Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,989 pages of information and 229,205 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

GEC Alsthom Traction

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1989 GEC Alsthom was formed as a Joint Venture of the Power Engineering businesses (Power Stations, Switchgear and Rail Transport) of GEC and CGE.

The UK headquarters of the traction business was based at Trafford Park in Manchester.

1989 GEC Alsthom purchased train-builder Metro-Cammell based at Washwood Heath, Birmingham from the Laird Group, bringing into the group a company which had a long association with GEC Traction and its predecessors as a vehicle builder.

GEC Alsthom Traction became part of the Transport Equipment Group (TEG) with the French sites Ornans (motors), Tarbes (control equipment) and Villeurbanne (electronic systems, converters and control equipment), later joined by ACEC Transport (Charleroi).

A major project at this time was the design and build of the Trans Manche Super Train for London, later known as Eurostar Class 373. This was designed for three voltages: 750v DC for the UK Southern Region, 3000v DC for Belgium and 25kV for the tunnel and France.

1993 As part of the rationalisation of the equipment group, the headquarters of GEC Alsthom Traction were moved to Preston, leaving only Power Module design and manufacture at Manchester,

By the end of 1998 all activities at Trafford Park had been closed. At the same time, there was rationalisation of product lines in the equipment group, with inductors and auxiliary converters moving to Preston, traction motor design concentrated at Ornans, switchgear at Tarbes and electronic control systems at Villeurbanne.

1998 GEC Alsthom Traction became Alstom Traction

2008 The company was completely integrated within the Transport division of Alstom.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Science Museum [1]