Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, 26 October 2021 – Akiem, a major player in the French and European rail leasing market, is beginning construction of a rolling stock maintenance workshop at Ostricourt in northern France. The new workshop marks the extension of the Group’s European maintenance network into France. It also signals its support for the growth and development of rail freight in the region and will contribute to reviving and decarbonising the industry.
Modernising and revitalizing maintenance services available to French rail operators
With a €10 million investment to provide new rolling stock maintenance services at the Ostricourt–Delta3 facility, Akiem and its Akiem Technik subsidiary will provide operators with the enhanced flexibility they demand. Akiem, the European leader in locomotive leasing, is determined to significantly drive down current maintenance costs in France, aligning them with costs in other European markets while continuing to offer services of exceptional quality services coupled with high reliability and availability.
Our Akiem Technik subsidiary provides maintenance operations in 17 countries across Europe on a daily basis. The new facility will consolidate its presence in France and western Europe. Our goal is to boost our financial performance and the quality of the services we offer our customers. The new site will be far more than just a workshop; it will serve as a launchpad for our strategy to develop industrial partnerships as well as innovation, training and upskilling across the entire western Europe region. The facility will be a showcase for our ambitions and our know-how, designed and managed to comply with the very latest environmental protection standards, a clear signal of our commitment to sustainability”.
With construction beginning in early 2022 and delivery scheduled for the spring of 2023, Akiem’s new Ostricourt maintenance workshop will carry out mid-life overhauls on over 150 Akiem locomotives over a five-year period. In addition to this industrial activity, employees at Ostricourt will also oversee operational maintenance for Akiem rolling stock in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. A significant portion of maintenance operations will take place at the new site, and Akiem Technik’s mobile teams will collaborate with external maintenance partners to deliver services as close as possible to where its customers need them. Akiem’s maintenance expertise will also be made available to operators that run their own rolling stock.
Hauts-de-France: a hotbed of know-how and innovation
In choosing Ostricourt in Hauts-de-France, Akiem seeks to initiate a virtuous local circle of job creation and skilling. Numerous indirect jobs will soon follow the 60 jobs created directly by the workshop and its support functions. By working closely with local authorities, including Ostricourt council, Pévèle-Carembault multi-municipality authority, Hauts-de-France region and Nord France Invest, Akiem hopes that many small and medium-sized industrial and rail businesses will quickly emerge, creating a new excellence hub in northern France.
Nord France Invest, which worked with Akiem from the beginning of the project by helping to identify possible sites, is delighted with this excellent news, which will deliver a fundamental boost to the regional rail industry. The new maintenance workshop, a showcase for innovation and know-how, will generate new jobs in Hauts-de-France.
I appreciate the scale of the opportunity that Akiem’s arrival represents for Pévèle Carembault. As a major player in the European rail market, Akiem will help carry on the tradition of major industrial activities that are such a feature of this part of France. Akiem will be able to capitalise on the advantages that Pévèle Carembault offers, starting with the fact that it’s a fantastic strategic location and a great place for its future employees to work.
Developing new training opportunities in Hauts-de-France
Akiem has also partnered with i-Trans, the transport, mobility and logistics competitiveness cluster, to look into new training opportunities for the numerous specialties involved in rolling stock maintenance, many of them in high demand.
We are constantly seeing that the French rolling stock maintenance market is far less dynamic and competitive than elsewhere in Europe. Hauts-de-France is a region where we can find the employees and develop the skills we need. We are working with i-Trans and the local authorities to identify how best to strengthen the local industrial and services ecosystem surrounding rolling stock maintenance. Providing initial and continuing training will be central to our concerns.