Bombardier in the United Kingdom

Bombardier is the world’s leading manufacturer of both planes and trains. Our vast offering of products includes trains, rail equipment and control solutions for all market segments, as well as category-defining business jets and commercial aircraft.

Bombardier has a significant presence, a strong track record and established history in the UK with both its Aerospace and Transportation divisions.

In 1989, the world’s first aircraft manufacturer, Short Brothers plc (Shorts), was acquired by Bombardier from the UK Government. Since then, with Bombardier investment of more than £2.7 billion, we have become an integral part of the world's third largest civil aircraft manufacturer.

From design through manufacture to after-market support, Bombardier Belfast specialises in major aircraft structures and flight control surfaces in metal and advanced composites. With first-class capabilities and a workforce of around 4,000, the Belfast operation plays a pivotal role in all Bombardier's families of commercial and business aircraft. In addition to Bombardier programmes, customers include Airbus, General Electric, International Aero Engines, Irkut Corporation, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce.

Bombardier is the largest manufacturing company in Northern Ireland and produces around 10 per cent of Northern Ireland's total manufacturing exports. An extensive supply chain includes around 800 approved suppliers in the UK and Ireland, and a further 100 in Europe. A percentage of pre-tax profits is allocated to the Bombardier (NI) Foundation  each year to help fund Northern Ireland-based charitable initiatives, mainly in the areas of environment, education and entrepreneurship. The foundation also supports employees who fundraise and volunteer in their local communities.

Bombardier Transportation, the rail division of Bombardier,  has around 3,500 employees at eight sites and 23 service locations  across the UK. The company has important sites at Crewe, Plymouth, Derby and Burton on Trent. It also operates from several locations in and around London, including its heavy maintenance depot at Ilford. Bombardier’s Derby site, which has produced a significant proportion of the UK’s latest technology rolling stock for both mainline train operations and London Underground, forms part of the world’s largest cluster of rail companies. The cluster comprises a supply base of approximately 100 companies, collectively employing around 25,000 people and contributing around £2.6bn to the local and national economies.

Bombardier Aerospace in the United Kingdom

Bombardier Belfast is one of the key aerospace companies in the UK.  In addition to its headquarters in Belfast, where administration, engineering, fuselage and wing production are based, the company has several other facilities located a short distance from the city. Customer services and composites production, including engine nacelle systems, are based at Newtownabbey and further composites production takes place in Dunmurry.  Sheet-metal component production is based at Newtownards.

These sites make up the Bombardier centre of excellence for the design and manufacture of aircraft fuselages, engine nacelle systems, wings and flight control surfaces, and for processes such as advanced composites.  We hold Investors in People accreditation, ISO 9001 quality assurance approval, the AS9100 international quality standard, ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems certification, and the OHSAS 18001 accreditation for our health and safety management systems.

Bombardier leads the ADS Group’s SC21 (21st Century Supply Chains) programme in Northern Ireland, which addresses supply chain improvement and aims to increase the competitiveness of the UK aerospace and defence sector.  

We have a strategic presence in the UK and are committed to supporting the joint government and industry Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP). The strategy aims to promote long-term growth, boost the number of skilled jobs, and enable the UK to foster innovative technologies to ensure it remains at the forefront of the global aerospace industry. 

The range of European and UK research programmes in which Bombardier is involved are aimed at improving the environmental performance of future aircraft by reducing fuel burn and emissions through the use of advanced materials and advanced engineering technologies. Projects also focus on improving manufacturing efficiency and sustainability through the development of high value manufacturing processes required to deliver new, innovative product designs to meet and exceed customers’ needs and expectations.

The company is a partner in the Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering centre (NIACE). NIACE is an industry-led, university-hosted technology hub for the research and development of advanced engineering and advanced materials technologies, particularly in the area of advanced composite technologies, and catering for a range of industrial sectors. Participating companies are co-located with academic staff from Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Ulster to work together to develop world-class technology solutions for a breadth of manufacturing applications. 

Bombardier Belfast is in receipt of R&D grant support from Invest NI for a Missionised Aircraft Modification project.  Part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 20014-2020, the project aims to develop a significant modification to an aircraft horizontal stabiliser, thereby enabling the aircraft to carry a number of externally-mounted sensors and equipment for missionised use.

Bombardier Transportation in the United Kingdom

Bombardier Transportation’s roots in the UK extend back to the dawn of rail technology and innovation in Great Britain. This proud tradition continues today, our staff based at 31 sites and locations throughout the UK provide a range of rail engineering, vehicle manufacture, maintenance support, rail control solutions and turnkey project management that play a vital role in Bombardier’s global technology-leading presence.

Rolling stock

Bombardier has built, or has on order, around 60% of the UK’s modern-era rolling stock and the company maintains around a third of the UK fleet. With its global centre of excellence for rail engineering and aluminum car body manufacture in Derby, Bombardier is also the only company that both designs and manufactures trains in the UK.

Bombardier’s trains are in operation throughout the UK, including on West Coast and Cross-Country services, East Midlands, Scotrail, Greater Anglia, including Stansted Express, Chiltern Railways and many London operations including London Overground, London Underground, London Midland and Southern rail routes.

Light Rail Vehicles

Leading the light rail sector, the BOMBARDIER FLEXITY family encompasses the industry’s most complete portfolio of tram and light rail solutions, ranging from 100% low-floor trams to high-capacity light rail vehicles as well as dual-mode solutions.

Bombardier has supplied its world-leading Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) and trams for the cities of Blackpool, Manchester, Nottingham and for London Croydon. Bombardier also provided the state-of-the-art driverless vehicles for the Docklands Light Railway, which played a key role in transporting passengers, comfortably and dependably, to the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

Transportation Systems

With more than 60 systems in operation in many countries, Bombardier has proven credentials to deliver turnkey transportation systems anywhere in the world.

As a provider of system integration expertise, Bombardier efficiently and effectively manages complex transportation system projects with multiple suppliers and partners as a one-stop provider.

In the UK, Bombardier, as a member of the Arrow Light Rail Ltd concession Company, delivered the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) Line 1 light rail system. For the London Underground Victoria line upgrade, we delivered a new larger fleet of MOVIA Metro trains fully-integrated with a new signalling system. Bombardier is the world’s leading provider of people mover systems and our INNOVIA people mover vehicles are in operation at Gatwick and Heathrow (Terminal 5) airports.

Bombardier is a world leading provider of fully-automated driverless transit systems. Our INNOVIA APM automated people mover systems are in operation at Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow (Terminal 5) airports.


Bombardier supports train operators throughout the UK with its comprehensive range of fleet maintenance services, technical and materials support and vehicle upgrade solutions. Our purpose-built maintenance depot at Central Rivers provides overnight maintenance for the Voyager fleet, while Highly skilled and experienced maintenance crews throughout the country support train operators 24/7 to ensure safety, as well as excellent reliability and availability for their fleets.  Our sites at Ilford and Crewe provide heavy maintenance services that add value and extend the life of rolling stock assets in the UK.

Rail Control Solutions

With over 50 years experience in providing the latest signalling technology to the UK rail network, Bombardier’s rail control solutions business has a unique appreciation of the market.  Our Plymouth site manufactures a range of railway signalling products for the UK and the global market with a portfolio including EBI Track train detection systems and associated test tools, EBI* Light signals, European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) products and EBI Gate Level crossings including the latest Enhanced User Worker crossings technology.

Technology and Innovation

Bombardier is continuously developing new technologies for the UK market, with products including the award-winning ORBITA predictive maintenance tool and AVENTRA the latest, most energy-efficient and technology leading electrical multiple unit.