Jamie Stone MP visits new Caledonian Sleeper Trains 

24 May 2019

Jamie Stone, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Scotland and Defence, spent the afternoon visiting Alstom’s depot in Wembley where they maintain the Alstom built Pendolino trains that run on the West Coast Main Line, and also twelve Class 92 locomotives for the Caledonian Sleeper as part of a £15 million 12-year contract awarded to Alstom by GB Railfreight (GBRF) in April last year.


(L-R) Dan Graham (Senior Production Manager, Alstom), Mike Folkner (Senior Technical Engineer, Alstom), Jamie Stone (MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) & Max Sugarman (Senior Public Affairs Manager, RIA)

Stone’s visit to the depot comes following the introduction of the Caledonian Sleeper’s new £150 million fleet of 75 new carriages, built by CAF, that began their maiden journey in late April. He was shown around the facility where Alstom will provide full maintenance support on both these new carriages and the trains’ locomotives – expanding Alstom’s portfolio of work on the Caledonian Sleeper and increasing investment into the local rail industry in turn. 
 
As part of his RIA Rail Fellowship Programme visit, Stone was given an in-depth presentation and tour of the Wembley depot, where representatives from Alstom, Serco and the Caledonian Sleeper highlighted the invaluable contributions the trains make to the UK’s economy and the vital connectivity it offers thousands of passengers every year. 
 
Jamie Stone’s visit is part of the second year of the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme – a programme launched in 2018 to showcase the work of the UK rail supply chain by encouraging parliamentarians and influencers to gain hands-on experience in the industry. Stone becomes the second MP to join the RIA Rail Fellow of the Class of 2019, following Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP’s visit to the University of Loughborough’s Repoint Project in early April. Stone also joins the likes of Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee and Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, former Secretary of State for International Development, in becoming a RIA Rail Fellow.
 
Jamie Stone MP said: “As a frequent user of the Sleeper trains, it was a pleasure to see the work Alstom are undertaking at their Wembley facility to ensure these marvellous new trains are performing at their best and efficiently serving passengers up and down the country. 
 
“I am grateful to the Railway Industry Association, Alstom, Serco and the Caledonian Sleeper for giving me an opportunity to observe the work going on behind-the-scenes to deliver world-class rail services to my constituents up in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. The Caledonian Sleeper is a landmark transport link in the United Kingdom, and one that strongly benefits numerous local economies and communities.”
 
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association said: “We are delighted to have had Jamie Stone along to Alstom’s Wembley depot to showcase their work on Caledonian Sleeper maintenance. It’s great to have Jamie join this year’s RIA Rail Fellowship Programme Class of 2019, drawing further Parliamentary attention to the far-reaching benefits the rail industry has - whether innovation, skills or exports - from as far south as Plymouth to as north as Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross!” 
 
Dan Graham, Senior Production Manager at Alstom said: “Jamie Stone’s visit to see our Wembley depot was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the high quality work we do there to maintain a range of trains that run on the West Coast Main Line, including the UK’s Pendolino fleet. RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme is a fantastic initiative to build better links between MPs and the rail industry and as a major member of RIA, Alstom is proud to support it.”
 
The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is being run by RIA, the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. RIA has more than 270 member companies and works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe, and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.
 
The rail sector is of crucial importance to the UK economy, contributing £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight also set to grow significantly.  

 
Notes to Editors
  1. The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is an exciting opportunity for UK parliamentarians and commentators to gain an insight into the valuable work of the UK rail supply chain at a RIA Member location. “Fellows” spend a day ‘on location’ with a RIA Member whose work is relevant to their role or constituency and experience opportunities reflecting the great diversity of technical disciplines within the rail sector. Candidates are gaining an invaluable understanding of a diverse workforce that together contribute £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people.  The RIA Rail Fellowship Class of 2019 will be awarded at the annual RIA Parliamentary reception on Tuesday 26th November 2019. More information here.
  2. 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. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 280+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. 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). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry
  3. About Alstom: As a promoter of sustainable mobility, Alstom develops and markets systems, equipment and services for the transport sector. Alstom offers a complete range of solutions (from high-speed trains to metros, tramways and e-buses), passenger solutions, customised services (maintenance, modernisation), infrastructure, signalling and digital mobility solutions. Alstom is a world leader in integrated transport systems. The company recorded sales of €8.1 billion and booked €12.1 billion of orders in the 2018/19 fiscal year. Headquartered in France, Alstom is present in over 60 countries and employs 36,300 people. 

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