‘Gloves are off’ in fight to save Derby train-making plant

Derby Litchurch Lane

The Government has pulled out of last-ditch calls to try and save Alstom’ Derby factory on Monday (April 8), according to the city’s inward investment boss.

John Forkin

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, posted on social media platform X on Monday evening that patience had now run out with pursuing official channels to try and salvage the jobs of 3,000 workers at Alstom’s Litchurch Lane site – an 15,000 in the wider supply chain that it supports.

A clearly angry Forkin posted: “A senior government representative pulled out of a meeting with Team Derby today so we will take the gloves off and open up a community-wide campaign to save UK train design and building.”

The post was in response to an interview by railway industry podcast Green Signals with Alstom UK’s managing director Nick Crossfield in which he warned that if the Derby plant disappears the UK will be the only G7 country without the capability to take a train carriage from initial design to finished rolling stock.

In the interview, he said: “We need to think carefully about what kind of rolling stock supply chain we want in the UK. If we close the Derby factory we will be importing that capability for the future.”

Alstom inherited the huge site when it bought Bombardier in 2021 but doesn’t have enough work in its pipeline for it to continue functioning following the Government’s decision to axe the HS2 line from Birmingham to Manchester.