BELFORT, France, Oct 4 (Reuters) - France’s government confirmed to local officials on Tuesday that it was was ordering 15 high-speed TGV trains plus six TGV trains for the Paris-Turin-Milan line from Alstom as part of a plan to keep production going at the trainmaker’s historic Belfort plant, a source close to the matter said.
Under the plan the state will also invest into the Belfort plant to transform it into a maintenance centre serving the European market, the source said, confirming an earlier Reuters report.
The plan was presented by industry Minister Christophe Sirugue to local officials at a meeting in the eastern city of Belfort on Tuesday morning.
Alstom announced plans last month to stop producing locomotives at Belfort and transfer it to another plant on the German border.
Eager to avoid a high-profile industrial shutdown seven months before a presidential election, the government had promised a plan in the face of a dearth of orders for the locomotives made at the Belfort plant, where Alstom’s first steam engines were made in the 1880s.
Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry, Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Brian Love