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Talgo train factory on track after winning planning consent


High speed trains destined for Scots factory

A plan to build a 1,000-jobs train-building factory on the site of Scotland’s last coal-fired power station has secured planning consent from Fife councillors.

Spanish engineer Talgo wants to go ahead with the project at Longannet whether or not it secures a big contract for the HS2 line connecting London and the north of England.

The company had initially said the 80,000 sq m facility near Kincardine was conditional on the line going ahead but it now says it wants to pursue international opportunities.

Fife councillors gave the £40 million project outline planning permission.

Talgo UK’s managing director Jon Veitch said: “We are looking at major contracts that are available to us.

Paul Lewismanaging director, Scottish Development International, with Carlos de Palacio, president of Talgo and Jon Veitch, UK director of Talgo at a presentation in Edinburgh in October 2018 (pic: Terry Murden)

“There are growing markets, particularly in Europe right now, particularly with the drive for decarbonisation and the modal shift from airlines to railway transit modes.”

Talgo specialises in designing and making fast lightweight trains which have been supplied to 28 countries including Germany, the USA and Saudi Arabia.

Mr Veitch added: “Gaining the outline planning consent is a major milestone for us, which then enables us to make sure in the final stages all our plans are ready for contract award. For that, we are looking at 18 to 20 months for construction of the facility and then we obviously have a transfer of technologies and training commitment as we start to recruit upwards to 2023.”

Speaking about redevelopment of Longannet, Paul Lewis, managing director of Scottish Development International, said: “Our plans are to use the asset that Longannet represents to create a really leading high-value manufacturing site, where companies from Scotland, from other parts of the world, can come and make high-value manufacturing products for the world.”

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