Alstom in the UK

Alstom starts construction of new rail technology centre in the North West of England

Over 100 years of contribution to the United Kingdom's infrastructure

In the UK and Ireland, Alstom operates across over 20 sites and employs more than 2,500 people.  

Every day, around a third of all rail journeys in the UK are made on Alstom trains. We keep Virgin’s West Coast Main Line service running for around 34 million passengers every year and we service over 100 tube trains a day on London’s Northern Line, carrying nearly 1 million passengers daily. Today, we’re helping to turn Crossrail’s tunnels into a fully operational railway, electrifying the Edinburgh to Glasgow rail line and are helping the UK’s Rail Supply Chain to get ready for HS2. 

To help design, build and maintain the UK and Ireland’s large scale rail infrastructure we have invested, innovated and developed the world’s most sophisticated engineering and new rail technology. From Train Scanner, our world-leading virtual train health checker, to Appitrack, the fastest track laying machine in the world, our engineers are helping to make Britain's railways better. Our signalling and electrifcation activities are nationwide and are delivering the next generation of technology to help improve timetables and ensure safety on the railway whether on projects or the installed asset sacross the country.

Welcome to Alstom UK

Alstom has an impressive history in the UK dating back to the dawn of the railway, and we have been involved in some of this country's most significant and innovative rail transportation infrastructure such as HS1, Manchester Metrolink, Network Rail’s Signalling and electrification systems, Nottingham Tram and half the trains on the London Underground.

We provide world-class development and training facilities for our employees and our industry partners. Additionally we invest in longer-term skills development through partnerships with the UK’s best education providers and skills development organisations as well as our own well-established intern, apprentice and graduate programmes.


Alstom has formed solid partnership with local players

  • ABC Electrification: A partnership comprised of Alstom, Babcock and Costain, three market-leading companies in design, engineering and delivery, the JV offers focused turnkey solutions for the UK market.
  • ATC: A joint venture between Alstom, TSO and Costain specifically designed to win the contract to fit out and commission Crossrail’s tunnels. The Alstom-led joint venture will fit out the 21km of twin tunnels that will stretch under London with the track and power equipment necessary for Crossrail trains to operate from 2018. 

Nottingham Tram Extension

Alstom and JV partner Taylor Woodrow completed work on the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) extension allowing millions of Nottingham commuters to have comfortable and eco-friendly journeys into and out of the city.

The expanded network has more than doubled the existing tram line, with 17.5km of new track and 28 new stops to the South and Southwest of the city, with the extension linking directly with the existing NET Line One at Nottingham Station. The total tram network is now 32km in length, serves seven parks and ride sites, and is able to cater for up to 20 million passenger journeys a year. 

Pendolino maintenance

We maintain Virgin Trains' Pendolino fleet from five traincare centres around the country, including regular heavy engineering overhauls where thousands of components are replaced or upgraded.

Other references


EMU Projects

  • Pendolino fleet for Virgin Trains – we have supplied the 56 Pendolinos currently running on the West Coast Main Line, having also carried out heavy engineering overhauls on the fleet, and converted 31 trains from nine-car to 11-car sets
  • HS1 – we supplied 38 trainsets that operate between London, Paris and Brussels

Infrastructure – Crossrail

  • The Alstom-led ATC joint venture is currently fitting out 21km of twin Crossrail tunnels under London with the track and power equipment necessary for trains to run from 2018

Infrastructure – HS1

  • An Alstom-led joint venture delivered the final 20 km of track and overhead line for the final phase of the Paris-London High Speed 1 line to budget and on time

Infrastructure - Electrification

  • West Coast Power Supply Upgradeo Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Project




  • Metro Northern Line: we service 106 trains on London Underground’s busiest line and guarantee to have 91 in operation every day
  • Metro Northern Line: Rolling stock maintained from traincare centres at Morden and Golders Greeno NET Phase 2
  • NET phase 2: Alstom has supplied 22 Citadis trams to serve the Nottingham tramway
  • NET phase 2: The trams form part of an extended fleet of 37 vehicles operating across the newly extended system


  • Preston is our centre for traction motors and modernisation


  • Signalling Solutions Ltd is our integrated signalling business which holds three of the eight UK licenses for interlocking

Corporate Social Responsibility

Advanced technology and new business models can contribute to solve social and environmental issues. In the UK, Alstom leads in designing innovative, environmentally-conscious technology solutions for rail transport by focussing on the following areas:

Ethical Commitment

In 2008 the Alstom Group signed the Global Compact. Launched by the UN in 2000, the Global Compact encourages companies to adopt, promote and implement a set of key values spanning human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and non-corrupt business practices. The move reflects the Group’s commitment to support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations, along with the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation and the OECD.

Engineering Education

With a significant engineering skills gap in the UK, Alstom has an important role to play in encouraging awareness of engineering skills as well as in training for our own employees. We have four training facilities, graduate engineering programmes and significant commitments to apprenticeships in both our rail and energy sectors.


Our products, plants and people all have an impact on the environment. We are working hard on mitigating this impact. We are CEMARS accredited and have aggressive zero waste methodologies on our sites.

Health & Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of our people is essential for both happiness and productivity – we have a number of programmes dedicated to employee wellbeing including the global corporate challenge and cycle to work schemes.

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 building some of the UK biggest infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and the National Electrification Programme.

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) 

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 

1918: English Electric Company is formed, taking over Dick Kerr & Co

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

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

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 

Dec. 19 2014: Alstom Shareholders Meeting authorises the sale of the Alstom Energy businesses to General Electric

2015: Alstom acquire the joint venture Signalling Solutions.

2015: Alstom finalises the sales of its energy activities and is entirely focused on Transport