18th June 2011

Now that the government has let our last train manufacturer run out of orders by giving them to Germany, is the phrase 'MADE IN BRITAIN' going to be a thing of the past???
How could they let the Thameslink order go out of the country? They can promise 300 jobs in the North East, but by doing that they have put 3000 jobs at risk in Derby. And lets not forget a further 12000 jobs in the UK supply chain are also in danger.

Then lets consider the bigger picture of losing train manufacturing from the UK altogether and what this would mean to all of us. A few years down the line all train manufacturing for the UK networks is built in mainland Europe, from being pioneers of train building to importers of all rolling stock. This situation is unthinkable to me and I think I speak for lots of Derby and British people when I say, we will not give up this fight until train manufacturing is safe for another 170 years in Britain.

I have greatest respect for Siemens, their product, history in the UK and support for UK manufacturing but the fact is they do not build trains in the UK

It does not matter how they dress up the jobs that Siemens will create for the UK in train building.

If they wanted a train designed in Britain, engineered in Britain and made in Britain, there was only one choice - Bombardier.

The new Aventra train

Train manufacturing started in the UK in 1804 and in Derby in 1839. If Bombardier pull out of the UK, it will signify the end of fully manufactured trains in the UK.



We must all keep up the pressure on all MP's with e-mails,tweets what ever it takes to not lose the last train manufacturer in Britain and back all UK manufacturing company's.


We are very good at what we do in Derby, building rolling stock for over 170 years proves that point. We are not looking for a bail out, we just don't want to be sold out!!!!!! The new Aventra train would of replaced the Electrostar and take Bombardier into the future.

28th June 2011

The consequences of losing this order have already started in Derby. 15 apprenticeships at Bombardier have been cancelled today (28/06/2011) with 15 phone calls to 15 young lads who were looking forward to a life in engineering in Britain.

Whatever your views, these are real people from the Derby Area 

29th June 2011

There was a visit at work today (29/06/2011), so we had a chance to put our views forward to Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle, Shadow Business Secretary John Denham and Derby South MP Margaret Beckett. All were good listeners and seemed to care about what we all had to say.

MP's visit Derby 29/06/2011
me in the middle of photo on MP visit day
People keep saying to me on twitter and other comment sites that Bombardier is Canadian, so I would like to reply.
Bombardier is a Canadian company, but when I turn up for work on Monday to weld the inter end for VLU trains, the man next to me will be British and next to him British and next to him British and so on. This story is repeated all over our Derby site from designers to engineers to cleaners, all paying taxes and spending our money, to help build our way out of this sh*t we are all in.
We have all worked hard at the Derby site, building up to 25 vehicles per week over the last few months.

Our bid  must have been a good and viable bid or it would have been rejected when the other four bids were dropped. We are the reserve bid but that does not pay the bills or save jobs.

5th July 2011

Day of Job loss announcement 

I've just been on the Phil Trow show at BBC radio Derby to speak of the devastating job losses today 05/07/2011. Nearly 1500 of my work friends and I are now at risk, with the cloud of uncertainty hanging over our heads. I am manufacturing staff and the job losses today means 40% of my grade will go. I fear that if we do not get orders soon, this will only be the start of job losses. 

7th July 2011

A typical day since job loss announcements;

Since we lost the Thameslink contract, and redundancies were announced, it's like the sword of Damocles is slowly but surely swinging towards us. Everyday when we go to work, to work hard building a world class product, there is a nagging feeling "will it be me going? And if it's not me, then it will be a friend or colleague that I have known for the last 24 years that goes." When you endeavor to put this thought out of your mind and think, "lets show the world how great we are and make the SSL build (our only project left on site) the best quality and most profitable train ever on the Derby site", you cannot help thinking - "what if it's all in vain because Bombardier pull out of the UK due to the lack of support for British manufacturing?"

I would like to thank all the agency staff in the carbodies area and all over the site. Some of you have been with us for up to three years,and are good friends. You have been instrumental in the great achievements at Bombardier Derby. (Twenty five vehicles a week over the last few months)

Good Luck in the future

These can not be last trains built in UK

9th July 2011

Just got back from collecting signatures for petition to save British train building at the Derby Ram. It was great to see my work friends and Dennis Baily, Andy Derbyshire

13th July 2011

Work that could be lost in the UK (this the area i work in at Bombardier Derby)

Drawing and design at Bombardier Derby

Parts made by supplier in Derby

Skins made by supplier in UK

Welded at Bombardier Derby

Complete ready for paint shop

Painted ready to go on vehicle

Fitted out ready for vehicle

From drawing to piece parts, to welding, to painting, to fit out, to the completed vehicle, all in the UK, please let's never lose it!!!!!!!

