Ardwick Train Depot Powers Up
Electrification sparks more capacity and faster journeys for rail passengers in the North
THE ELECTRIFICATION of Manchester’s Ardwick train maintenance facility is due to be completed as part of a £60million investment in new electric trains and an improved timetable. The upgrade will have a significant impact on the region and greatly improve connections between major towns and cities in the North of England.
The work at Siemen’s Ardwick facility in central Manchester includes a building extension to accommodate the current diesel trains and electrification upgrades in order to house and service a fleet of new electric trains that are being introduced by train operator, First TransPennine Express.
All forty new carriages, which are due to start coming into service from the end of 2013, will be maintained at Ardwick and will deliver an 80 per cent increase on the route between Manchester and Scotland, helping boost the economy, whilst providing passengers with quicker, cleaner and more frequent services. The additional space generated by the trains’ introduction will also benefit the wider northern rail network by increasing overall passenger capacity by 30 per cent.
The train depot at Ardwick was officially switched on by Lucy Powell MP of Manchester Central, at a launch ceremony on Friday 27th September, and was also attended by representatives from Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM), Rail North, Travel Watch Northwest and the Association of Train Operators.
Siemens, which have designed and built the 10 class 350/4s trains, currently maintain FTPE’s existing fleet of 51 class 185 diesel trains and will be providing engineering support for the new trains from December. Benefiting the environment, the new electric trains also provide a 35 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.
Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director for Siemens Rail Systems UK, said: “Ardwick depot was first opened in 2006 following a £30 million investment by Siemens. Whilst it was expected to remain a diesel-only facility for the rest of its operational life, it was designed with the option to be extended to meet future needs.
“Since that time there has been a major focus on electrifying the railways and we are delighted that, as a result of the Ardwick electrification, Siemens has been able to play an integral part in helping First TransPennine Express deliver additional passenger services on its busy network.”
Nick Donovan, Managing Director at FTPE, responsible for the introduction of the class 350/4s commented: "The electrification, modification and extension of the Siemens train depot at Ardwick Manchester was a fundamental step to delivering more capacity and faster journeys for rail customers in the North of England.
"Through the maintenance of our current Class 185s, we have developed a successful working relationship with Siemens and together we have delivered a more reliable fleet.
"When we signed the £60million investment deal, Ardwick was stipulated as the maintenance facility for the 10 new electric Class 350/4s. This meant considerable alteration to the depot and a great deal of engineering innovation.
“I am delighted with the alliance work between ourselves, Siemens and Network Rail which has improved depot capability, future proofed the facility and importantly kept our current fleet fully operational and available to customers. I look forward to continuing this working partnership and welcoming the 350/4s to their new home at Ardwick.”
The new trains will have additional capacity and provide passengers, with quicker and quieter journeys, but most importantly it allows the current operational fleet to be spread across the wider FTPE network providing overall capacity increase and higher frequency services.
Since signing the order for new trains in early 2012, FTPE has successfully created nearly 200 additional jobs, either directly with FTPE, or through industry partners and industry analysts expect the upgraded fleet to inject an annual £10million into to the North of England.
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