A transport giant which has a major base in Preston is investing £1.3million in its facilities in the North West to improve logistics and distribution.
Alstom Transport will spend about £1m in building a new warehouse at its Longsight Traincare Centre in Manchester.
This is a major investment that will also bring a real change to the way that logistics and distribution are undertaken.Rob Whyte
Meanwhile it is investing £300,000 in its Preston parts and modernisation facility.
Around 170 people work at the Preston base.
It is the UK centre for spare parts logistics and a worldwide centre for Alstom for the supply, overhaul, modernisation and life extension of traction systems and components for a wide range of rail rolling stock.
It supplies components for Virgin’s famous high-speed Pendolino tilting trains.
The new Longsight facility has been specially designed as a storage centre for the new workshop that was opened last month.
The 300-strong team at the site is undertaking the fourth heavy engineering overhaul of the Pendolino fleet, which includes changing more than a million components.
Rob Whyte, Managing Director of Regional, Intercity and Services for Alstom Transport UK, said: “This is a major investment that will also bring a real change to the way that logistics and distribution are undertaken.”
The Preston site has brought in an automatic system that picks up parts in the warehouse for a quicker delivery.
The site used to have a traditional “racking” system in place, where parts were retrieved manually.
The new system now does all the searching automatically.
The operator puts the part number in and it is delivered automatically, which saves time and also updates the inventory immediately.
The heavy overhaul of the Virgin Pendolino fleet being undertaken in Manchester – which Preston will supply parts for – will see 1.2 million products replaced on the trains over the next 18 months or so.
In the UK, Alstom is active in the rail, power and electricity transmission sectors, operates from 30 sites and employs more than 6,000 people across the country.