editor of Rail magazine, said: “Talgo looking to build trains in Scotland can only be a good thing. It not only recognises the opportunities that can be afforded by bringing its factory here, but it also understands the skills available via the Scottish workforce. Its president has told me of the ambition to create apprenticeships in whichever region it decides to build the factory in, which bodes well for a long-term future. Even if it is not building trains, Talgo wants to enter the UK train market through refurbishments and other engineering practices, and is set to be here for the long-term. Through a wide range of meetings, it is learning what is needed for the UK.”

The last passenger trains were built in Scotland more than 30 years ago by Walter Alexander in Falkirk. Some locomotives were made by Andrew Barclay Sons & Co in Kilmarnock until the 1990s, although volume production ended in 1923, at the St Rollox works in Glasgow. Hitachi has opened a factory at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, which is building Class 385 electric trains for ScotRail and Azumas for Virgin Trains East Coast. In addition, Bombardier has a plant in Derby and CAF is opening one at Newport in Wales.
 

LOL The Irony

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It's more than "Slightly click-bait" imo. Should have been called "Train builder looking at building factory in Scotland" but I guess that wouldn't sell as many papers or get as much site traffic.

But anyways I hope Scotland gets a train factory :D
 

och aye

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So it's now a straight duel between Longannet & Chesterfield.

Train-making plant may be steaming into Fife


https://www.scotsman.com/news/train-making-plant-may-be-steaming-into-fife-1-4823688

Longannet in Fife will now battle it out with Chesterfield as the location for a new train-building plant that could employ up to 1,000 workers.

Spanish firm Talgo announced last year that it was looking at possible sites for a factory and released a shortlist of six locations last month, including Longannet and Hunterston on the Ayrshire coast. That has now been whittled down to just two. A final decision on a factory site is anticipated around the middle of the month.
 

snowball

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There was an item on BBC Look North (Leeds) several days ago saying it was now down to either Chesterfield or a Scottish site, but they didn't say which Scottish site.
 

ainsworth74

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It's all going to end in tears eventually. There's no way on earth that this many plants can be sustained. They'll produce their initial order and most of them will promptly vanish again a few years later. Don't get me wrong I'm not wholly opposed as even a few years of good employment as offered by such plants is to be welcomed but...
 

snowball

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It's all going to end in tears eventually. There's no way on earth that this many plants can be sustained. They'll produce their initial order and most of them will promptly vanish again a few years later. Don't get me wrong I'm not wholly opposed as even a few years of good employment as offered by such plants is to be welcomed but...
Summarised by Roger Ford in a recent Modern Railways with a picture of a row of lovable kittens with a question about which of them would be for the chop.
 

Mikey C

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It's all getting very nationalistic/regionalistic with different parts of the country getting "their" own train plant.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Talgo has to win a contract first, and there is serious competition from existing players.
Their prime technology (passive-tilting, short-wheelbase articulated coaches), is largely alien to the UK on our classic network, and we are not ordering any captive stock for HS2.
They are also expert at drive-through gauge-changing bogies, of which we have no need.
They also rely on OEMs (typically Bombardier) to supply key components like traction systems and power cars.
I find it difficult to see a niche for them to enter the UK market.
Their trains obviously work fine in Spanish and other environments, but don't seem well adapted to our HS2 classic-compatible market and our smaller gauge.
Nor can I see them partnering with our own Bombardier where Talgo do the coaches and train assembly, leaving power electronics to Derby.
But what do I know!
 

TRAX

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It's all going to end in tears eventually. There's no way on earth that this many plants can be sustained. They'll produce their initial order and most of them will promptly vanish again a few years later. Don't get me wrong I'm not wholly opposed as even a few years of good employment as offered by such plants is to be welcomed but...
My thoughts exactly. If Europe is basically not building train factories anymore, there’s a reason. And Europe won’t need anything from the UK factories as they already have what they need here.
 

Clansman

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It's all going to end in tears eventually. There's no way on earth that this many plants can be sustained. They'll produce their initial order and most of them will promptly vanish again a few years later.
And then it will become a pointless political issue all over the media and society. Lovely.
 

Pigeon

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They forgot about North British. Built 1000's of locos for home and abroad till they went bust in the 60's.
...because they couldn't handle working to greater precision than could be achieved with a hammer, and instead of upping their skills relied on politics to get them orders, which they couldn't build properly and went bust even quicker from not being able to cope with sorting out their own mess.
 

Western Lord

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It seems that it is fairly cheap to set up a train building "factory", which is actually just an assembly plant for bits built elsewhere. It reminds me of when Lotus (and others) sold cars in kit form which you assembled yourself in your own garage!
 

