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Press Release

Michael Fabricant MP Explores Innovations in Rail Industry During Visit to Wabtec

06 October 2023

Michael Fabricant, Member of Parliament representing Lichfield, recently embarked on an enlightening journey to Wabtec, a renowned global leader in rail solutions, situated in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire.

This visit, which took place on Friday 29th of September, marked a pivotal moment in the Railway Industry Association's (RIA) Rail Fellowship Programme, aimed at strengthening connections between politicians and rail supply sites nationwide.

Wabtec, boasting an illustrious history spanning over a century and a half, operates with a workforce of 27,000 professionals scattered across more than 50 countries. Their unwavering dedication to safety, efficiency, reliability, innovation, and productivity has firmly entrenched them as a formidable presence in the transportation and rail sectors, both on a national and international scale.

During his visit, Michael Fabricant explored several key facets of Wabtec's operations, with a primary focus on the engine, transmission, and power pack overhaul facilities. Additionally, he delved into the pivotal areas that contribute to the overhaul process right on-site, including the machine shop, responsible for reclaiming crucial components like crankshafts cylinder blocks and gearbox casings, as well as gear cutting, hydraulics, and the rigorous testing facility.

One point of pride for Wabtec is their commitment to conducting every aspect of the overhaul process entirely in-house and on-site. This approach offers a multitude of benefits, including enhanced project control, cost savings for their customers and significantly reduced turnaround times for overhauls.

Michael Fabricant's visit to Wabtec serves as a compelling testament to the ongoing collaboration between political stakeholders and the rail industry's unwavering commitment to fostering a more sustainable and efficient transportation ecosystem.

Sarah Stant, Group Marketing & Communications Manager at Wabtec, said:
"As members of RIA, Wabtec UK are supportive of the vital work that RIA and their Fellowship Programme undertake, particularly in ensuring consistent industry exposure and sharing both the progress and challenges of this important sector within the political landscape.’’

Ruby Sampson, Public Affairs & PR Executive, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Michael Fabricant MP to visit RIA Member Wabtec as part of RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme. The Rail Fellowship Programme exists to educate parliamentarians on the vital role of the rail supply chain, so it was great to have Mr. Fabricant on-site learning about the machine shop, responsible for their testing facility and gear cutting. We thank Wabtec for hosting this excellent visit.”

Michael Fabricant MP said:
“When you're a passenger on a train you don’t realise all the infrastructure that goes on behind it. Over 860 people in the Lichfield constituency are employed in the rail industry and it was fascinating to visit Wabtech, a company that maintains and re-build engines that drive, for example, West Midlands trains from Lichfield to Birmingham and Lichfield down to London. It's heavy engineering but precision engineering and I feel really proud to have met all these local people who work here.”

Notes to Editors

For further information on RIA and its Fellowship Programme please email [email protected] 

About RIA
The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has over 350 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people.
It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent on rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number).

About Wabtec Corporation
Wabtec Corporation is focused on creating transportation solutions that move and improve the world.
The company is a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, as well as the mining, marine and industrial markets. Wabtec has been a leader in the rail industry for over 150 years and has a vision to achieve a zero-emission rail system in the U.S. and worldwide. 
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