Rail firm invests in Doncaster

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THE revival of Doncaster’s rail industry has taken a step forward with a significant investment from a German firm.

Rail engineering business Schwihag is to spend £2 million to develop new manufacturing capabilities at its site in the town.

The move will safeguard the future of 25 existing jobs and lead to the creation of four new roles.

Doncaster has a rich rail heritage as the town where the Flying Scotsman among other celebrated steam locomotives was built and is enjoying a renaissance in the sector.

Schwihag agreed to locate its new manufacturing operation in Doncaster after receiving financial support from the council.

Doncaster Council has set £2 million aside to be used to encourage businesses promising to create skilled jobs in the town.

Karl Schwiede, owner of Schwihag said: “The key determining factor in expanding in Doncaster was the Council’s support through the new Inward Investment Incentive scheme.

“This has been really important to us in terms of demonstrating that Doncaster supports business and the rail sector in particular.

“The rail sector is flourishing in Doncaster and with the National College for High Speed Rail coming to the town there are significant benefits for our business from being located here.”

The National College for High Speed Rail is being co-hosted by Doncaster and Birmingham and is designed to provide the engineers needed for HS2 and future high speed rail projects.

Doncaster will also be home to a new £70 million facility which will be used to maintain the next generation of trains due to be used on the East Coast Main Line.

Doncaster executive mayor Ros Jones said: “Our rail sector is going from strength to strength and Schwihag recognised the commercial benefits of locating in the town which has a growing cluster of international rail firms.

“With the National College for High Speed Rail opening in Doncaster in 2017, there will be many other rail and engineering firms deciding to locate to the town.”

She added: “The future of rail in Doncaster is looking very bright indeed.”

According to council figures, more than 200 rail and engineering businesses are now located in Doncaster and neighbouring areas. including Volker Rail, Network Rail and DB Schenker.

Schwihag has contracts to supply Irish Rail and London Underground and is looking to grow its exports.

• THE town’s railway heritage is the subject of a summer exhibition at Doncaster Museum and Gallery. Train nameplates, station signs, uniforms and a series of watercolours depicting daily life at the Doncaster Plant Works are among more than 100 items in the exhibiton, including many on public display for the first time. The exhibition runs until September 13.