CAF Newport

CAF Newport is a rolling stock factory located at Celtic Business Park, near Llanwern steelworks in Newport. The site was announced as a train-building factory in 2016[1] and was producing rolling stock by 2018.[2] It was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles on 21 February 2020.[3]

CAF Newport
CAF Class 195 117.jpg
A CAF Class 195 DMU that was completed at the Newport site in late 2019
CAF Newport is located in Newport
CAF Newport
Location of CAF Newport
Built13 July 2017 (2017-07-13)
LocationCeltic Business Park, Llanwern, Newport, Wales
Coordinates51°34′47″N 2°54′35″W / 51.5798°N 2.9098°W / 51.5798; -2.9098Coordinates: 51°34′47″N 2°54′35″W / 51.5798°N 2.9098°W / 51.5798; -2.9098
ProductsRailway rolling stock
Employees200 (2020), 300 projected
Volume160,000 square feet (15,000 m2) (buildings)
500,000 square feet (46,000 m2) (whole site)
Address1 Rhodfa Ffos Y Mynach
Celtic Business Park
NP19 4RH
Owner(s)CAF Rolling Stock UK Ltd

The factory is owned and operated by CAF Rolling Stock UK Ltd, a subsidiary of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (Spanish: Construction & Other Railway Services). CAF have to date built both DMUs[4] and EMUs[5] at the site and have stated that they will build trains for HS2 in Newport if they are successful with their bid.[6]


CAF have long supplied trains for the UK rail network from its factories in Spain. Products have included Class 332 and Class 333 sets,[7] Class 195, Class 331[8] stock for the former Arriva Rail North franchise (now Northern Trains), and for TransPennine Express who ordered their Nova 2 and Nova 3 sets.[9] CAF have also previously supplied their Urbos 3 trams for Edinburgh and the West Midlands Metro.[10]

When searching for a possible site to construct trains in the UK, CAF looked at over 100 different locations before settling on one on a part of a defunct steelworks in Llanwern in South Wales.[11] The site is located alongside sidings which follow the main line between Newport and Bristol Parkway, and the site has three main buildings: a three-road assembly plant, a five-road test shed, and a stores building.[12] The west end of the site has a traverser, which enables easy access to lines without the need for excessive shunting, and a water test facility.[13]

The project cost £30 million and the footprint of the buildings cover an area of 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2),[14] with capacity to extend onsite as CAF own 495,140 square feet (46,000 m2).[15] Expansion will be necessary to build the expected near 200-metre (660 ft) trains for HS2, if CAF are successful in their bid.[13] Initially, the site had just 12 employees, but that stood at 200 by the start of 2020. The company expects that the order book will necessitate expanding to 300 staff to fulfil those orders.[16]

Construction of the factory started in 2016, with production of rolling stock starting in 2018. The site was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in February 2020.[17]

CAF have stated that should they be awarded the contract to build trains for HS2, then they would be assembled in South Wales using their Oaris platform.[18]

The bodyshells, bogies and engines are manufactured off site, and bodyshells specifically are produced at CAFs plants in Beasain, Zaragosa and Irun, but assembly and other manufacturing is undertaken at Newport.[19]

Production at the site was ceased in March 2020 after the COVID-19 restrictions of social distancing came into effect in the United Kingdom. Bodyshell deliveries from Spain had ceased two weeks before the factory's closure, and although it was possible to continue building without the bodyshell deliveries, it was felt that it was unable to keep the workers at a safe distance from each other.[20]

Classes builtEdit

For UK National Rail (the Civity platform):[21][22][23]

Other venturesEdit

CAF also have other business strands operating out of the Newport site; all UK rolling stock works are concentrated on the site including design, system engineering and support to projects such as the passenger coaches for the Caledonian Sleeper and TransPennine Express which were built outside of the UK.[24]


  1. ^ "Good news from Newport businesses | Newport City Council". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  2. ^ 2020-02-24T11:33:00+00:00. "Prince of Wales inaugurates CAF's Newport rolling stock factory". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Prince Charles visits Newport for official opening of new train factory". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  4. ^ 2019-12-18T09:37:00+00:00. "West Midlands Trains reveals first Class 196 DMU". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  5. ^ 2017-07-12T23:02:00+01:00. "CAF selects Newport for UK rolling stock factory". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  6. ^ 2020-02-24T11:33:00+00:00. "Prince of Wales inaugurates CAF's Newport rolling stock factory". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  7. ^ Harris 2020, p. 39.
  8. ^ "UK Northern introduces first nine CAF trains into service". Railway Technology. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  9. ^ "TransPennine Express introduces new Nova fleet". International Railway Journal. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  10. ^ Pritchard, Robert, ed. (October 2019). "Blue livery spreads to more of the West Midlands Metro fleet". Today's Railways. No. 214. Sheffield: Platform 5. p. 20. ISSN 1475-9713.
  11. ^ "300 train building jobs announced". BBC News. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  12. ^ Bickerdyke, Paul (April 2020). "Royal opening for CAF Newport". Rail Express. No. 287. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 12. ISSN 1362-234X.
  13. ^ a b Sherratt 2020, p. 57.
  14. ^ Harris, Nigel, ed. (11 March 2020). "Inside CAF's new factory". Rail Magazine. No. 900. Peterborough: Bauer Media. p. 42. ISSN 0953-4563.
  15. ^ Kelsey, Chris (22 March 2018). "The new train making factory that will provide jobs for hundreds". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  16. ^ Sherratt 2020, pp. 54–56.
  17. ^ Thomas, Nicholas (21 February 2020). "Prince Charles visits Newport for official opening of new train factory". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  18. ^ Barry, Sion (11 June 2019). "The Newport train factory bidding to build £2.7bn worth of new high-speed trains". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  19. ^ Clinnick, Richard (11 March 2020). "CAT's £30 million Welsh factory officially opens". Rail Magazine. No. 900. Peterborough: Bauer Media. p. 10. ISSN 0953-4563.
  20. ^ Harris, Nigel, ed. (8 April 2020). "UK train production stops but depots remain open for servicing". Rail Magazine. No. 902. Peterborough: Bauer Media. p. 12. ISSN 0953-4563.
  21. ^ Milner, Chris, ed. (March 2020). "Prince Charles formally opens CAF Factory in Newport". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 166 no. 1, 428. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 10. ISSN 0033-8923.
  22. ^ "Prince of Wales inaugurates CAF's Newport rolling stock factory". Railway Gazette International. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  23. ^ "CAF wins Docklands Light Railway train contract". Railway Gazette International. 12 June 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  24. ^ Sherratt 2020, p. 54.


  • Sherratt, Philip (March 2020). "CAF builds for the UK". Modern Railways. Vol. 77 no. 858. Stamford: Key Publishing. ISSN 0026-8356.
  • Harris, Nigel, ed. (11 March 2020). "The inside story of CAF in the UK". Rail Magazine. No. 900. Peterborough: Bauer Meda. ISSN 0953-4563.

External linksEdit