Pendolino’s Liverpool depot gears up for new rolling stock
In October Alstom will be setting up a catering equipment workshop in anticipation of the increased use of the onboard shops and kitchens. The facility already has an impressive safety record – it has gone almost three years without a lost time accident, which is an incident that causes more than 24 hours of lost time.
Speaking at the depot’s opening
on 12 May, Paul Robinson, MD of Alstom Transport UK, said: ‘This marks a very important milestone. This new depot was funded by Network Rail. We believe it’s a state- of-the-art depot. ‘Why have we built this depot?
Alstom has ramped up its maintenance capability in
Liverpool to cater for increases in the Pendolino fleet. A £15m investment from
Network Rail will allow the Edge Hill depot to receive up to eight of the tilting trains for maintenance each night, where it was formerly handling five.
Alstom, which builds the trains at its plant in Savigliano in Italy, also
takes care of the maintenance of the fleet. Four new 11-car Pendolinos will
be joining Virgin’s fleet and two additional carriages will be added to 31 of the existing trains, ready for passenger service in 2012. New lifting and access
equipment will allow maintenance staff to carry out a full range of engineering requirements, including pantograph and wheelset changes.
Capacity is increasing, so we need to have 47 trains available for service, seven days a week.’ Before the upgrade, only minor
maintenance work could be done at the facility, which was built in the 1960s for diesel fleets. l A new maintenance facility at Derby has been opened by East Midlands Trains, Bombardier and Spencer. The £22m depot will service the EMT Meridian fleet.
Train naming celebrates
100 years of Gordon Hill
First Capital Connect managing director Neal
Lawson found himself surrounded by commuters praising him for an improved service on the Great Northern section of the company’s operations, when he attended a train naming celebrating the Herford North loop. The plaudits were led by former
London TravelWatch chief executive Rufus Barnes, unveiling a plaque at Gordon Hill station to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the extension of the Grange Park to Cuffley section on what is now the Hertford North loop. Barnes, a former Gordon Hill commuter to central London, told an audience, which included historians and former British Rail
PAGE 10 JUNE 2010
staff: ‘When the Great Northern Electrics, as they used to be known, were running, it was a bad service situation.’ He said that when FCC took
over, the management listened to his suggestions for improving the service and put them into place. Lawson said: ‘First Capital
Connect’s biggest challenge is demand, but this is one we are working to address. This December we will see extra trains and longer trains serving this region, providing much needed capacity. ‘The 11 extra trains we have worked to resource will provide some 6,500 extra peak seats across the Great Northern route.’ He emphasised the investment being made in new trains to run
increased services across London, before the naming of the unit 313
054 as Captain William Leefe Robinson
VC, in memory of the British airman shot down by a German airship over Cuffley during World War I. The naming was carried out by Elizabeth Robinson Scott Jordan, a distant relative. The loop has played a major role in keeping services running to and from Kings Cross and has often seen express trains run through when the main line between Alexandra Palace and Stevenage has been blocked. It was also a regular diversionary
route for heavy freight trains from north of England mines to the Ferme Park yard at Harringay.
l See pages 18-21 for interview with Neal Lawson
News in brief
Southern cracks down on crime
Within weeks of launching its Safer Travel Team, Southern staged a crime crackdown which in one day saw 33 penalty fare notices issued, 21 warnings given for antisocial behaviour, nine prosecution notices for fare evasion and three people charged at level crossings. Operation Petra took place at four stations in the Chichester area.
Freight to go electric?
Bombardier-built electric locomotives, designed to haul freight, could soon be making an appearance in the UK market. The locos would have a small ‘last mile’ diesel engine to enable them to run beyond the end of overhead wires into depots. Beacon Rail, a small leasing outfit, is considering purchasing some of the locos.
Oxford Circus closures
A ban on passengers entering Oxford Circus station until after 10:30 on weekday mornings will continue until the summer of 2011. London Underground says the decision is on safety grounds while escalator replacement takes place. Passengers will still be able to interchange between lines at the station, however.
Edinburgh trams arrive
Residents of Edinburgh have been viewing the first of the 27-strong fleet of trams scheduled to run in the city from 2012. Custom-built in Spain by CAF, each tram is made up of seven modules and will have the capacity to carry 250 people. The system will carry an estimated 40,000 passengers daily.
Access for some?
Scotland’s transport minister has protested about the halving of cash for the Access for All scheme, which supports step- free and wheelchair-accessible stations. Stewart Stevenson told the DfT that the cut in Scotland’s share of the ‘excellent’ scheme to £390,000 was unacceptable.
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