UK rolling stock factories pause production


ALL THREE rolling stock assembly facilities in the UK paused production after social distancing guidance took effect due to the coronavirus pandemic, although Bombardier in Derby was to resume production after the Easter bank holiday weekend using new working processes.

Bombardier announced on 25 March it would suspend production at its Litchurch Lane factory along with heavy maintenance at its Ilford site and component refurbishment and overhaul at Crewe. However, on 7 April it confirmed operations would restart at Derby and Ilford on 14 April and at Crewe a day later. This followed trials of new processes which comply with social distancing requirements, including greater spacing, split shifts, additional safety requirements and washing facilities. Its Services activities at depots continued throughout.

While Hitachi’s depot operations similarly continued, the company confirmed in late March it had placed the majority of staff in Product Introduction and Test and Validation at its Newton Aycliffe plant in County Durham on controlled ‘standby’. It said a reduced number of safety critical, warehouse, production and security staff continued to work, enabling production to be restarted at short notice when required.

CAF suspended production at its Newport factory in South Wales in line with UK Government advice but confirmed other parts of its business continued to provide essential support to customers.