Northern and Network Rail unveil new Wigan train depot
The new depot will allow Northern to streamline its maintenance processes, subsequently improving UK rail performance and punctuality.
Network Rail and Northern have officially unveiled a £46 million train depot in Wigan, which will provide a new base from which many of Northern’s new trains will be cleaned and looked after. With the new depot, Northern will have more flexibility to maintain its fleet, streamlining processes and, ultimately, improving performance and punctuality for customers.
The facility was built by Network Rail as part of the Great North Rail Project and is located on the West Coast main line, delivering valuable flexibility for the railway. The depot provides extra space for Northern to stable and maintain 24 electric and eight diesel trains overnight in preparation for operation the following day.
Managing Director of Arriva UK Trains – the parent organisation of Northern – Chris Burchell, said: “I’m proud of the teams that have been involved in building this new £46 million facility, which is part and parcel of a wider transformation of rail in the north. We’ve already rolled out 62 of the 101 promised new trains and set strong foundations for future improvement on the network, including the complete removal of pacers by May.”
The investment, made by the Department for Transport (DfT), involved 3,400m of new track, 42 new pylons and 2,600m of new overhead line equipment. Five new service platforms have been built and 1,750m of walkways for staff to operate the facility safely.
The depot provides Northern employees with the ability to undertake general train maintenance, stabling, train washing and refuelling facilities to help provide the best possible service for Northern’s customers.
Lauren Rodgers, Project Manager at Network Rail, said: “The rail industry has come together to build this £46 million new train depot at Springs Branch, and we’re really happy to have created 18 jobs. But, this much-needed infrastructure will really benefit passengers, as it not only helps keep trains clean and tidy, it also creates more operational space for Northern to move units more reliably and punctually across the north west.”