The ceremony was attended by Dr Hans Schabert, CEO of Vossloh, together with Mr Ralph Müller-Beck, secretary of state for interior and federal affairs with the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Dr Ulf Kämpfer, Lord Mayor of Kiel, and representatives of Property developers Parthena Reys and Stargime Group, which are investing €35m in the project to which Vossloh is contributing €9m.

The new factory has a total production area of 18,000m2 and will be connected to the railway network. Vossloh plans to start the transfer to the new factory in the fourth quarter of this year with a view to starting production in 2017. It expects to build at least 40 locomotives a year.

"For us, Suchsdorf is much more than just a new location," Schabert said. "All the processes will be significantly optimised with a view to manufacturing and shipping at greater speed." Vossloh says its shorter and leaner production processes will enable it cut the delivery time for a new locomotive from 18 months to six months.