After a three-week pause, train production will recommence at Bombardier Transportation’s Litchuch Lane site in Derby on Tuesday 14 April. Heavy maintenance will restart at the company’s Ilford works in Essex on the same day and component refurbishment and overhaul will begin at Crewe one day later.
Bombardier announced a temporary pause in rolling stock production at the Derby site, heavy maintenance at Ilford and component refurbishment and overhaul at Crewe on 25 March. The company said that operations were being paused because of the new government social distancing measures to tackle COVID-19, and because the virus has affected production at many of its suppliers.
However, the company stated that it would keep the pause under review and seek clarity from the government on social distancing.
Will Tanner, director of public relations and public affairs, has now issued a statement: “Working with site trade union representatives, we have used the pause to review working practices at Derby, Crewe and Ilford in order to comply with social distancing requirements.
“This week, we have begun trialling these new processes that include greater spacing, split shifts, additional safety requirements and washing facilities, and we are now inducting our people into these new ways of working.
“We are pleased to announce that, from Tuesday 14 April, we will restart train production at Derby and heavy maintenance at Ilford. On Wednesday 15 April we will restart component refurbishment and overhaul at Crewe. Ramp up will be managed around supply chain recovery and listening to our people. We will adapt to any new social distancing advice, and review and revise working practices as necessary.
“We have said throughout this public health emergency that we must protect our people from COVID-19, follow all government advice in tackling the virus, and ensure sustainable business continuity. We are confident that these new working practices strike the right balance.
“All staff who can work from home will continue to do so, and our services teams will continue to keep Britain’s trains moving for essential workers as they have done throughout. As Britain’s leading rail engineering business, we look forward to the full resumption of operations at the appropriate time.”