Rail switch puts Corus jobs on line

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The Independent Online

More than 400 manufacturing jobs were under threat after the UK's largest steel maker, Corus, yesterday announced a restructuring of its rail production operations.

The company said it was moving rail production from Workington, Cumbria, to Scunthorpe in Humberside, where it was shutting one of its rolling mills. Corus is investing £130m in a steel casting mill, a new rail production facility and improvements to its rod and structural steel mills at Scunthorpe.

Corus will be able to produce 120-metre-long rails for a high-speed network at Scunthorpe rather than the 40-metre rails Workington makes.

The work will be completed by August 2007. The closure of the steel mill will lead to 220 jobs losses. Corus said the Workington rail unit employed 256 people while the new operation at Scunthorpe would require 66.

Annanya Sarin, a spokeswoman for Corus, said it was looking for other uses for its Workington site and had not announced redundancies there.