Flintshire shortlisted for £7.5bn new train contract

Reporter:

Lois Hough

CALLS to build a new generation of trains in Flintshire are gathering steam.

The Hitachi site on Deeside Industrial Park has been shortlisted to build the new inter-city express trains and production could start in 2013 if the government approves the £7.5billion contract.

The move could create up to 800 jobs.

Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami said the arrival of Hitachi would make a trio of transport giants in the county.

He said: “This is the planes, trains and automobiles dream for Flintshire,” he said.

“We have Airbus and the aerospace sector. We have Toyota and the automobile sector. Now I’m fighting for Hitachi and the future high speed trains programme.”

The new trains, which will replace the inter-city fleet, are expected to be more environmentally friendly, carry more passengers and reach higher speeds.

The firm’s Newton Aycliffe factory in County Durham is also in the running for the contract.

Mr Tami added: “Few parts of the UK can boast what we have here in Flintshire in terms of manufacturing excellence and high skills. This is a testament to the determination of hard working people and the leadership given by former Alyn and Deeside MP Barry Jones.

“We must also acknowledge the crucial role played by unions in ensuring Flintshire workers are the best in the land, as well as schools and colleges for helping young people raise their aspirations.

“Our fight now is to become the nation’s centre of manufacturing excellence, with the presence of the three key transportation sectors present here.”

Mr Tami has called on the Welsh Assembly to help secure the Hitachi bid for Deeside.

He added: “I have made it very clear to Hitachi that if they choose Deeside they will have the very best workers.

“The momentum is with us and I intend maintaining it.”

See full story in the Leader

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