Alstom in the UK

In the UK, Alstom is active in the rail, power and electricity transmission sectors, operates from 30 sites and employs more than 6,500 people across the country. Around a third of all rail journeys in the UK are made on Alstom rolling stock, our generating kit powers half of the UK’s power stations, we are testing new tidal turbine technology in waters off Orkney, and we operate the only large-scale transformer manufacturing facility in the UK. Our sites in Stafford and Rugby have been at the forefront of engineering developments since the 19th-century and continue to produce cutting edge technology for projects across the world.

Welcome to Alstom UK

Alstom has an impressive history in the UK and we have been involved in some of this country's - and Europe's - most significant energy and transport infrastructure developments.

Our reference projects include the construction of Europe’s most energy efficient and clean power stations, the engineering, design and maintenance of some of the Europe’s busiest train and metro fleets, as well as the major upgrading of the UK's largest regional electricity transmission network.

The knowledge and expertise of our 92,600 people in 100 countries, including the UK, plays a major role in our success where investment in our people is very important to us both as a company as well as to me personally. We provide world-class education and training facilities for our own employees and industry partners. Additionally we invest in longer-term skills development through partnerships with education providers and skills development agencies as well as our own well-established intern, apprentice and graduate programmes.

Alstom and its people are proud to have a role in shaping the future of energy and rail transport in the UK.

Terence Watson
Alstom UK Country President and Managing Director of Transport for Alstom in the UK & Ireland

Champa Transformers

The Stafford transformer facility is building some of the largest transformers they have ever created as part of a £320m contract to create an energy superhighway across India. 

Nottingham Tram Extension

Alstom is currently building the 17.5km extension to the Nottingham tram network as part of a joint venture, including supplying the track, power supply and signalling. We are also supplying 22 Citadis trams for the new lines and have taken over the maintenance of the existing trams. 

Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station

Alstom has been named by EDF as the preferred supplier for the conventional islands for their Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. Subject to a final contract, we expect to supply two 1,750 MW conventional islands, based on ARABELLE™ steam turbines, together with other elements of the non-nuclear technology for the power station. 

Carrington Gas-Fired Power Station

In partnership with DF Energy, Alstom is helping build the new 880 MW Carrington Power gas-fired power station, located near Manchester. We will also be responsible for the maintenance of the equipment once construction is complete. 

White Rose Carbon Capture & Storage

Capture Power, a consortium of Alstom, Drax and BOC, will be responsible for the development, implementation and operation of the proposed White Rose Carbon Capture and Storage Project. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

Alstom can trace its history in the UK back to the invention of Stephenson’s Rocket, the lightbulb, and the first jet engine. Half of the power generation in the UK and a third of rail passenger journeys are taken on our trains. Our products and projects have lifecycles of 30 – 40 years. And we are investing in the new infrastructure technologies that will provide energy and mobility to Britain for decades to come.

In this way, Alstom continues to shape the future of the British rail and energy infrastructure – and therefore the company’s long-term view is part of its identity. Economic, social and environmental sustainability are paramount.

Our corporate social responsibility programmes focus on several key areas.

Engineering Education
Dedicated to developing the skills of our employees.

Environment Sustainability
Carrying our activities in a sustainable manner is of prime importance

Alstom in the Community
Supporting local communities

A Sustainable Supply Chain
Working with suppliers for a sustainable future

The safety and wellbeing of Alstom employees and visitors is one of our highest priorities

Health and Wellbeing
We aim to nurture a healthy workforce that will enable Alstom to be a leading competitor 

Health and Safety

The safety and wellbeing of Alstom employees, those working alongside Alstom employees, and visitors to an Alstom-owned or operated site, is one of our highest priorities.  In the UK, Alstom has stringent Environment, Health and Safety policies and management systems which have enabled us to achieve a strong safety record across the industries in which we operate.

In addition, Alstom works with industry partners to address broader safety issues. In particular, in 2010, Alstom opened a world-class lifting and rigging training facility in Rugby, located in central England, in order to target industry concerns on safety issues relating to lifting activities. The facility uses classroom and practical training to share best practice with its own employees as well as being open to external companies.

When it comes to the more general health and wellbeing of Alstom employees, the company aims to help nurture a healthy and sustainable workforce that will enable Alstom to be a leading competitor in today’s market. 

