The Laira Depot is set to receive a major investment through a £300m contract that will support major economic growth for the region, whilst supporting 500 highly skilled jobs.
This investment package comes from an extension of Great Western Railway’s (GWR) maintenance partnership with Eversholt Rail and Hitachi Rail, which will see the further maintenance of the GWR West of England fleet of 36 Class 802 Intercity Express Trains until 2028.
GWR’s maintenance programme will look to improve the train availability whilst maximising capacity for customers through the utilisation of digital solutions and increasing the maintenance at the Laira depot in Plymouth.
The Laira depot holds vital importance to the region as its geographical location allows maintenance to be conducted in close proximity to key stations in the region such as Penzance, Exeter, and Plymouth, thus improving availability and fleet optimisation.
Through extending the contract, there are assurances of an annual UK supply chain investment of £70m, which will be supplied via GWR’s Intercity Express Train fleet.
Simon Green, GWR Engineering Director said:
“Since the introduction of this Intercity Express Train fleet almost five years ago, they have made a massive contribution delivering more services and seats and have allowed us to respond positively to changes in demand for leisure travel across many of our long-distance routes.
“The award of this contract means we have continuity in the maintenance of our Class 802 fleet, and we look forward to continuing to work with Hitachi to deliver this fleet into service every day.
The contract extension has been based on the previous successes within the partnership, seeing major delivery improvements that has increased reliability by over 94% throughout its lifespan.
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