Monday 27 Nov 2017
South Wales Valleys community is rail industry hub
Few people realise the key role Torfaen in South Wales plays in connecting people, businesses and communities across Great Britain.
Despite a population of less than 100,000, the borough is home to four businesses that are vital to Network Rail's supply chain and are helping to deliver the biggest investment in the railway since Brunel.
G.O.S Tool and Engineering, who recently hosted Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle for a whistle-stop tour, has an annual turnover of £9 million and employs over 100 people. A key part of their business involves the manufacture of vehicles that can travel on roads and the railway. These road rail vehicles are used across the rail network to deliver Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
With three other key rail suppliers based in Torfaen*, the visit gave Lynne Neagle a chance to find out how the railway in Wales and Borders is investing in local businesses that help keep passengers moving.
Andy Thomas, route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: "We believe the railway is fundamental to the economy in connecting people, businesses and communities.
"With more people travelling by rail than ever before, Network Rail is working closely with our supply chain to deliver a safe, reliable, affordable and growing railway for our customers."
During a visit to G.O.S Tool and Engineering, Lynne Neagle, AM for Tofaen, said: "Rail is vital for economic growth and I'm proud Torfaen plays such an important role in Network Rail's supply chain. Businesses like G.O.S provide good quality jobs for people in Torfaen and support the local economy. It’s fantastic they are working with the University of South Wales to support young people from the local area to become the engineers of the future.”
Wayne Gregory, Managing Director, G.O.S Tool and Engineering said: “We’ve really grown over the past 50 years, from an idea between my father and his friends over a drink to a successful business, employing over 100 people with a turnover of more than £9 million a year. We are proud to support the growing rail industry, and it is great to see our hard work put to good use on the railway across Wales and beyond.”
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.