Network Rail plans multi million pound Wigan depotnews
8th May 2018
Wigan is set to gain a £46 million train depot as part of Network Rail’s Great North Rail project.
With numbers of passengers set to double in the North over the next 25 years, more depots are needed to allow for more frequent services and additional trains.
The project will expand on an existing freight yard at Springs Branch railway sidings in Ince-in-Makerfield to stable and maintain 8 diesel and 24 electric trains. The scheme will create around 20 new jobs.
This location provides access to the electrified rail network. Network Rail claims the new depot will allow more flexibility for Northern to move its trains overnight to other stations across the North of England, in prep for services the following day.
The scheme project manager at Network Rail, Lauren Jones, said: “At Springs Branch sidings, we’re investing £46m to enhance an existing site by the West Coast main line by building brand new train maintenance facilities for Northern.
“This brand new depot, which forms part of the Great North Rail Project, not only delivers a jobs boost for Greater Manchester, but the facilities it will provide will help transform passenger journeys across the north.”
Ben Ackroyd, the engineering director of Northern, said: “By 2020 we will have retired all Pacers, refurbished our entire fleet and, of course, will have introduced our brand new electric and diesel trains.
“We will need state-of-the-art facilities to look after these trains and Springs Branch is a key part of this.”
Becca Heron, Wigan Council’s director of economy and skills, claimed the project was a “key component” of the city’s economic strategy. The project is expected to be finished in December 2019.
Written by Ian Johnson