Siemens looks to increase UK content on its trains

Photo: Siemens.

Siemens has set out its ambition to grow its UK rolling stock supply chain and increase the domestic content of its British trains.

Siemens, which held a Rail Supplier Summit earlier this month, said it wanted to support UK suppliers in making the most of an estimated growth in the rolling stock market. Figures compiled by the Rail Delivery Group predict the sector could be worth £11.6 billion by 2020.

Siemens said the number of its trains in the UK will more than double in the next couple of years as the Class 700 and Class 707 trains, which are being built in Germany, are delivered.

Early in the delivery of the Class 700 programme, Siemens released an infographic showing the components which were being manufactured by British suppliers to demonstrate the extent of the UK supply chain’s contribution to the project.

Nicola Phillips, Siemens Rail Systems’ new director of supply chain management, said: “We are committed to investing in all of the individual UK areas we operate in across all our businesses. We currently spend £1.8 billion with suppliers in the UK, which supports 56,000 jobs.

“Within our UK Rail Systems business, we already work in close partnerships with many UK rail suppliers on key contracts awarded to us in recent years. However, we can and want to do more to increase the amount of UK content in our rail maintenance and manufacturing operations.

“Through this new initiative we are going to start building relationships and gain a good understanding of the new potential suppliers to our business, what their strengths are and how we can collaborate to develop safe, reliable and innovative rail technologies for the future.”


  1. Siemens produce effective and reliable rolling stock and motive power and the fact that they are anticipating increasing the UK content can only be a good thing, however there may be another agenda here as not being as reactionary as Martin Schultz the current German President of the EU has been together with Junker doing his utmost to ensure that come the eventual Brexit Germany may find hefty reciprocal tariffs slapped on their products if the UK has to retaliate aginst the threatened imposition by the EU, of which Merkel’s Germany is a staunch supporter if not actually controlling that organisation.

  2. There are no longer any British-owned/based rolling stock manufacturers and the UK now has to rely upon trains built by companies based in Germany, France, Spain and even Switzerland (even Bombardier is Canadian with European HQ in Berlin). Admittedly, Hitachi are basing their Global rail division in the UK. Therefore, in the event of a “Hard Brexit”, whereby the UK withdraws from the Customs Union, there will indeed have be tough negotiations to sort out tariffs on both imports of complete trains (including future electric locomotives) and the export of components fro the British supply chain. Things are definitely going to be interesting.

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