16th July 2011

Despite torrential rain they collected another 6,000 signatures for the Bombardier petition today, and it now stands at 44,000. Please make a U-turn Mr Cameron

18th July 2011

Petition over 50,000, great news

20th July 2011

This is a letter from London Underground (it show the quality and customer satisfaction for our products)

Bombardier Transportation
Litchurch Lane
DE24 8AD

To the employees of Bombardier, Derby

On behalf of London Underground, I would like to express my support for you
all at this difficult time.
You have a vital role in making our Tube upgrade happen, and I wanted you to
know how much we appreciate the work you have done so far and just how
essential you are in our continued success.
Last week, the last of our old Victoria line stock was withdrawn from the line,
replaced by the fleet of 47 new ’09 stock trains built by you. These are already
delivering fantastic benefits to our customers and when the full upgrade is
complete in 2013, London’s busiest Tube line will have achieved a capacity
increase of 21%.
On the Metropolitan line, Londoners are enjoying respite from the summer heat
in the Tube’s first ever air conditioned trains as the S stock continues its roll out.
Our staff and customers on the District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines
are eagerly awaiting their turn to benefit from this groundbreaking new rolling
stock that you will provide.
Bombardier trains also, of course, run across TfL’s Overground network.
Right now you are crucial to the successful transformation of the Tube. We truly
value your contribution and look forward to continuing our close relationship.

Mike Brown
Managing Director, Rail & Underground
Transport for London

23th July 2011

The day of the mass rally in Derby

The crowds get together on bass rec
It makes me so proud of the people of Derby and the rest of the UK, that we had so many of you showing your support for British manufacturing and British jobs. All helped by the mass rally being supported by all political party's from Derbyshire.

At the rally today there was a child with a sign saying "who will be left to teach me a trade" lets make sure that there will always be a future for all children in manufacturing in the UK.

Lets keep up the pressure on the government so we do not lose Bombardier or any other jobs in manufacturing.


This clip is a great speech by Bob Crow, general secretary RMT union  

BBC news on the Derby rally

Click here

The following is a speech I was going to say at the mass rally but there was not time.

Hi my name is Kevin Owen, I have worked at the Derby site for all my working life, 24 years as a welder

I would like to say a few words:

In 1840, the year that Queen Victoria married Prince Albert and the penny black stamp was introduced, Derby started producing trains. We are all very proud of this in Derby.

We are also proud that during World War 1 and World War 2 these Derby rail factories help support the war effort by making  gun parts and aircraft parts. Now let’s keep showing our support to them by not losing the old Carriage & Wagon site, and by not losing  the last train builder in the UK and the “MADE IN BRITAIN” tag for train manufacturing

We are very good at what we do here in Derby, 25 vehicles a week over the past few months, and over 170 years of history proves that fact. We are not asking the government for a bail out, we just don’t want to be sold out.

I would like to thank everybody for coming here today, and for the support of all local MP's especially Chris Williamson, all the TV, BBC radio Derby and newspapers especially the Derby Evening Telegraph and Daily Express for there national campaign.

And not forgetting the unions for making this rally possible


one way to get the massage across

27th July 2011

I have great respect for Siemens and their product but the fact is they do not fully build trains in the UK.

If you wanted a train designed in Britain, engineered in Britain and made in Britain, there was only one choice - Bombardier.

The jobs created in UK for this order by Siemens are just component parts, this does not equate to British train manufacturing.

28th July 2011

Some more great work by Derby Evening Telegraph today (please read link). We must all keep up the pressure on all MP's with e-mails,tweets what ever it takes to not lose the last train manufacturer in Britain.

2nd August 2011

ELECTROSTAR  for Gautrain Rapid Rail Link in Johannesburg, South Africa

This order is a great success and a fantastic export to South Africa. If we lose train building in Derby we also lose the chance to export more trains and help balance our economy. 

News from today

3rd August 2011

Please read this below and someone with more brains than me investigate:  

The area nobody has attacked thus far is 3i - the so called Investors In Industry, the Chief Executive, is the only finance man on David Cameron's Business Advisory Commitee, and their Chairman is setting up the new Green investment banks . This is the reason the Government isn't budging its a sweet deal for their friends, the complicity and treachery of British money men backing Siemens needs to be exposed.

 Michael Queen (Chief Executive 3i group) and Sir Adrian Montague (chairman 3i group)

This a share report 3i group
3i Infrastructure. The group also highlights the previously announced award of “preferred bidder status” for the Thameslink project in London. 3i is operating with Siemens Project Ventures and lnnisfree to deliver and maintain 1200 vehicles due for delivery in 2015. The shares edged up 0.30p to 121p in early trading on Tuesday.

