Plans for a new factory to supply vital components to Britain’s rail network have been given the go-ahead by Doncaster Council. The new factory will produce hundreds of thousands of concrete sleepers needed for Network Rail’s programme of track improvement works.
Martin Elwood, director of Network Rail’s National Delivery Service, said: “This factory is crucial if we are to deliver better value for money whilst maintaining a safe, reliable railway.
“We need around 700,000 concrete sleepers each year and, once commissioned, this factory will produce around 400,000 of those. It will also directly create around 30 new jobs, with knock-on benefits to the local supply chain.”
Located on the former Woodyard site near Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster, the factory will be owned by Network Rail but built and operated by a new consortium, Trackwork Moll.
Martin Elwood added “This is a strategic decision by Network Rail to protect the supplies which are vital for our track programme. At the same time, we can reduce costs by increasing competition and introducing more modern production methods.
“Doncaster is the ideal location for this factory as these sidings are already used as a hub for engineering trains and its central location will make distribution across Britain’s rail network easier and more efficient.”
Supply of concrete sleepers from Britain is limited to just two suppliers – one of which has given notice that they plan to close their plant. Network Rail decided to seek a build and supply contractor in 2009. Trackwork Moll won this process and the scheme received board approval in spring 2011.
On 25 June 2012, Doncaster Council agreed planning permission for the new building and a formal agreement between Network Rail and Trackwork Moll has now been signed.
Peter Heubeck, general manager for Trackwork Moll, added: “We are delighted to have been successful and look forward to providing an excellent service from this very efficient new plant.”
Clearance of the Woodyard site has already begun and construction is due to start in July with full production due to begin in spring 2013.