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HS2 eastern leg rolling stock depot confirmed for Leeds

The government has confirmed that the new HS2 eastern leg rolling stock depot will be built in Leeds in order to create jobs and ensure Yorkshire reaps the benefits of high-speed rail.

The depot, which will service and maintain the new high-speed trains, has received backing from Leeds City Council, the University of Leeds, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Enterprise Partnership.

It is estimated that up to 125 skilled jobs will be created with the construction of this new depot. The new site is also a step forward after HS2’s pledge to generate over 100,000 new jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships.

The National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster and Birmingham and the University of Leeds’s Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration will ensure a flow of skilled and educated workers into these roles.

The depot, which was confirmed after a public consultation, will ensure there is minimal impact on the environment by reducing the distance empty trains travel to and from Leeds station for overnight stabling.

The DfT also argued that building the site in the Aire Valley will reduce HS2’s impact on the village of Crofton, where it had previously been proposed.

Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said: “Constructing this vital depot in Leeds underlines how the benefits of HS2 drive prosperity right across the UK, with Yorkshire playing a crucial role in maintaining the new high-speed trains and delivering significantly better journeys for passengers.”

He added the depot will act as an economic catalyst and ensure Leeds will become a thriving hub for training engineers.

Professor Lisa Roberts, deputy vice-chancellor, research and innovation at the University of Leeds, commented: “The location of the HS2 rolling stock depot, combined with the new advanced testing facilities to be built as part of the university’s Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration are a significant step forward for UK high-speed rail capability.

“They position Leeds city region as a global centre for high-speed rail research and development, so we’re working closely with HS2 to ensure our facilities are aligned with its needs and those of industry, so all sides can deliver for the country.”

Cllr Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said that taken together, both of these facilities located at Gateway 45 will make Leeds and the region as a whole a “global centre for advanced rail and high-speed technology.”

She will be speaking at this year’s TransCityRail conference about this and other northern rail priorities. To book your place, click here.


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