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RIA welcomes potential for progress on train orders

17 April 2024 


The Railway Industry Association (RIA) today (17 April) welcomed the news that Alstom and the UK Government are close to a deal for new trains, although no agreement has yet been reached.

Last summer RIA published a report ‘Rolling Stock: Making 2023 the year of opportunity not crisis’ which called on the Government to urgently bring forward orders for much-needed new and refurbished trains across the UK.

In December we told MPs on the Transport Select Committee that rail suppliers need a visible and clear pipeline for new and refurbished rolling stock, to provide clarity for suppliers and protect UK rail manufacturing and upgrade capacity in the short to medium term.

Earlier this month the trade body published a new rolling stock and rail decarbonisation strategy which pointed out that a third of the network does not need to be electrified and can be decarbonised now with battery-electric trains. The strategy also set out an approach to smoothing the pipeline which could eliminate ‘boom and bust’ permanently allowing suppliers to invest with confidence.

Commenting on the developments Railway Industry Association Chief Executive Darren Caplan said: “Suppliers across the UK will hope current discussions between Ministers and all train manufacturers achieve a positive outcome. The future of rail businesses of all sizes, factories and jobs depends on the decisions taken by the Government now.

"Immediate solutions are clearly needed to mitigate short-term risks, and sustain jobs and UK capability. But the Government urgently needs to bring forward invitations to tender for new procurements in the medium term and listen to industry proposals which have called for a level playing field for manufacturers to bid for the £3.6 billion of upcoming work orders."

Notes to Editors

  1. Read RIA's 2024 Rolling Stock and Decarbonisation Strategy:
  2. Read RIA's 2023 Rolling Stock Report here:
  3.  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 360 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 in 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).
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