When East Midlands Railway (EMR) revealed its new and distinctively elegant, blackcurrant and cream livery, Bombardier General Manager, Gareth Roberts told Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) that his Etches Park maintenance staff, positively welcomed the new franchisee and look forward to continuing the partnership on site.

Bombardier staff maintained the EMT 222 Meridian fleet and will continue to maintain the EMR fleet at Etches Park until late 2022, when the Hitachi fleet will be phased into service.

The team remains focused on providing safe, reliable trains as well as keeping their performance record for maintaining the most reliable Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train in the country.

Gareth reassured RFM that his Derby staff are highly likely to transfer to Hitachi to maintain the new Azuma trains when they start arriving in 2002, replacing the 222’s one by one.

Asked about the next generation of local rail workers, Gareth explained that Bombardier increasingly recruits engineering and non-engineering graduates from disciplines like maths, as modern rail technology moves into the realms of analytics, big data and drones, changing the skill set of the modern rail industry worker.

Supporting apprenticeships within Bombardier remains a priority for the company which wants to retain key employment skills, locally.

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