Alstom has started construction work on its new technology centre and training academy in Widnes, a development that is expected to create up to 600 jobs.
The technology centre and training academy, for which Alstom invested €25m, will open in May 2017.
Alstom will initially use the new facility to deliver rolling stock maintenance contracts. The facility also gives Alstom the capacity to build trains in Britain, subject to winning UK rolling stock contracts.
The North West Transport Training Academy will act as a UK centre for providing training in engineering, manufacturing and will support the upskilling of the existing workforce.
Nick Crossfield, managing director for Alstom in the UK and Ireland, said: “Here in Widnes, we will create Alstom’s very own rail campus, bringing together our experienced team with the next generation of engineers and apprentices.
“Longer-term, we would also be able to build trains here, for example for New Tube for London.”
The first project that Alstom will deliver at the rail technology centre is the re-painting the Pendolino fleet of 56 Class 390 trains used by Virgin on the West Coast Main Line. The project is worth €28m and is expected to create 80 jobs by the time the technology centre opens in 2017.