CAF to build trains at new site in UK

Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF has announced that it is to start building trains at a new factory in South Wales, an important boost to UK manufacturing and the Welsh economy.

CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles) plans to create 300 jobs at the factory near Newport, where it will build trains and trams for the UK network. The company has previously supplied trains to the UK from its factories in Spain.

CAF is investing £30 million (EUR 34 million) to get the factory up and running, and has also received significant grant support from the Welsh Government’s Inward Investment Programme.

The new facility will be over 46,000 square metres in size and will employ 200 people when it opens in autumn 2018, rising to 300 by 2019. It is being designed so that CAF can build a range of different trains, including diesel multiple units (DMUs), electric multiple units (EMUs), trams and high speed trains.

Richard Garner, CAF’s UK Director said: “The factory will have the flexibility to allow us to respond to the exacting demands of both existing and new customers by providing the most complete offering of any rolling stock provider operating in the UK.”

CAF has been targeting the UK rail sector in recent years. It supplied the trams for Edinburgh’s tram system and the Midland Metro, and currently has contracts to build some 300 trains and coaches for the UK market. These include 31 three-car and 12 four-car EMUs, and 25 two-car and 30 three-car DMUs for the next Northern franchise; 12 five-car EMUs and 66 coaches for TransPennine Express; and 75 coaches for the Caledonian Sleeper service.

CAF plans to start recruiting people to work at the factory next spring, and will be offering training and apprenticeship schemes from autumn 2018. Job opportunities include skilled technicians and engineers, management and support staff.

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