Also today well done Derby County FC for supporting Bombardier

Nigel Clough, Derby manager’s message

The government’s decision to award the Thameslink project to Siemens instead of Bombardier is a potentially devastating blow to the community in Derbyshire and the UK rail industry as a whole.
Bombardier, based in the heart of Derby, is the UK’s last train manufacturer and one of our city’s biggest employers.
Aside from the jobs directly affected at Bombardier there is a far bigger ripple effect on our area.
Derby also has the highest concentration of companies manufacturing train components in Europe, employing around 10,000 people.
But this issue goes far beyond facts, statistics and even a political debate regarding the entire bidding process.
It’s about people’s jobs, people’s lives and a community that would be left devastated if something isn’t done to reverse or correct this decision.
Thousands of families in Derby will be affected and it will touch all generations.
Not just the father or mother who works in the rail industry to support their family, but also the teenagers and young adults studying manufacturing, with the aim of one day joining the talented and specialised work force we have in this city.
There is no underestimating the impact this will have on our community; it is quite simply one of the biggest issues ever to affect this area and I speak as someone who has lived here for over 40 years.
Derby County Football Club is not allied to any political party or ideological belief.
Our supporters back all and no political parties.
However we, as a club, are wholeheartedly supporting the campaign to make the government think again about the Thameslink project.
The contract with Siemens won’t be signed until the end of the year so there is still time for ministers to look again.
They should think again about the effect on UK rail and manufacturing jobs, as well as training and apprenticeships in this country.
The political arguments are for others to have; we are focused on what this means for our city and county and for the countless families affected by it.

Hopefully common sense can prevail.

Nigel Clough Derby County Football Club

5th August 2011

The Derby Evening Telegraph have done a story on 3i group that I e-mailed them. Let's keep up the pressure on the government until our future is secure and British train building is safe. Just saying they will look into the situation in Derby is not good enough, we need orders placed not just sound bites on TV by David Cameron/ Philip Hammond / Vince Cable and George Osborne. The economy needs us to manufacture and go back to "Made In Britain" to export more and not be reliant on imports from the far east. China are far more secure because they manufacture to the world and are not a country of service industry's.

6th August 2011

Story that I gave to Derby Evening Telegraph has gone national on Sky news and in the newspaper so great news for our campaign.

Today was one of the best days for the British train building campaign, the biggest thanks possible to DCFC for their fantastic support for Bombardier and British jobs. The Derby and Birmingham fans came together backing Derby and British jobs, not just a city united but a country united. Pride Park lived up to its name today and winning start to the season, thank you again DCFC

T shirts worn by players and workers children

Workers children on the way to the pitch
 Guard of honor made up of workers children

Legends who supported  Derby Jobs in the 70's
Me with Nigel, thank you for your support

9th August 2011

Tony Woodley, executive officer at Unite union, came to Bombardier Derby today to reassure staff that Unite would not give up its fight for British train building and British jobs. He laid out the next stage of the fight and talked of the success so far. Any new campaigns will appear on this blog soon. 

11th August 2011

The people who took part in these riots are scum of the earth and need locking up for a long time.

When the dust settles and we ask why? Then maybe the lack of manufacturing jobs and apprenticeships might be an answer. With a trade and a future, the young people would be too busy building to have time to run amok.
Losing our manufacturing capacity is destroying the future prospect for our young and these rioters might never be a bank manager, but an artisan just maybe.

Our government are not helping by giving the Thameslink order to Germany and risk ending train building in Britain.    

16th August 2011

Hard-hit rail commuters face more misery as inflation figures reveal how much more they will have to pay for their season tickets in the new year.
The July retail prices index rate of inflation is used to determine the following January's annual rise for regulated rail fares, which include season and saver tickets.
The formula used to calculate the new fares is RPI plus 3%. The rate is expected to come in at 5%, meaning fares will increase by 8%.
British people pay extra on train tickets to pay for trains to be built in Germany? We should support British train manufacturing with this extra income.

18th August 2011

I get lots of e mails about this site, here is one i got today.

Hi Kevin,
My name's Steve Somerset although I live in London now I was born in Derby and my Father worked for British Rail Engineering at Litchurch Lane Works for over 40 years, starting as a welder and ending up Chief Stores Foreman.
I even worked there myself for a little while. Needless to say I have been following the recent developments very closely. I have been reading your Blog with interest, joined the Facebook Page etc.
I am a musician and have written for tv and have a band called The Shadow Kabinet. After watching on TV and being moved by the support shown the Rams coming out in the Save Our Railway Industry shirts I picked up my guitar and wrote a song called 'You Used To Roar' Which is about specifically the decline of the engineering works in Derby and what's going on there at the moment. But it can also be looked upon in a more general light about what's happened with manufacturing across the country. I recorded it last week. Here's a link to the song.


Hope you like the song - who said the protest song is dead? 
Please feel free to use it in anyway you can to highlight what's going on.
Keep doing what you do Kevin.
All the very best

Thank you so much for your e mails, keep them coming. (great song by the way)

19th August 2011

The Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer story made front page of Derby Evening Telegraph today.  

22nd August 2011

Then lets consider the bigger picture of losing train manufacturing from the UK altogether and what this would mean to all of us. A few years down the line all train manufacturing for the UK networks is built in mainland Europe, from being pioneers of train building to importers of all rolling stock. This situation is unthinkable to me and I think I speak for a lots of Derby and British people when I say, we will not give up this fight until train manufacturing is safe for another 170 years in Britain.

