Latest Rail News

24.04.18

Great North Rail Project sees £46m spent on Wigan train depot

Wigan is to gain a new £46m train depot as part of the Great North Rail Project.

The number of passengers in the north is set to double over the next 25 years, and so more depots are needed to enable the more frequent services and additional trains planned by 2020.

Network Rail is adapting an existing freight yard in Ince-in-Makerfield to stable and maintain 24 electric and diesel trains, which will create almost 20 jobs.

The location provides access to the electrified rail network and Network Rail says that the depot will provide more flexibility for Northern to move its trains across the north overnight in preparation for services the next day.

Lauren Jones, scheme project manager at Network Rail, said: “At Springs Branch sidings, we’re investing £46m to enhance an existing site by the West Coast main line by building brand new train maintenance facilities for Northern.

“This brand new depot, which forms part of the Great North Rail Project, not only delivers a jobs boost for Greater Manchester, but the facilities it will provide will help transform passenger journeys across the north.”

Ben Ackroyd, engineering director at Northern, added: “By 2020 we will have retired all Pacers, refurbished our entire fleet and, of course, will have introduced our brand new electric and diesel trains.

“We will need state-of-the-art facilities to look after these trains and Springs Branch is a key part of this.”

Wigan Council’s director of economy and skills, Becca Heron, welcomed the news, calling it a “key component” of the city’s economic strategy.

“The development will see the installation of new overhead line equipment to power the electric trains.

“It will also include staff accommodation, train washing and fuelling capabilities,” she added.

Work is expected to be completed in December 2019.

 

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