The South West Trains- Network Rail Alliance yesterday officially opened a new, state of the art paint depot in Bournemouth which has created 38 new jobs in the area.
The £3.5 million paint facility, which is based in Westbourne, has been renovated and extended and now gives the train firm the opportunity to carry out all painting and the majority of maintenance work in-house.
The facility, which is the most advanced in the UK, complements the maintenance depot that was already in situ. The new depot means that four-car trains can enter the facility and be prepared, painted, cleaned, renovated and tested and then sent back out onto the South West Trains network within 28 days. It is the first time that maintenance and painting has been carried out under one roof.
Construction and civil engineering company BAM Nutall constructed the new £3.5 million paint shop, after train leasing company Porterbrook awarded the contract to the Alliance last summer.
Opening the paint depot, Christian Roth, Fleet Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “This is good news for Dorset - by opening this new depot we have created 38 new jobs and brought new skills to the Bournemouth depot, which benefits the local economy. All of our new staff are from the local community.
“Thanks to this new facility in Bournemouth, we no longer have to send our trains elsewhere for repainting. We are now able to maintain and paint all our fleets in-house for the first time ever, helping to ensure that our trains spend more time transporting our passengers and less time in depots.“
The paint shop is part of a £23 million, four-year programme of work to overhaul the South West Trains Class 455 fleet.
The multi-million pound investment includes the overhaul of 91, four-car Class 455 electric trains - the backbone of services in the London area. Carriages are being refurbished throughout with seats deep cleaned, doors overhauled and all carriages made fully accessible for disabled customers.