Heather Wheeler MP for South Derbyshire interview  

29th August 2011

I had an idea for a billboard poster last week which I have spoken to Bombardier UK chairman Colin Walton about. It has now got the go ahead and looks great thanks to The New Fat design team. It should be up on Litchurch Lane (massive billboard) and London Road w/c 19th September.

Aventra has pride of place in the middle and will look fantastic when scaled up.

1st September 2011

Just got home from a good public meeting about the protest so far and whats planned  for the future. Great to have support from all the community and political party's in Derby especially Philip Hickson showing he cares for Derby first, party second. (unlike Heather Wheeler MP).

2nd September 2011

As I have mentioned in this blog, we are very good at what we do at Bombardier Derby. Be it in design or engineering but especially in the actual manufacturing / building of trains. To go to work at the start of the day with small piece parts and leave having made a world beating product is a truly satisfying feeling. Fitting and welding parts for a train is in my blood and has been in my piers blood since the 1930's when we started welding full steel trains in Derby.

This year has been a truly great and record breaking year for all at Bombardier Derby, with the most trains built in a single month and we are heading for best year total. Therefore if the government back British trains we will not let them or the public down.

We are on target to make 620 vehicles in 2011, this would produce a train 8 miles long if laid end to end. I am a bit of a runner and for me to run this length would take nearly an hour. This is a fantastic achievement from all at Bombardier Derby 

6th September 2011

Great coverage on ITV central tonight. The show came live from SSL production line and i was interviewed by Becky Johnson. Big thank you from all at Bombardier for helping keep up the fight for local jobs.

7th September 2011

Today was a big day in the campaign to save the last train builder in the UK. We took the fight to London and to Westminster. The Transport Select Committee debated the Thameslink order, with evidence from Colin Walton from Bombardier and more from Unite the union and academic experts.

Before this we all met at the roundhouse in Derby at 5am, the old home to the loco works. Then it was on to the train to London, with  lots of media work done on the two hour journey.

More photos and media work was done on Old Palace Yard at Westminster, all the delegates looked great with campaign t shirt and banners.

I left Old Palace Yard to go to Prime Ministers Question Time, which was a very interesting experience. After this I was invited to the shadow Cabernet room to meet with Ed Miliband  MP. He gave us his reassurance that he will do all in his power to help Bombardier Derby.

Then back to the station to return to Derby after a very long day.

meeting at roundhouse
on the way down

John live on Sky news
t shirts and banners

meeting with Ed Miliband after PMQ

Links from the day in London :

12th September 2011

All the news is about potential order for an upgrade to the existing fleet of diesel Cross Country Voyager trains to electric carriages. This is for 57 pantograph vehicles, which would be very welcome for our design and engineering department in Derby but not sure it would save any shop floor jobs in the short term.

Looking to the future, keeping our design and engineering department intact is very important for our long term growth at the Derby site.

One thing that worries me is that these vehicles are steel and in Derby we are a aluminum welding facility. Would Bombardier set up a steel welding facility for only 57 vehicles? If not there would be very negative press if the work was done in mainland Europe. The average person without a full appreciation of the industry would be in uproar over sending work out the country. There would be plenty of fitout work and traction work on these vehicles that would be done at the Derby site.

CLICK HERE TO READ (Guardian article)
15th September 2011

Today was a very sad day, its was when the redundancy went from numbers on a piece of paper. To the harsh reality of people knowing that they are deemed surplus to requirements. I do not think anything can prepare you for a letter saying, thank you for 20,30 or 40 years loyal service but you are not needed anymore. There were member of staff who are great at there jobs in tears today. So if the someone from the government would like to come to Bombardier Derby and tell these employees about European procurement law, that stops a rethink on Thameslink you are more than welcome.

17th September 2011

I can't wait to go to 10 Downing St, London on Monday,to give in the Daily Express Bombardier petition (more to follow).

18th September 2011

A party of us from Bombardier Derby went to Birmingham today, to the TUC march against public sector cuts. We gave our support to help stop these cuts and changes to their pensions and I gave a very short speech on the platform. We all had a good day.

on the march

speech on the platform

19th September 2011
"MADE IN BRITAIN" poster is up at Litchurch Lane today

Kieran Pallett and I have been down to 10 Downing Street, London to represent Bombardier workers by giving The Daily Express petition to Number 10. We were met in London by Chris Williamson MP, John Ingham and Alison Little from the Daily Express with the 75,000 petition. We all did interviews and then we had photos at Number 10. This will help our campaign to stay in the national spotlight. Thank you all at The Daily Express for this opportunity and all that you have done.

Kieran and I before the proper photos

22th September 2011

Bombardier are in the running for Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2011 in the People Effectiveness category

Assessors and moderators have visited Bombardier Transportation’s plant in Derby today. The company did a presentation and then the assessors were shown around the site.
In the afternoon Andy Derbyshire (Operations Director), Matthew (Apprentice), Tom (Engineer) and me, all did presentations on how effective Bombardier is at training and how well it treats its workforce. I spoke about my training but also about this campaign to save manufacturing in the UK. I mention how great this year had been for production (due to highly skilled workers), with 8 miles of train being built even with all that is going on around us.
Which shows the great character of all of the staff and that they want to show the rest of the world, that we are the best train builder. This is because we all know we are in this together and that Derby survives into the future, so we can grow again is the most important thing.

