The opening of a new £21 million train modernisation centre in Widnes, Chesire, is the start of a new Alstom legacy.

That was the message from Alstom Europe’s vice-president Gian-Luca Erbacci, who was present today (June 29) for the grand opening.

The 13,000 square metre site is the largest rolling stock modernisation facility in the UK, according to Alstom,  and it will work on the €28 million contract to re-paint the 56 train fleet of Class 390 Pendolinos, which are used by Virgin on the West Coast Main line.

Alstom said the majority of recruits – including an 80-strong repainting team – have come from the local area.

‘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,’ said senior vice-president of Alstom Europe Gian-Luca Erbacci. ‘We want this to be just the start of our story in Widnes. We have already committed that if we win contracts like Transport for London’s Deep Tube Programme, we will build the new trains here, and we look forward to the Alstom Training Academy opening in September.’

The site pictured in May. Credit: Alstom.

The site pictured in May. Credit: Alstom.


Read more: Amey becomes first rail infrastructure company to get rail franchising PQQ passport from DfT