Chester1

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My thoughts exactly. If Europe is basically not building train factories anymore, there’s a reason. And Europe won’t need anything from the UK factories as they already have what they need here.
Talgo has talked about exporting outside of Europe. Depending on the outcome of brexit i.e. whether we have a free trade agreement or stay in the customs union, the UK may have lower tarifs with some countries compared with the EU.
 

InOban

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One potential advantage of Longannet is its location on the Forth. It would be possible to impirt, and more importantly export rail vehicles by sea, independently of our track and loading gauge.
 

TRAX

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Talgo has talked about exporting outside of Europe. Depending on the outcome of brexit i.e. whether we have a free trade agreement or stay in the customs union, the UK may have lower tarifs with some countries compared with the EU.
Their main market (and it's not that huge) outside Europe Spain is the United States, and these guys won't buy British-built.
 

Journeyman

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Their main market (and it's not that huge) outside Europe Spain is the United States, and these guys won't buy British-built.
Stadler have had some success selling trains to the US, but at least 60% of the contract value has to come from American businesses, so they've built a plant in Utah for final assembly. A lot of the parts come from Switzerland, but there's a lot of local suppliers involved too.
 

Journeyman

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...because they couldn't handle working to greater precision than could be achieved with a hammer, and instead of upping their skills relied on politics to get them orders, which they couldn't build properly and went bust even quicker from not being able to cope with sorting out their own mess.
They rather stupidly sold a lot of locos at a loss, too, in the hope of winning future orders, but by the time those orders came along, BR had realised how lousy NBL's diesels and electrics were.

I think some of the problems came from the actual engines they built under license from MAN. They were reliable designs, but they converted all the measurements from metric to imperial, and didn't do so accurately enough, resulting in engines that shook themselves to pieces, and were prone to seizure and unwanted pyrotechnics.
 

Mikey C

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Unless we have an incredibly low tariff arrangement for certain export markets when compared to the EU, it's REALLY hard to imagine British made trains being cheaper then Spanish built ones.
 

Ken H

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Scotland cant specify trains are to be built in Scotland while we are in the EU, and possibly after, depending on what the brexit deal is. Will public procurement still have to be advertised in the european journal after Brexit?

Anyway, Europeans dont want brit trains. France, germany, Belgium all build their own trains and their railways seem to be able to source locally.
 
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Scotland cant specify trains are to be built in Scotland while we are in the EU, and possibly after, depending on what the brexit deal is. Will public procurement still have to be advertised in the european journal after Brexit?

Anyway, Europeans dont want brit trains. France, germany, Belgium all build their own trains and their railways seem to be able to source locally.
I'm sure you appreciate that it's impossible for both of those statements to be true.
 

Ken H

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Scotland can’t build trains locally because of the EU. Other EU countries manage to build trains locally. Which one is it?
scotland can build trains. But while we are in the EU all public procurement has to be via the official journal of the european union. And you cant discriminate in favour of your local supplier.
How the French/Germans/etc manage to have almost 100% locally made kit I dont know. I assume they have found a way to discriminate against foreign suppliers. Probably by some specification we cant meet with UK built stuff. But I have never seen an imported train in DE/BE/FR/NL
 

InOban

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The UK can't build trains for the continent because our loading gauge means that they could only be transported by road to a port. Otherwise, under single market rules, it's not a matter of don't want, the tender must be awarded to the best bid. It's taken a long time for this to become accepted - remember the row when Eurostar awarded the order for new trains to Siemens
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Scotland can’t build trains locally because of the EU. Other EU countries manage to build trains locally. Which one is it?
To a varying degree, some European countries still have a full train design and build capability - eg France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain.
Some Eastern European countries can still build trains but find it hard to export them (Czechia, Poland, Romania etc).
But there is increasing integration and rationalisation in the industry.
Bombardier has plants all over, Alstom has plants in Germany and Italy.
Alstom and Siemens are trying to merge, with Siemens planned to lead on train building, Alstom on signalling.
Hitachi has taken over much of Italy's capability (Alstom has the Pendolino line).
Spain has 2 indigenous builders but they tend to partner with the majors for high speed trains.
France's manufacturers might still monopolise the French market (from Alstom and Bombardier plants), but Germany buys French and Swiss trains as well as German.
Countries like the Netherlands and Denmark are like us, importing all their trains, bar some local components.
Merseyrail's new Stadler trains are assembled in Switzerland but will have body shells manufactured in Hungary.

The EU forces open competitions for new trains, but France has got round that by allowing large 10-year framework contracts with their builders.
Scotland is not independent and has to follow UK and EU procurement rules.
In any case it does not have a train-building capability.
They are not going to magic a world-class traction package or sets of bogies out of nowhere.
If a Talgo plant was based in Scotland, nearly all of the parts would come from Spain and elsewhere, not from Scotland.
 

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