CAF says the €40m plant is designed as a pilot project to test its concept of a digital factory focussed on a connected workforce, with tablets used for instructions and information concerning assigned tasks. CAF says this will streamline networking connections between employees and information systems.

CAF has a workforce of almost 250 people in Newport and the factory will be able to assemble and finish all types of rail vehicles in addition to conducting tests before trains are commissioned for service.

The Newport plant will enable CAF to complete several contracts which it has won recently for British operators worth around €2.5bn.