Al­stom to cease op­er­a­tions at Pre­ston work­shops

Rail (UK) - - News -

Al­stom has con­firmed it is con­sult­ing with unions over the fu­ture of up to 180 jobs, fol­low­ing its de­ci­sion to leave its Pre­ston plant by July next year.

The com­pany is mov­ing staff and ac­tiv­i­ties from the Lan­cashire site to its new Widnes fa­cil­ity that opened at the end of June ( RAIL 831).

An Al­stom spokesman said: “Al­stom has re­cently opened its new Trans­port Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre in Widnes in the Liver­pool City Re­gion. This site is the nat­u­ral home for Al­stom’s in­creas­ingly dig­i­tally fo­cused busi­ness, and as a re­sult we plan to cen­tralise our tech­nolo­gies and ca­pa­bil­i­ties in this new world-class fa­cil­ity - in­creas­ing our pro­duc­tiv­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness.

“This will mean leav­ing the Vic­to­rian Pre­ston site by July 2018. Con­sul­ta­tion is on­go­ing with the Trades Union and staff, and it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment any fur­ther at this stage.”

In the 1830s a pri­vately owned car­riage build­ing busi­ness was es­tab­lished on the site. In 1863 the North of Eng­land Rail­way Car­riage and Iron Com­pany was in­cor­po­rated, but that was liq­ui­dated 15 years later and the site be­came empty. A new use came in 1896, when the site was de­vel­oped by The Elec­tric Rail­way and Tramway Car­riage Works Ltd. Dick Kerr and Com­pany bought it in 1903 and dur­ing the First World War it was used for de­fence work. In 1918 the name changed to the English Elec­tric Com­pany.

The pro­to­type Deltic was built at the site in the 1950s, and in the late 1960s AEI, English Elec­tric and GEC formed GEC Power En­gi­neer­ing Ltd, which was merged with Al­sthom of France in 1989. Nine years later, a new com­pany (Al­stom) was floated. Pre­ston re­mained part of its Trans­port divi­sion.

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