Talgo’s UK test track
Spanish manufacturer considers building test track in UK as it discusses factory proposals with Welsh and Scottish politicians.
A new UK test track, available to all companies, is being proposed by Spanish manufacturer Talgo as it looks to develop its standing in this country.
Having already confirmed its intention to establish a factory in the UK to build trains ( RAIL 836), the company is now meeting representatives from various regions regarding potential sites ( RAIL 837).
However, Key Account Manager for the UK and Ireland, Jon Veitch, exclusively revealed to RAIL that there was also interest in a test track. Not only would this be used by Talgo to test its own UK-built trains, it could be used by other companies in much the same way that new trains built by Hitachi were tested at Old Dalby, which is largely used by Bombardier.
Currently used in the UK are Old Dalby, Network Rail’s High Marnham test track, and a short track at Litchurch Lane.
Veitch believes that there is a market for another facility, which could be used both for newbuild and re-tractioned trains. He said that various sites have been investigated, including Parkside in Leeds and Hunterston and Longannet in Scotland. With regards to the Scottish locations, both would use the former power station sites.
Meanwhile, the company continues to discuss its UK vision with senior politicians.
Having visited North Wales at the end of October with a view to it being a possible site for its UK facility, Talgo representatives then met with Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf in Edinburgh.
Transport Scotland is thought to be keen to attract the Spanish company north of the border, with several sites in the Central Belt being considered.
The company remains interested in bidding for new-build trains for franchises and HS2, but is also keen to develop maintenance, refurbishment and refurbishing contracts.
Two Talgo very high-speed trains stand at the company’s Las Matas headquarters during testing. These trains are destined for Saudi Arabia, and are tested on Spanish railways. The company wants to operate a test track in the UK, which would be available for its own trains should they be built here, as well as for use by other companies.