Lancashire rail workers hit by Carillion collapse
Thousands of employees across Lancashire have been left in limbo along with rail electrification work in the wake of the Carillion crisis.
The industry giant is in liquidation after failing to get finance to cope with its £900m debt and £590m pension deficit.
Locally it was responsible for services contracts and some station improvements for train operator Northern, some of the electrification upgrades to the lines for Network Rail and was due to take up service contracts at Weeton and Fulwood Barracks for the MOD.
The Government, which has come under heavy fire for its handling of the situation, has urged staff to keep going to work.
The company, which employs 20,000 across Britain, said crunch talks aimed at shoring up its balance sheet had failed to result in the “short-term financial support” it needed to continue trading.
It is still not clear what will happen to many of the contracts and services Carillion provides .
While the electrification upgrade to the Blackpool to Preston line is being done for Network Rail by Volker, the work from Preston to Manchester was handled by Carillion staff.
Network Rail said the work was continuing, although shifts worked by Carillion staff were temporarily suspended until new arrangements could be made.
Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “While the full impacts will become clear in the coming weeks, Network Rail has committed to work with the official receiver as we continue to upgrade the Manchester-Preston line.”
Northern has Carillion staff in its customer contact centre and at stations doing maintenance and cleaning.
Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver said an agreement in 2013 with Carillion saw it assist in disposing of surplus property but there were no other contracts.