A RAIL operator told Scarborough Council it is taking complaints about noisy trains “very seriously” after hearing how it was making residents’ lives a misery.

The £7m TransPennine Express depot, behind Seamer Road, opened in 2019 to provide maintenance, including refuelling, to the train company’s fleet.

The depot was meant to bring jobs and investment to the town but since the depot began operating, some people living in the area say it has only brought disruption with their lives being ruined by the noise of the trains, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

Senior figures from the train operator appeared before Scarborough Council’s overview and scrutiny board today to explain what had gone wrong at the depot and what was being done to fix it.

Weaponness and Ramshill ward councillor Rich Maw (Lab) told the meeting that his email inbox was “rammed” with people complaining about noise from the new depot.

He said: “I am here to emphasise the absolute abstract misery caused to residents in my ward.

“I have residents who tell me they are getting four hours sleep a night and it is not enough. The trains start up about 11pm, rev their engines until about 12.30am. There is then a four-hour gap for them to try and get some sleep before it all starts again at 4.30am.

“Some have moved bedrooms to try and get some rest, unsuccessfully.

“I have been talking to a teacher who tells me she is struggling to hold on to her job as she cannot concentrate.

“We cannot brush this under the carpet, it needs sorting out now, it has to be acted on.”

The councillors were told the issue appeared to come from “very low-frequency bass tones” emitted by the trains while idling in the depot.

Paul Staples, the fleet director for TransPennine Express, said the company will look at reducing noise and work with residents.

Paul Staples, the fleet director for TransPennine Express, said initial investigations had identified issues with trains being left on “fast idle” when they are parked up for cleaning and maintenance and not on “slow idle”. The noise was at its worst during fast idle, he said.

He said the company was clamping down on this and was also looking at what other measures could be taken with the new Nova 3 trains and also soundproofing the depot to reduce the noise.

He added: “I can promise that we will go at this hammer and tongs, we have set up a project team and will hold public meetings for residents to attend to tell us their issues in person.”

Mr Staples said the company was aware of its “moral and social responsibility” to the residents and Scarborough to fix the problem and was talking to the train suppliers and the depot contractors to ensure that everything is operating correctly.

He said: “The company is taking this very seriously and we are upset that this is causing an issue. Clearly there is an issue with a characteristic of the Nova 3 train that is causing a problem and we intend to deal with it.”

He said it had become obvious that the soundproofing installed during the construction was not adequate and would look to make the necessary improvements.

Mr Staples added: “We will then look at a programme of what could we do to reduce the noise further.  Are there ways we could change the operation? Are there ways we could change the design of the locomotive, are there ways we could change the depot to reduce the impact of this noise?

“We will consult with the residents to take their ideas on board as well.”

TransPennine Express is also working with Scarborough Council and Environmental Health to look at solutions.

At the start of the meeting, the councillors heard from Gary Douthwaite, who lives close to Scarborough Railway Station in Westwood Close, saying that noise from the station had also become an issue.

He said: “I live 150 metres away from the station and the noise on a night is horrendous.

“It is destroying my life and driving me mad.”

Mr Douthwaite was promised a written response to his concerns.