Work will get depot set for extra carriages
Rail Minister and Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond today (June 30) unveiled a £6m investment in the Wimbledon rail maintenance depot - one of the biggest in Britain.
The work includes a new piece of state-of-the-art maintenance equipment. This investment is designed to update the depot facility and ensure it is fully prepared to deal with the 108 extra carriages being provided through the Government's High Level Output Specification (HLOS) programme.
The extra carriages, which will be introduced over the next year, will all be maintained at Wimbledon traincare depot, which is managed by the South West Trains-Network Alliance.
The investment in a new bogie drop system at the depot means that single train carriages can have their bogies (the part of the train carrying the wheels) and other mechanical equipment detached at track level.
This allows maintenance, inspection and cleaning work to take place in other areas of the train while these parts are being changed. The bogie drop will deliver greater efficiency during both planned and unplanned maintenance activities, allowing the train to be returned to service as quickly as possible.
Wimbledon depot is already one of the busiest train maintenance depots in the country with an average of 250 train carriages being maintained there every night, and the team of around 170 depot staff are responsible for delivering some of the most reliable trains in the UK.
The Rail Minister was also given a sneak preview of the first refurbished Class 456 train. The fleet of 24 Class 456 trains are part of the multi-million-pound investment into rail services on the South West Trains' network through the HLOS programme.
These trains, which were previously in use on Southern, are currently being refurbished at a cost of around £15 million and once refurbished will be similar in style to the Class 455 fleet currently operated by the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance.
The trains will feature wider doors, enabling two people to comfortably board the train at once which will help to speed up boarding. They will also have improved 2+2 seating, full CCTV, energy efficient LED lighting and a remote monitoring system that will help to improve reliability and ensure earlier identification and rectification of any faults. The first refurbished carriages will enter passenger service during the summer and will be used on services from London Waterloo to Hampton Court and Dorking.
Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: "As part of our long-term economic plan, £38bn will be invested over the next five years in improving and maintaining our railways across the UK, increasing capacity and providing more efficient and reliable journeys for passengers.
"Investing in these new facilities at Wimbledon depot is an essential part of this work and will ensure the industry is well-equipped to meet the demands of the rail network both now and in the future."
Christian Roth, Fleet Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: "The investment we have made in partnership with the Department for Transport will completely transform the way we can carry out maintenance of our train fleet at Wimbledon depot.
"Not only is it bringing a 1970's depot right up to date with modern day facilities, but it also means that we have enhanced capability to efficiently maintain the 108 extra carriages being provided though the Government's HLOS programme.
“We already have some of the most reliable trains in the country and the £6million investment in Wimbledon depot will ensure our customers continue to benefit from trains they can rely on.”
The improvement works at Wimbledon depot have been completed by Osbornes and the refurbishment of the Class 456 trains is being carried out by Knorr-Bremse Rail Services in Wolverton.
June 30, 2014