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Old Oak Common depot begins operations ahead of Elizabeth Line launch

The new depot at Old Oak Common has begun operations in a major milestone for London’s new Elizabeth Line, which is due to launch in seven months’ time.

The new facility, which will be capable of housing and maintaining up to 42 of the Elizabeth Line’s 70 new trains, comes into service as TfL prepares for the introduction of TfL Rail services in West London later this month.

Over 30% of the new depot will run on a renewable energy system which integrates ground source heating and cooling via energy piles and 150m deep bore holes. Three types of thermal technology will also be used to help control the temperature of the facility.

Old Oak Common is the first rail depot to introduce such a system, which will allow TfL to reduce running costs and save over 500 tonnes of CO2 emission per year.

Howard Smith, operations director for TfL Rail and the Elizabeth Line, said: “It’s great to see the progress that has been made at Old Oak Common since work began four years ago.

“Our new depot will not only allow us to introduce our new TfL Rail service from Paddington to Heathrow Airport this month, but it will also be home to the new Elizabeth Line train fleet.”

MTR Crossrail will operate the line on TfL’s behalf and Bombardier – which is building the 70 new trains – will operate the depot as part of a 32-year contract, signed in 2014.

The depot was built Taylor Woodrow of VINCI Construction and features 33 stabling roads and nine heavy maintenance roads. It also boasts an on-site train wash facility and a Bombardier automatic vehicle inspection system, which will increase reliability and reduce the amount of time needed for maintenance by scanning and analysing trains as they enter the depot.

Andy Derbyshire, head of UK projects at Bombardier Transportation, said: “Our British-designed and built trains are transforming journeys between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and are soon to do the same for journeys between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington.

“We are now really building momentum towards the launch of the Elizabeth Line in December."

Steve Murphy, MTR Crossrail’s managing director, added that the new depot provides a “great environment” for the company’s driver team to work in collaboration with Bombardier.

“The training simulators have been essential in providing route familiarisation and scenario based training for our drivers to be ready for Elizabeth Line services from December 2018,” concluded Murphy.


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