Alstom Transport has opened a 140,000 sq ft train maintenance facility in Widnes, where it will soon start work on re-painting a fleet of Virgin’s Pendolino trains.
Development at the 30-acre site began in October last year, and will include a training academy set to open in September.
Alstom will soon start work on a £24.5m contract to re-paint 56 Virgin Class 390 ‘tilting’ Pendolino trains, which are used on the West Coast mainline.
The site is included as part of the Mersey Multi Modal Gateway strategic development plan, formulated in 2000 and known as 3MG.
Later phases could include an 80,000 sq ft extension to the service yard, followed by an 180,000 sq ft warehouse.
“This long-term investment marks Alstom’s commitment to the future of the sector in the UK,” said Gian-Luca Erbacci, senior vice-president of Alstom in Europe.
“We have a team of 80 people in place to deliver our first contract, repainting the beautiful Pendolino trains and that includes five new apprentices, showing our commitment to skills. We want this to be just the start of our story in Widnes.”