The assessors and moderators liked what they seen and heard, and we have made the final in London,

Thank you for coming to Bombardier Derby.     

25th September 2011

I have been to the Labour party conference today, with John Pearson and Danny White. We were joined at the conference by Chris Williamson MP, Margret Beckett MP and Glenis Willmott MEP. We were all honored at the end of the day by going on stage to collect an award for our campaign.  It was collected by us, on behave of the whole of Derby for its community spirit in getting behind the Bombardier campaign. The award was given to us by Ed Miliband MP and Harriet Harman MP. The film below was shown before the award was given.   

12th October 2011

Campaigners went to Westminster again today to put pressure on the Government to reverse its Thameslink decision. Joseph Watts was there.
In a debate dominated by the technicalities of European Union law and Government procurement it has been easy to forget the human cost of the Thameslink decision.
But campaigners who gathered in Committee Room 10 in the Palace of Westminster today were determined to make sure it would not be overlooked in the corridors of power.
When the Government named Siemens as preferred bidder for the £1.4bn Thameslink contract, Bombardier announced 1,400 redundancies in Derby and raised the prospect of a halt to UK operations altogether.

14th October 2011

Justine Greening is the new Secretary of State for Transport, I have a strange feeling it will be much of the same on Thameslink. Lets hope Justine can see how important manufacturing is for Britain and for our futures. Please help sort out train building in the UK by taking into account, during the tender process, the social and economic effects on British workers. Also try to remove the peaks and troughs in UK train orders, which has blighted the industry for years and have made planning so hard.   

17th October 2011

Inside Out tonight on the BBC, very good report on Bombardier Derby. It was all about what has happened since the loss of Thameslink on 17th June and what this means for the Derby economy.
Great work and thank you so much to Simon Hare of the BBC East Midlands Today.

Full Inside Out has now expired but 2 min clip below

Click to watch

2nd November 2011

On the 8.01am train to London tomorrow to give presentation to IMechE, to try and win a Manufacturing Excellence award in People Effectiveness. This would be great for all of us at Bombardier Derby, as recognition for a record production year in the face of adversity. Thanks to our training and with all of us working together, to our full potential.

Finger crossed.......

3rd November 2011

A team of us from Bombardier have given a presentation to MX awards committee. It went well and a video of  the staff was fantastic. Our presentation tells of the effectiveness of our people, even with the backdrop of the bad news. We have had a record production year, 25 vehicles per week and over 8 miles of trains this year, all thanks to our great work force, delivering world class trains.

We will find out the result on 23/11/2011

9th November 2011

Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Frances O'Grady has visited us at Bombardier today. She met  with workers and union officials to tell us of her support for our campaign.

Thank you for the visit and support.    

14th November 2011

Theresa Villiers MP, Minister of State at the Department for Transport, has visited Bombardier Derby today,  but unfortunately not with any orders or news. She came to listen to the company's views, the unions arguments, the locals MP's and Councillors points of view and a little word from me on how passionate Derby is about train building. I really hope she can see how important both manufacturing is to Britain, and train building is to Derby. The future for transport is the train because of its sustainability and we need to protect the UK's train building capacity.

Theresa with the press
Colin Walton Bombardier UK Chairman and I with Theresa Villeriers MP

23rd November 2011

Had a fantastic night at The Dorchester, London with a great group of people from work. We deservedly won the "People Effectiveness Manufacturing Excellence Award" thanks to all the workers back at Bombardier Derby.  

 24th November 2011

Derby’s Bombardier Transportation wins top business award

Bombardier Transportation wins the Power Panels Award for People Effectiveness
24 November 2011

Derby-based Bombardier Transport, was rewarded for its efforts to maintain staff morale during a difficult period for the business at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Manufacturing Excellence Awards, held in London last night (Wednesday 23 November).
The award ceremony was compered by Alistair Campbell, and attended by Mark Prisk MP, Margaret Beckett MP as well as a host of other top business names.
Andy Derbyshire, Site Operations Director for Bombardier Transportation, said: “I am delighted that we were successful in winning the People Effectiveness Manufacturing Excellence Award. It is a tribute to our people rising to the challenge of continuing to produce high quality, on-time products during what has been a difficult period in the UK. My thanks go to all of our people at our Derby site, without their continued dedication and hard work, this would not have been possible.”

Full story click here

29th November 2011

I have been with a great team from ITN's Tonight show for the last two days as they are making a film on UK job losses. I did some filming, and helped Tom Jenner and Tim Maynard by showing them around the Bombardier site in Derby. The film will be shown on ITV1 on 15th December 2011 -  please all watch it! I met the award winning news reader Julie Etchingham who was very approachable and compassionate about our situation. Julie, who was at a media party at Buckingham palace last night, and then at Bombardier with me - a bit of a come down to say the least!!

