Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin formally opened the new Three Bridges train depot in Crawley, West Sussex built by VolkerFitzpatrick for Siemens and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) today. 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 with an investment of over €408 million by Siemens and is part of Siemens’ wider investment in the UK through the Thameslink Programme.
As principle contractor, VolkerFitzpatrick undertook the construction of a five-road, 12-car maintenance building with associated stores, workshops and offices, train stabling and servicing roads on the site. Two carriage washing machines and a wheel lathe were also installed and the widening of two under bridges has also been completed as part of the work. On track works including the laying of new track, connection to the main network and signalling and overhead line installation were completed by sister company, VolkerRail.
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.
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 Summer 2016.