Over 100 guests gathered in Derby today, Thursday 20 May, to mark the official opening of the City’s brand new train maintenance depot facility.
Representing a £22 million investment from East Midlands Trains, the new ‘Etches Park North’ depot, located on Deadman’s Lane in Derby, is the result of a successful partnership between East Midlands Trains, Bombardier and Spencer. The new depot, designed to complement the existing maintenance facility, will provide increased capacity to maintain and care for East Midlands Trains’ fleet of 27 Meridian Trains.
New facilities in the multi-million pound depot, which has taken just 17 months to complete and has been delivered without any disruption to train services, include:
* Three roads for maintaining trains. For the first time ever, East Midlands Trains will benefit from one of these roads having synchronised jacks, capable of lifting a full seven-car Meridian Train.
* A new million pound wheel lathe. This specialist piece of equipment will be used to keep train wheels correctly profiled, reducing noise and wear on rails and improving passenger comfort.
* Enhanced fuelling facilities allowing East Midlands Trains and Bombardier staff to service trains more efficiently.
* The depot also has the benefit of a building management system, which constantly monitors the use of gas and electricity. This will help to reduce energy consumption within the depot, ensuring greener and smarter working.
To mark the opening, representatives from East Midlands Trains, Spencer and Bombardier were joined by Brian Souter, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, who officially opened the new depot.
Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive said: “When we took over the East Midlands franchise, we said we wanted to make it one of the best railways in Britain. The investment we have made in the Etches Park maintenance facility, as well giving passengers better trains, improved services and dramatic improvements to punctuality, shows we are delivering on that promise. Running a first class railway is all down to people, both our own employees and the strong partnerships we have built locally. We will keep on working hard to deliver even more to our customers.”
Commenting from East Midlands Trains, Managing Director Tim Shoveller, said: “This marks a significant milestone for train maintenance, not only in the well-known railway city of Derby, but in the UK as a whole. We now have a world-class facility, capable of maintaining our Meridian fleet effectively and efficiently to guarantee the best train service for our passengers. I am extremely proud of this depot, which represents one of the single biggest investments in our franchise, and will help to ensure that we continue to provide our passengers with reliable and punctual trains all day, every day.”
Speaking on behalf of Spencer, Charlie Spencer added: “We are delighted to have delivered this fantastic facility for East Midlands Trains. The project has involved the design and construction of complex railway engineering systems on both the railway infrastructure and within maintenance facilities. Despite an extremely tight programme the works have been delivered to the required quality on time and without accidents. The entire project team should be very proud of their achievement. We look forward to the opportunity to work with East Midlands Trains and the Stagecoach Group in the near future.”
Laurent Troger, President of Services Division for Bombardier, said: “I am delighted to celebrate the official opening of this superb maintenance facility at Etches Park. We have an excellent partnership working arrangement with our customer, East Midlands Trains and with Stagecoach. Our 140-strong maintenance team based here at the depot will benefit from the much-improved new facilities which will enable the trains to be provided day after day in the best condition, helping East Midlands Trains provide a reliable and effective service for their passengers”.
In addition to the new depot, East Midlands Trains is investing £250k to make improvements to the other facilities at Etches Park, which will help to ensure that the company’s local train services will also benefit from enhanced maintenance facilities.