MORE than 1,100 jobs have been saved from the axe, with troubled train firm Bombardier announcing Crewe Works will not be shut down.
Workers at the West Street site feared the worst after the firm's Canadian owner said it planned a raft of plant closures.
But in an announcement on Wednesday the firm revealed the maintenance plant will stay open and play a role in Bombardier's long-term future.
While union officials welcomed the announcement, any celebrations were tempered by news that nearly 100 white-collar jobs at the plant would still be axed.
Amicus union convener Mick Roberts said: 'We have to remember there are job losses. It is a significant number and these people are our work colleagues.
'Overall, it is a mixed message. I am sad that some jobs have been lost, but I am relieved that we are still here and there are jobs for the majority of people.'
The jobs scare was sparked in November when Bombardier's chief executive Paul Tellier announced a drive to cut costs in the UK.
Mr Tellier said the international company, which has 53 sites in 23 countries, needed to rationalise with a series of depot closures.
But, after four months of deliberation, the firm decided to close plants in Doncaster, Derby and Wakefield, and leave the Crewe factory unscathed.
Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council leader Peter Kent said he was sorry some workers had been made redundant, but pleased to see the factory will remain open.
He said: 'We have been half-expecting this for some time and are conscious that it could well have been worse.'
Bombardier had blamed the jobs threat on poor profits in the transport division and too many skilled workers chasing too few train orders.
To stem the problem, a total of 1,362 jobs have been cut in the UK, more than a quarter of the company's 5,000-strong British workforce.
The cuts are part of 6,600 jobs to be axed globally during the next two years under restructuring that brings plant closures in Portugal, Switzerland and Germany.
While the short-term future of Crewe Works looks safer, bosses say the plant will need to undergo an 'industrial site improvement programme'.
The review is designed to ensure the depot is providing value for money and the firm has signalled more job cuts could follow if targets are missed.
Cllr Kent said the borough council will be working with Crewe and Nantwich MP Gwyneth Dunwoody to help secure the plant's long-term future.
He said: 'It would be useful to have some re-assurance from the company that they do see a future for railway engineering in Crewe.
'My colleague Steve Hogben will be talking to Gwyneth Dunwoody about how best we can get some answers from the company on their vision for the future.'
Mrs Dunwoody said: 'I regret the loss of anyone's job, but we are delighted that Bombardier is remaining in Crewe and we expect to get the opportunity to build back a lively industry in the future.'