Thank you all for coming, I hope it helps us all at the Derby site.

Julie Etchingham and I next to a SSL Cab that I weld
16th December 2011

This week has been a busy one for Bombardier stories. Monday we had a great report on Panorama on BBC1, well done Paul Smith team leader on SSL. Then on Thursday, The Tonight Show on ITV1 did a fantastic job highlighting our plight. I was on this show but big thanks to Jeff Turner, who has left Bombardier after over 20 years service. 

Also on Thursday I had a meeting with our new President, Laurent Troger. He met with a few of us for a frank and open chat. I was very pleased with the outcome, Laurent is very passionate about making Derby and Bombardier the best and the only choice for rolling stock, service and support in one package.

Today there is a lot of news around the publishing of the Transport Select Committee report:


28th December 2011

Fantastic news today, we have won a £188 million order for 130 Electrostar carriages for Southern trains. Well done to all that campaigned! This is step in the right direction but we all need to keep going and working hard to win Crossrail. Let's hope this stops the UK review as well as some redundancies, and also helps bring back the agency workers who have worked so well this year.


30th December 2011

I have had an accident and have broken my shoulders. I will be off work for at least 3 months but will keep campaigning hard for Bombardier Derby and UK manufacturing.

I was on BBC radio Derby today today talking to Chris Doidge about this year at Bombardier.


15th January 2012

Please will you take a minute to vote for Bombardier Derby in the "Greats of Great Britain" awards. I have entered us in this, in order to keep us in the spotlight and raise our profile in this time before the Crossrail tender.


19th January 2012

I am trying to get one of our great VLU or SSL vehicles to be shown at the Make it in Britain exhibition at the Science Museum London.

This is an exhibition that runs at the science Museum, while the Olympics is on. It is a celebration of all things manufactured in Britain. This will be a great showcase for Britain while the eyes of the world are on us.

I have spoken to Francis Paonessa - President -Business Unit UK, and he is fully behind this idea, let's hope it goes ahead.

Other news about me! I have had an x-ray on my shoulder and here it is. (No wonder it hurt so much!)

With all that metal in my arm, I could of been built in carbodies!!

7th February 2012

We have got a all employee event on Thursday 9th February, which I hope will put an end to the Bombardier UK review. I hope this will  be guaranteeing work till the end of the SSL build, giving us time to fight and prove ourselves for new contracts.

9th February 2012

It is great news that the UK review has been favorable for all of us in Derby and for the Bombardier family all over the UK. This is down to the great work of all Bombardier workers all over the UK but especially here in Derby, with redundancy and closure hanging over us. We had a record and award winning production year, this showed great character by everyone in Derby. It is also down to a great fight to save the last train maker in Britain by the workers, unions, newspapers, TV, MP's and people all over the UK.Now is not the time for complacency, we need to keep reminding our ministers and MP's that British design - engineering - manufacturing and apprenticeships are not just sound bites to be said now and then. These are real people with a real passion for what they do, not just in my industry but all over the manufacturing sector in the UK.I believe in leaving a legacy for the next generation of train manufacturers, to leave my company stronger than I found it.  To ensure a future for our industry. 

15th February 2012

Saw Nigel Clough and Tom Glick from Derby County football club who came to Bombardier Derby today, to pay tribute to Colin Walton. They had a tour of the site signing autographs for workers, then handed over a signed Derby shirt to Colin to mark his retirement.

Colin Walton has been a fantastic Chairman for Bombardier and a great ambassador for the train industry in the UK. More than this, he has been a very easy to talk to and very helpful with all aspects of the campaign to save the last UK train builder.

Colin has had a lifetime in the rail industry and in UK manufacturing, I would like to wish him the best of luck in the future.

Nigel Clough, Me, Colin Walton, Andy Derbyshire and Tom Glick
24 February 2012

Today I had the pleasure of meeting HRH The Prince of Wales, I got to shake his hand and thank him for coming to Bombardier, Derby. I also thanked him for his ongoing support for UK manufacturing and apprenticeships. Prince Charles had a tour of the works, starting at the industrial design area then on to the SSL production line. Then - the highlight of the tour, the Prince got to drive a completed SSL vehicle on our test track.

The Prince of Wales was so approachable and down to earth taking time to talk with workers the whole time he was on site. I was also introduced to Mike Brown, Managing Director, Rail & Underground Transport for London. Mike was great to talk to and I thanked him for his support and for his letter he sent to all at Bombardier Derby in our darkest hour.
Photo just after I thanked Prince Charles

26th February 2012

Great article in The Observer today about the importance of the Crossrail project to Bombardier Derby written by Dan Milmo Industrial editor of the Guardian. I was interviewed for this article on Wednesday, we had a long chat about my views and all about Bombardier Derby.

28th February 2012

If this story in the FT today is true?

