MORE than 340 jobs at a Burton train depot have been safeguarded for the next five years after a new £103 million maintenance contract was secured.
Bosses at Bombardier’s Central Rivers maintenance depot, in Barton under Needwood, revealed that they had inked a deal with Virgin Trains to extend its upkeep of its Super Voyager fleet operating on the UK’s West Coast main line until March 2019.
The contract is worth £103 million and has secured the jobs of hundreds of workers for years to come.
Des McKeon, commercial director UK for Bombardier Transportation, spoke to the Mail about the news.
He said: “The further extension of this key contract endorses yet again the strong relationship that we have built with our customer, Virgin Trains.
“By the end of this extension we will have been successfully maintaining their trains for nearly 20 years, delivering excellent performance of the Voyager fleet on the prestigious West Coast route.”
The 20 Bombardier Super Voyager trains form an integral part of Virgin’s West Coast fleet.
Bombardier currently maintains the fleet from its dedicated depot in Barton, which employs approximately 340 people, as well as other outstations across the network.
Under the train service agreement signed with Virgin, Bombardier supports the fleet on a 24 hours per day, 365 days per year basis.
Peter Broadley, commercial operations director, Virgin Trains, said: “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Bombardier, enabling the continuation of many years of successful fleet performance.
“Clean, reliable and comfortable trains are crucial to delivering the amazing experience our customers expect and Bombardier are critical suppliers in delivering this.
“We look forward to working with Bombardier to continue to grow passenger numbers and customer satisfaction over the coming years on the West Coast.”
This comes only months after staff walked out at the site in a row over shift patterns.
It is understood that a deal has been agreed with the firm and staff.