To achieve our goal we are focusing on three key areas to support and empower our employees in recognising the steps that need to be taken to improve their health and wellbeing. Our focus areas:

  • Wellbeing  
  • Musculoskeletal Health
  • Physical Activity & Healthy Eating.  

A long and proud history of Alstom in the UK

Alstom has operated in the UK in one form or another for almost 200 years, with predecessor companies including such famous names as Robert Stephenson & Co, Edison Swan, English Electric and, probably most famously, GEC.

That history means that we have operated in Rugby for almost 125 years and in Stafford for well over 100, have made rolling stock for the Tube for 80 years, and helped invent both the jet engine and the hologram.

Today we are famous for our Pendolino trains operating on the West Coast Main Line, for servicing Northern Line rolling stock and for helping to keep the UK’s lights by building more than half of the country’s operational power stations.

1823: Robert Stephenson & Co founded to build railway engines 

1829: Stephenson's Rocket is built for, and wins, the Rainhill Trials, held to determine which locomotive would be best for the planned Liverpool and Manchester Railway (also constructed by RS&Co) 

1878: Joseph Swan demonstrates the first incandescent light bulb at a lecture in Newcastle, before the independent discovery by Thomas Edison a year later 

1880: Dick Kerr & Co is founded in Kilmarnock, Scotland, to build steam locomotives to haul tramcars.  It expanded in 1897, choosing to do so on a disused site in Preston – the same site still occupied by Alstom more than 130 years later 

1889: The near simultaneous invention of the light bulb by Edison and Swan seemed bound for a court battle in the UK over patent rights. In order to avoid mutually harmful proceedings, the two decided to collaborate under the joint venture 'Edison Swan', more commonly known as 'Ediswan', to manufacture and market the new invention in Britain  

1890: Willans & Robinson set up at Victoria Works in Rugby, renaming the site the Willans Works. The town chosen because of its central location on the rail network which would allow for the swift transport of materials in and finished products out. Today there are around 700 Alstom employees on site 

1903: Stafford is chose as the home for a factory which manufactures rotating electrical plant, transformers and switchgear. The site which remains home to Alstom today 

1918: English Electric Company is formed, taking over Dick Kerr & Co, Willans & Robinson, the Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Company of Bradford, and the Stafford works 

1937: Frank Whittle's Power Jets company completes construction of the world's first prototype jet engine at the BTH works in Rugby, on time and on budget 

1938: Metropolitan-Cammell provides London Underground stock for Northern, Bakerloo, Piccadilly, East London and Central Lines 

1945: A dozen English Electric engineers work with Alan Turing to produce the Automatic Computing Engine, the fastest computer in the world, and the first to use subroutines in its code

1947: Hungarian scientist Dennis Gabor invents holography at the BTH site in Rugby  

1953: The Lichfield Road site in Stafford produces the first 275kV transformer for the National Grid. Today around half the National Grid runs at this voltage 

1957: Construction of Britain's first large-scale nuclear power facility is started at Berkeley, Gloucestershire, jointly undertaken by AEI and John Thompson. The plant was completed in 1962 with an output of 276MW - enough to power a city the size of Bristol 

1961: English Electric begins production of the Deltic diesel-electric locomotive, the most powerful diesel locomotives in the world at that time 

1966: English Electric supplied the turbines for the world's first reversible pump storage hydro system, Cruachan Dam, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland 

1969: English Electric merges with GEC under the short-lived name The General Electric and English Electric Company 

1989: GEC Alsthom formed from merger of power and transport activities of Compagnie Générale d’Electricité and GEC 

1989: Metropolitan-Cammell’s railway business sold to GEC Alsthom 

1998: The company becomes Alstom as it floats on the London, New York and Paris stock exchanges 

1999: Alstom and Fiat Ferroviaria jointly receive the largest ever contract of its kind to supply and maintain 53 Pendolino tilting trains to Virgin trains for use on the West Coast Mainline  

2007: Alstom delivers the final section of the HS1 London-Paris line, the first high speed rail line in the UK 

2010: Alstom creates a new sector, Alstom Grid, following a major acquisition. Alstom UK welcomes back over 1,400 Grid employees based in Stafford