Three Bridges depot opens its doors
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin today (Thursday 15 October) formally opened Siemens and Govia Thameslink Railway’s new, purpose-built Three Bridges train depot in Crawley, West Sussex, marking a major milestone for the Thameslink Programme, which will transform journeys for passengers. The depot, which is already home to two new Class 700 Desiro City trains, will play a significant part in housing and maintaining the new fleet for the Thameslink network.
The Three Bridges depot, along with a similar hi-tech train care centre being built in Hornsey, was constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick with an investment of over £300 million by Siemens and is part of Siemens’ wider investment in the UK through the Thameslink Programme. The official opening of Three Bridges welcomed stakeholders to view the trains, tour the depot floor and hear more about the project. Following the opening of Three Bridges, Hornsey is on track to be completed in July 2016.
The depot is the result of extensive collaboration between Siemens, GTR and Network Rail. It is fully signalled and incorporates key personnel safety features including a depot protection and emergency electrical isolation system. It has an automatic inspection facility, which through laser measurement can accurately predict when key train components need to be maintained or replaced. Other features include the installation of an in-cab simulator at the depot which will provide the specialist training each driver must undergo in order to drive a new Class 700 train, from theoretical practice to practical reality.
With GTR running the depot and Siemens maintaining the trains in it, there will be a combined total of approximately 150 jobs based at Three Bridges, with 1.4 million man hours already accumulated during the construction phase.
Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Our plan for passengers is delivering real improvements for those who use Thameslink services. The opening of this state-of-the-art facility is a major milestone and paves the way for an impressive new fleet of hi-tech trains to come into service from Spring next year. The improvements will transform rail travel for millions of passengers, with better journeys on fantastic new Class 700 trains, improved connections and upgraded stations. The programme is also creating thousands of jobs across the country.”