"After the Thameslink furore, the government promised to do what it could to ensure future procurement contracts gave some weight to companies with UK manufacturing presence while remaining within EU procurement law, which are designed to prevent protectionism
The Crossrail tender will specify that every bidder must set out how it will provide training, apprenticeships and work for smaller suppliers. This section on “responsible procurement” will also require bidders to specify where each part of the 60 new trains will be sourced"


This would be great news for Bombardier UK and for the whole of UK manufacturing in general. Also it would mean this government had kept its word on train procurement. I will still keep up the pressure, so Bombardier and UK manufacturing stays in the public eye.

19th March

Been a busy few days have done a interview for BBC radio 4, to be aired at 8pm 20th March. Also was on a panel for BBC 1 East Midlands Economy Debate to be show tonight at 11.05pm

18th April 2012

I am back to work tomorrow after 3 months off with my shoulder, I hope it all goes well. I have done a lot of campaigning on Twitter for #UKmanufacturing and #madeinBritain while I have been off.

I have found that the UK is full of great companies passionate about what they do and about manufacturing in the UK. We at Bombardier UK must put together a great bid for the Crossrail trains, then go on to build great quality vehicles - so we can keep train building alive in Britain and for these companies in our supply chain.

My fellow workers at Bombardier Derby just want the opportunity to keep building a world class British product. We can then be part of  the solution and not part of the problem to get our economy working and also pass on train building skills to the next generation and help youth unemployment.

Bombardier is going to be a part of a national exhibition, which showcases the very best of British manufacturing.  
Beating competition from hundreds of UK companies, they will join around 40 others at the 'Make it in Great Britain' exhibition, which will take place at the Science Museum during the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. I can not wait to visit this exhibition, I will be very proud of train building and all UK manufacturing being shown at the exhibition.

1st May 2012

Bombardier, Derby had a visit today from Ed Miliband MP, Ed Balls MP MP, Margaret Beckett, Chris Williamson MP and Glenis Willmott MEP. They were shown around the SSL production line, meeting workers from all stages and spending a long time talking to apprentices. At the end of the visit, I spoke to Ed Miliband MP. I told him how I believed that a site like this should be the jewel in the crown for the UK economy, we go from concept to engineering to manufacturing, we take on apprentices and we have a great UK supply chain.We build a world class quality product and we are all proud of what we do and of our history.

visit next to SSL underframe

30th May 2012


Together with our customer, National Express we have won the Supplier of the Year award at the Global AirRail Awards ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, the premier international awards ceremony dedicated to the air-rail market.

The judges praised Bombardier for its partnership approach with the operator National Express East Anglia (NXEA) to replace its old rolling stock with cutting edge Class 379 trains on the Stansted Express rail link between London Liverpool Street station and Stansted Airport. The airport is an important transport hub for the city in 2012, with the new fleet of 4-car trains that currently operate in the formation of 8-car trains enabling a 15 minute frequency in operation.

The Class 379 trains’ current performance is such that on average each train would circumnavigate the world more than twice before encountering a technical failure. The target availability of 90% has been met consistently.

Congratulations to all those that have played a part in this successful project.

16th June 2012

One year ago today we got the devastating news Bombardier Derby lost out to Siemens in Germany for the Thameslink contract. In the last year their has been lots of ups and downs, all of which are Chronicled here on this site.

What you do not see from this site is the hard work and dedication the workforce at Bombardier Derby has put in. All trying to show the world we are a world beating rolling stock producer, together we have had a award winning and  record production year. Even with the threat of redundancy hanging over the site.  

We must keep up the hard work, because by working hard together we can guarantee another 170 years of train building in Derby. 2014 will be 175 years of train building in Derby, this week I have started to help organize a celebration for Derby to mark this occasion.

30th July 2012

 I have been to the Science Museum today to see Bombardier UK exhibit. Great exhibition to celebrate manufacturing in Britain.

"Coinciding with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Make it in Great Britain is an exhibition on show at the Science Museum from 24th July to 9th September, celebrating the importance and success of British manufacturing. From food and drink to pharmaceuticals; from creative industries to construction, the exhibition will feature some of the most exciting Great British innovations happening today."

SSL mock up at the exhibition, showing film about Bombardier Derby

5th October 2012

Great letter from Chris Williamson MP to the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin PM about implications for the Thameslink contract following the West Coast Main Line fiasco.


20th November 2012

Chris Williamson MP brings a debate on Thameslink and Crossrail projects to Westminster hall. To read a full transcript please click link below.


28th November 2012

Looking back on our achievements for this year, the greatest one was, by far, delivering a reliable and successful product for the Olympics.

Bombardier's maintenance teams worked around the clock to ensure that more than 800 Bombardier trains on nine key routes serving London were available to meet increased demand during the Olympics 2012; a successful effort much appreciated by both Londoners and visitors.

19th December 2012

Today at Bombardier Derby we had a visit by Gerry McFadden, fleet director from Southern. Gerry and the  Executive team from Southern had a tour of the production lines before going on the first completed vehicle.

