Thursday, 8 October saw a visit to Wiltshire-based Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) by a delegation from the Liberal Democrat party including their leader, Nick Clegg, and their deputy leader and shadow chancellor, Vince Cable.

The party toured the impressive facilities of Knorr-Bremse, a company which despite the economic downturn is enjoying success not only in home markets but in emerging export markets, especially China and the Middle East.

The Liberal Democrat leader was visiting the area in support of the party’s Chippenham constituency and wanted to visit Knorr-Bremse not only because it is a successful local manufacturing facility, but also because it is in the rail business, which is now recognised as an efficient and environmental friendly way of transporting large numbers of passengers both nationally and internally.

The visitors toured the large production hall of the Knorr-Bremse facility, which was opened after over £10 million pounds of investment in 2005, and were introduced to a variety of employees by Knorr-Bremse managing director, Paul Goodhand.

Nick Clegg and Vince Cable were both especially interested in the new rail technology that is being developed and manufactured at the facility. The Liberal Democrats are keen supporters of rail as a green and environmentally sound way of transporting large numbers of people.

Earlier this year Knorr-Bremse was awarded the Queen’s Award for Industry in the Innovation category for their hugely successful EP2002 distributed brake control system. The Award was presented to the company by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall in front of the entire workforce. EP2002 was designed and is manufactured at the Wiltshire facility and is in service on metro trains around the world. The new Dubai Metro, just opened is equipped trains fitted with the system.

Nick Clegg commenting on his visit said, “The Knorr-Bremse facility is immensely impressive. The people here are highly skilled and specialised and are working in a modern, clean and open environment. This is an example of exactly the kind of company that we need going forward in this country. We need to move away from the reliance we’ve had in the past on financial services and concentrate on supporting a modern manufacturing base, companies such as Knorr-Bremse who, in addition to developing and exporting products and systems around the world are supporting their local community and economy.”