Foundry under threat

150 jobs at risk if Network Rail contract lost

The firm makes track components

Up to 150 engineering workers in South Queensferry could be made redundant if Network Rail awards a key rail contract to an overseas supplier.

Progress Rail Services, which makes high integrity steel castings, says it intends to close the Headrig Road site if the work is lost.

The company is owned by the US Caterpillar giant and has sites across the UK. It has supplied the UK rail industry with track materials for more than 160 years.

“As Network Rail’s largest supplier of track components, Progress Rail is challenging the award and has notified its employees,” it said in a statement.

“Due to the potential impact of Network Rail’s tender outcome, Progress Rail has opened a collective consultation with employee representatives at each of its UK trackwork locations to discuss possible redundancies and efforts to mitigate potential impacts, although no formal decisions have been made at this time.”

Network Rail said it had yet to award its new track switches and crossings contracts, adding that it had “approached its current suppliers with the indicative outcome of its tender and bidding process”.

A spokesman said: “Progress Rail currently has a full workload from Network Rail for at least another six months and we continue to work with them, and their US owning company Caterpillar, to manage current orders which they have accepted and are contracted to complete.”

The Unite Union voiced concerns and pleaded with the Scottish and UK Governments to intervene.

Unite industrial officer, Graeme Turnbull, said: “The news that Progress Rail Services is closing its South Queensferry site is a massive blow to Scottish manufacturing.”

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