£70 million rail depot plan to create 160 jobs
A massive contract to bring high-speed trains to the East Coast main line will include a £70m maintenance depot built in Doncaster, Sheffield City Region creating 160 jobs.
Hitachi Rail Europe is set to take possession of Doncaster Carr next month before handing it over to a construction firm.
The new depot, on land which has included a railway depot for more than 100 years, is set to open in early 2017.
The first of Hitachi’s Class 800 series passenger trains are set to go into service on the East Coast Main Line in 2018.
The company last month signed a £2.7bn contract with the Government to provide 497 carriages for the London to Scotland route. They will be built in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Maintenance depots will be built in Bristol and Doncaster.
A Hitachi spokeswoman said a minimum of 10 five-car trains would be permanently based at the depot and would stop there every night. They would be “run in” for some weeks before entering service.
Andy Barr, chief operating officer Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “With the financial close of contract for the Intercity Express Programme announced last week, we are ready to start work on our Doncaster depot.
“We will soon take possession of Doncaster Carr, a site that has been a railway depot for over 100 years. Our construction partner, Volker Fitzpatrick, will start work on the site in summer 2014 and by 2016 the depot will be operational. We are looking forward to the start of work and to making Doncaster an important base for our Class 800 series trains on the East Coast Main Line.”
The new depot will be at the end of Ten Pound Walk, behind the new sleeper factory.
The Class 800 trains are set to offer 19 per cent more seats on each train, cut journey times between London, Doncaster and Edinburgh by up to 15 minutes and be more reliable.
Hitachi recently announced its plans to move its global rail headquarters to the UK, further underlining the confidence in the UK economy and rail market.
Toshiaki Higashihara, president of Hitachi Ltd, said: “I am extremely pleased that a total of 866 Hitachi train cars will be running in the UK, which is the birthplace of railways. I would like to express my very sincere gratitude to all those involved, and particularly to the members of the Japanese and British governments who offered their strong support and invested great efforts in bringing this project to fruition.”