8:20am Wednesday 11th April 2012
By Mark Stead
RAIL bosses have submitted their plans for a new operations centre and training base which would bring up to 500 jobs to York, saying it will safeguard the city’s railway heritage.
Network Rail intends to build the base, which would eventually control the entire East Coast main line and other routes in Humberside, West Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, on a 7,300 sqm site between York Station and Holgate Bridge.
It is one of 14 centres proposed to handle operations on various routes across the UK, and the firm has now submitted a full planning application for the “Engineers’ Triangle” site to City of York Council.
A decision is expected towards the end of June.
The York project includes a workforce development centre for Network Rail, providing maintenance and technical training for up to 200 staff and employing 23 people.
The company says up to 477 workers are ultimately expected to be housed at the rail operations centre, although they are likely to be transferred over a 30-year period, with staff initially switching from other facilities in York, Leeds, Doncaster and Newcastle.
“The proposals will assist Network Rail to deliver a modern, efficient railway network, will retain railway jobs in the city and help maintain York’s rail heritage,” said a planning statement by the firm’s agents, York-based O’Neill Associates.
“They will enhance a brownfield site close to York city centre which is in need of major uplift and will create additional jobs in external companies which service and supply the development. New jobs will be located here as other operations and signalling centres in the region are closed, and in economic terms, the proposals send out a positive message about the future of the rail industry in the city.”
O’Neill said the application was compiled after consultation with local residents as well as the council, English Heritage, York Civic Trust, the National Railway Museum and other organisations.
The firm admitted the scheme would have an impact on its neighbours, but it was aiming to minimise them.
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