INVESTMENT worth £11m will modernise a York train maintenance depot, making way for longer trains and more carriages.

TransPennine Express will invest in the Leeman Road site, in partnership with Siemens, to prepare for additional carriages and new Nova trains, which are due to be introduced in the next twelve months.

Councillor Ian Gillies, Leader of City of York Council and Vice-Chair of the Transport for the North Board, visited the depot to see the work that has been carried out so far and formally launch the build.

He said: “York is a city with incredible railway heritage and it is great to hear about this significant investment.

"This news comes hot off the heels of the announcement last month that York has the highest number of jobs the city has ever seen as our economy continues to grow. This expansion secures jobs that meet the needs of our highly skilled residents and shows York to be a great city to invest in."

The depot already provides maintenance for TPE’s existing trains, and the company said in the long term, the work will help secure highly skilled rail engineering jobs in the city.

Chris Nutton, Major Projects Manager for TransPennine Express said: "Working in partnership with Siemens, we’re investing £11million in modernising our train maintenance facility in York so that it is upgraded to maintain our brand new, longer Nova trains. We’re especially pleased that this investment will help secure long term, highly skilled railway engineering jobs in York."

The first phase of enhancement is currently underway, with the second expected to be completed by next summer.

Pete Redding from Siemens said the investment was "crucial" and "will ensure the York train care facility continues to play an important role in maintaining fleets serving routes in the region".

Cllr Keith Aspden, Executive member for economic development, said: "Today’s news is another show of confidence in our successful economy. This news follows recent success stories relating to job creation and economic growth in York. Such large investment in facilities and the local workforce is fantastic news for residents and our economy."