Greater Anglia unveils train depot plans
Greater Anglia has unveiled plans for a new state-of-the art train maintenance depot to be built on the site of a derelict chemical works factory on the Essex/Suffolk border.
The new depot, at Brantham near Manningtree rail station, will be used for stabling and light maintenance of about 20 of the new trains due to arrive in East Anglia from 2019. The trains will be commissioned into service from the new depot.
Once open, at least 30 people will work at the multi-million-pound depot, which Greater Anglia plans to complete by December 2018.
It will include 13 tracks where trains can be parked overnight for cleaning and toilet maintenance. Two further tracks will be undercover in a 300-metre shed, with full under-train inspection pits and cranes for general train maintenance.
Covering an area of 22 acres on the north side of the existing railway, the depot will be fully electrified.
In addition, a new wheel lathe will be installed, to provide another location on the Greater Anglia network where train wheel repairs can be carried out, minimising the length of time trains are out of service. Other facilities will include a train wash, remote train monitoring systems, a control room and spares storage.
Land owner St Francis Group will also clear derelict land opposite the new depot and fully landscape it.
Design work and construction planning for the depot starts this month. The site is due to be cleared in March and building should begin in the summer.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “These are exciting plans which are integral to our commitment to improve and transform the railway in East Anglia.
“Providing a depot at Manningtree will enable us to bring in our ambitious new timetable with more frequent trains and reduced journey times. It also reduces the amount of time that trains are out of service for maintenance.”
By enabling some of the service improvements associated with Greater Anglia’s new train fleet, the construction of the new depot at Brantham will also help fulfil some of the aims of the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce. Greater Anglia says that the train maintenance facility will help underpin wider economic growth, as well as creating some local employment at the depot itself.
• IMAGE: An artist's impression of the new depot, superimposed from Google Earth to show concept design