1000 jobs for Fife if Longannet lands deal with train builder

Artist's impression of Talgo's new AVRIL UK train, that could be'seen on some of Britain's future High Speed Railway lines'
Artist's impression of Talgo's new AVRIL UK train, that could be'seen on some of Britain's future High Speed Railway lines'

Fife could be set for 1000 new jobs if Longannet lands a new deal with a major business.

TALGO has put the former power station on its shortlist of possible locations to design and build specialised rolling stock for trainlines in the UK and a number of other countries.

It is one of two Scottish sites in the running to become a major factory base for the international rolling stock engineering company.

There are four other rivals – one in Wales and three in England.

It would be a huge boost to the Fife economy if TALGO moved into the land once dominated by the power station which was once the largest coal-fired station in Europe before its decommission in 2016.

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On Wednesday, representatives from the company briefed key stakeholders on plans for its new factory

It is the rolling stock provider for the Haramain high speed railway line between La Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, and provider of the new AVRIL train to Spanish operator RENFE.

TALGO aims to enter the UK train market, through ‘true manufacturing’ – instead of assembling kits of parts from overseas, the company wants to source components from within the United Kingdom.

The shortlist represents the latest phase in a search that has lasted 18 months, crossed much of Britain, and seen detailed discussions with land owners, development agencies, local authorities, research establishments, schools, colleges and universities.

All locations shortlisted share great connectivity, would receive a major boost from job creation, and have the potential to supply people that can be skilled-up to meet the needs of building trains that can run at up to 235mph.

TALGO intends not only to build for the UK market, but also to serve emerging overseas markets, boosting UK exports.

Such is Talgo’s passion for a UK manufacturing facility, that Carlos de Palacio, president of the company, has undertaken many of the fact-finding missions that have resulted

in the shortlist.

He said: ‘The establishment of a manufacturing facility in the UK is a significant part of our future strategy.

‘Talgo’s aim is to establish true manufacturing – rather than assembling from parts made elsewhere. This means that we will draw from materials and expertise across the UK.

‘This keeps more money in the UK economy, and creates more skilled long-term jobs.

‘Although there can only be one factory site, we have developed excellent relationships with areas that we have visited. We anticipate continuing these relationships to ensure that Talgo provides

opportunity across the UK.’

A final decision on a site is anticipated in November.