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Train depot work begins

WORK has begun on a new £10 million train depot which will bring 40 jobs to York.

Rail infrastructure company Siemens launched the start of construction off Leeman Road at a "ground-breaking" ceremony.

Vernon Barker, managing director for First TransPennine Express, and Steve White, director of rolling stock services for Siemens Transportation Systems, welcomed the start of work on the new depot, which was marked with a ceremony attended by City of York Council leader Coun Steve Galloway.

The facility will become one of two new maintenance homes for the £250 million Class 185 Desiro fleet of diesel trains Siemens is currently building and testing for First TransPennine Express. The first of the new, 100mph trains will soon arrive in the UK for commissioning and testing, prior to being fully operational and in passenger service, next spring.

The York depot is set to open next summer and will provide purpose-built repair facilities for 51 new trains and create 40 new jobs.

Construction of the main traincare depot at Ardwick in Manchester is due for completion in March 2006.

Mr Barker said: "Our new trains will offer significant improvements for passengers. It is vital that they are maintained and cleaned to the highest standards, which is why this work is being undertaken by Siemens in new facilities.

"This new depot will play a major part in delivering the improvement in the quality of service we are aiming to achieve."

Mr White said: "This depot represents the fifth new site developed by Siemens for the UK rail industry and this event marks a key milestone in this important new trains project for TransPennine Express and its passengers.

"We are delighted to be involved at every stage and look forward to providing high standards of train maintenance and presentation to the people of Yorkshire and beyond."

The new depot, located to the south of the east coast mainline, will allow light maintenance, train washing, interior cleaning, toilet-emptying and re-fuelling.

Trains will also be stabled at the depot overnight with the capability to service up to nine three-car trains each evening.

Siemens has consulted closely with local residents during the planning process and included comments and suggestions into final plans, which were approved by City of York Council in May 2005.

These include careful control and minimisation of both noise and light from the depot, with acoustic fencing and panels being installed.

The lighting scheme has also been designed to be focused on work areas, and away from housing situated across the east coast mainline

An on-site train wash has been redesigned to be enclosed, elongated and sound-insulated to ensure noise is contained within the facility.

Siemens Transportation Systems employs about 800 people in the UK, providing expertise in rail systems and technology to the UK rail industry.

It also provides and maintains passenger trains for SouthWest Trains, Heathrow Express, One Great Eastern, Northern Trains and Silverlink and Central Trains.

Updated: 11:10 Friday, December 09, 2005

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