A union has urged the government to intervene to save hundreds of skilled jobs as a rail repair company goes into administration.
The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said 500 engineering jobs in Railcare plants in Glasgow and Milton Keynes were under threat.
Unions said they were made aware earlier this week that rail repair and refurbishment firm Railcare was in trouble when it failed to pay staff wages after a planned takeover by a German company collapsed.
Crisis talks with another potential buyer are thought to have collapsed yesterday, forcing the company into administration, with the union claiming that a cash flow problem due to the West Coast franchising fiasco earlier this year is the root of the problem.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "RMT is calling on Business Secretary Vince Cable and the government to step in to secure the future of these 500 key rail fleet engineering jobs following the collapse of Railcare.
"The government cannot sit on their hands and watch this situation play out for the want of what we believe is not much more than a million pounds of cash flow finance.
"Reports that Railcare have already been turned down for assistance make a mockery of the government's business strategy and their stated objective of protecting skilled jobs.
"This crisis has left 500 staff unpaid and without any security and the root cause appears to be the franchising shambles in the wake of the West Coast fiasco."
Crow continued: "Vince Cable and the government have a moral and economic duty to intervene urgently to save these jobs and protect the scheduled work and RMT will meet with him at any time to assist in moving this on.
"All of us now need to work together to secure these jobs and the important work that the company is involved in."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "This is an important company in the supply chain and it is vital that key engineering skills and jobs are not lost. My department has been working with the company to try and find a solution. I hope a resolution can be reached soon."