Hunterston is one of two locations in Scotland shortlisted to manufacture the new generation of superfast 235mph trains that could bring up to 1000 highly skilled jobs to the area.
TALGO, a leading engineering company mainly focused on designing, manufacturing and servicing the fast, lightweight trains made the announcement this week.
Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (PARC) along with Longannet in Fife and four other shortlisted UK locations are in the running for a site to manufacture the trains which will serve the new High Speed (HS2) rail routes being developed by the UK Government.
This will take the railway line from London to Birmingham, followed by extensions to Manchester and Leeds.
The overall project will not be completed until 2033, and costs an estimated £56,000 million.
Talgo already designs, manufactures and services fast lightweight trains for 28 national markets including Spain, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the US.
It provided of the new AVRIL train to Spanish operator RENFE and intends to enter the UK market through “true manufacturing” rather than assembling parts from overseas.
The shortlist is the latest phase in a search that has lasted 18 months, crossed much of Britain and has seen detailed discussions with landowners, development agencies, local councils, research establishments, schools, colleges and universities. 
Each potential location “shares great connectivity” and would benefit from major job creation.
Talgo said it intends not only to build for the UK market, but also to serve emerging overseas markets, boosting UK exports.
Carlos de Palacio, president of Talgo and grandson of the company's founder, said:
“The establishment of a manufacturing facility in the UK is a significant part of Talgo’s future strategy. Talgo’s aim is to establish true manufacturing – rather than assembling from parts made elsewhere. This means that we will draw from materials and expertise across the UK.
“This keeps more money in the UK economy, and creates more skilled long-term jobs.”
Already 21 Scottish companies have been awarded work on HS2 either directly or as sub-contractors with 170 businesses in Scotland engaged regarding potential opportunities.
Talgo has been shortlisted to build the 54 classic compatible trains for High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link.
Local MSP Kenneth Gibson said: “The potential for 1,000 new, highly skilled jobs at Hunterston PARC is an exciting one.
“I first discussed this with the Peel Group last year, along with other potential site uses. I am delighted that their hard work in bringing Talgo on board is nearing fruition. Of course, there is strong competition from the other five sites being considered. However, with 5.7 kilometres of track at Hunterrston, it’s grid connections and deep water port that makes Hunterston so unique, I believe that there is a more than fighting chance that this exciting manufacturing facility will come to North Ayrshire.”
Commenting on Talgo selecting Hunterston and Longannet as the potential sites for its new factory, Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said:
“It is great news that two locations in Scotland have been selected for Talgo’s shortlist of potential factory sites. There will be significant high value jobs and supply chain opportunities if either site is selected. 
“The Scottish Government and our agency partners will continue dialogue with Talgo in the coming weeks and months, whilst continuing to do everything we can to support Scotland’s manufacturing industry.”
A final decision on the site is expected in November.
Talgo is a Spanish manufacturer of intercity, standard, and high speed passenger trains.
NAC Leader Joe Cullinane has backed Hunterston’s bid to become the new UK base for the train giant.
The North Ayrshire Council Leader claimed it would give the local economy a ‘massive shot in the arm.
Councillor Cullinane said: “This is good news for Hunterston and North Ayrshire and will be fantastic news if Talgo were to confirm that that they will be investing in North Ayrshire when they make their decision in November.
“Hunterston has a rich industrial history and is perfectly positioned to be the site for Talgo.
“There is so much already in place. The Hunterston Marine Yard with one of the largest dry docks in the country; two rail terminals: and over 300 acres of development land.
“The site has deep-water links for global export and import trade and low cost rail and road options linking the site with central Scotland and beyond.”