First class 377 for Southern
This vehicle went from signing contract - engineering - production line setup - completing first vehicle, in under one year.
Gerry McFadden said: "I'm absolutely delighted with the quality of the finished product. Bombardier has delivered the first carriage in record time.
We have a great partnership with Bombardier. We already have hundreds of their trains in operation and the reliability is second to none."
This a great boost for all of us at Bombardier, Derby and we are now looking forward to delivering a first class train which will help deliver more capacity and better comfort for Southerns customers.

View from the cab of the first class 377 for southern looking down the  production line 

saloon interior 

Cab interior
21st December 2012

Some great new today on our last day at work before the Christmas break. Southern have made an announced to take up the option for the 40 extra Class 377 Electrostars.

This is taken from the Southern web site:

"The 40 carriages are a run on to the 130 carriage order won by Bombardier at the end of last year. It was also announced today that the total order of 170 carriages has now been refinanced and we will lease them from new owners, Porterbrook.

Southern has also today launched a further procurement competition for 116 electric vehicles which will further enable the Department’s electrification programme which relies on the cascade of rolling stock released by the Thameslink Programme.

This open competition will include an option for a further 140 vehicles at a later stage should they be required.

Chris Burchell, Managing Director of Southern, said: “We are delighted to be able to order these additional vehicles which will provide much needed capacity on our network. We are also pleased that we are in a position to assist the Department for Transport in facilitating the cascade of electric vehicles as featured in the High Level Output Statement.” "

I look forward to building the first 170 vehicles, and thank Southern for their faith in UK manufacturing. We must now deliver a reliable and on time product. So we can maybe in the driving seat for the next order for a potential 256 vehicles.

8th February 2013

As more potential orders come in, such as the £88m class 378 for London overground, the future for train building at Bombardier looks brighter. We should turn our attention to the positive news of Derbys 175 year celebration of its link to train building which will be in 2014. We can use this celebration to promote engineering and manufacturing to the local school leavers and also to celebrate this proud achievement as a city. Derby should be proud of its train building history starting at the Derby works "Midland Railway Locomotive Worksin 1839, now home to Derby college, and continuing non stop since that date.

Derby is now known as the city of trains, planes and automobiles because of companies like Bombardier, Rolls-Royce and Toyota. This all started with train building coming to our great city, which then helped Roll-Royce and in turn, Toyota, choose Derby for their factories. Its a city built on manufacturing and ingenuity. More news will follow regarding details of  what will be happening in Derby in 2014. Follow 1839 on twitter for more information.

20th March 2013

Proud day for the British workforce at Bombardier, Derby as HRH Queen Elizabeth II has a Derby built S Stock train named after her. The Queen was at Baker street station to celebrate 150 years of the tube.


7th May 2013

Bombardier Transportation announced today that it has signed a contract with Transport for London (TfL) to provide 57 additional BOMBARDIER ELECTROSTAR rail cars for the London Overground network. The order is part of Transport for London’s programme to increase passenger capacity on the successful London Overground network – the 57 new cars will be used to turn existing four-car trains into five-car versions. The new units will be supported under an existing maintenance contract.


14th June 2013

Nearly two years after Siemens got preferred bidder for the Thameslink contract, its finally signed. We had moved on from this contract a long time ago, working hard on SSL and Southern contract. To deliver reliable trains that are on time and to the highest standard, if we do this more orders we follow.

I would like to say good luck to Siemens in Germany in delivering a great Thameslink trains to our British commuters. My colleges and I at Bombardier Derby would have loved to build this contract and would have delivered it on time and to world class standards.

18th October 2013

Great news taken from web site.

Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has won a top industry award for ‘Supplier of the Year’ at the National Transport Awards 2013.

In an event held in London on October 17, supported by the Department for Transport and Passenger Focus and attended by the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McCloughlin, Bombardier received the award for its role in the upgrade of London Underground’s Victoria Line and its support of train operators during the London 2012 Olympics.

Bombardier has supplied 376 new BOMBARDIER MOVIA metro vehicles for the Victoria Line, designed and built at its site in Derby, UK. Since the introduction of the new fleet, customer satisfaction levels have increased and passenger waiting times have been reduced, with trains running at intervals of less than two minutes. Reliability has also grown at an unprecedented level. The Victoria Line is now the most reliable service on the London Underground network, with trains running 80,000 km between failures, a distance equivalent to twice around the world.

The award also recognised Bombardier’s role in supporting London’s train operators during the 2012 Olympic Games. With a team effort involving more than 650 Bombardier staff, maintenance teams worked around the clock to ensure that 800 Bombardier trains on nine key routes serving London were available to meet increased demand during the Games. London Underground (with new Bombardier trains on the Victoria and Metropolitan lines) transported more than 60 million passengers and Docklands Light Railway – also using Bombardier vehicles – transported more than 6 million passengers. Over the Olympic period, class 378 BOMBARDIER ELECTROSTAR trains operated by London Overground carried 6.3 million passengers, 50 per cent more than usual. The maintenance window for the fleets reduced from a typical eight hour window to just three hours, yet availability and reliability remained exceptional.



Newspaper links:
Derby Evening Telegraph