Wigan Train Depot Location

Wigan chosen as site for £46m train depot

Network Rail has started converting a freight yard in Wigan into a £46m train depot, to maintain 24 electric and eight diesel trains.

With the number of passengers set to double in the North over the next 25 years, Network Rail said more depots are needed to enable the more frequent services and additional trains planned by 2020.

The depot will be locating at Springs Branch railway sidings in Ince-in-Makerfield.

The location provides access to the electrified rail network and the depot will provide more flexibility for Northern to move its trains across the North overnight in preparation for services the next day. The depot will be brought into use from December 2019.

Lauren Jones, scheme project manager at Network Rail said: “At Springs Branch sidings, we’re investing £46m to enhance an existing site by the West Coast main line by building brand new train maintenance facilities for Northern.

“This brand new depot, which forms part of the Great North Rail Project, not only delivers a jobs boost for Greater Manchester, but the facilities it will provide will help transform passenger journeys across the north.”

Ben Ackroyd, engineering director at Northern, said: “The new maintenance depot is a key part of our wider modernisation programme.

“By 2020 we will have retired all Pacers, refurbished our entire fleet and, of course, will have introduced our brand new electric and diesel trains. We will need state-of-the-art facilities to look after these trains and Springs Branch is a key part of this.”

The development will see the installation of new overhead line equipment to power the electric trains. It will also include staff accommodation, train washing and fuelling capabilities.

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It seems convenient that the story omits the devastating effect that this scheme will have on local wildlife. green-space and residents. I am a resident myself and already preliminary work begun by Northern has decimated nearby woodland and destroyed a huge area of green fields that are home to 20-30 much loved local rescue horses that have been a feature here for generations. They are currently still wondering their fields that are now a quagmire as Huge Heavy Plant Machinery tears around them destroying their home. It is only time before one of these poor animals is killed. NO consultation with residents has been conducted and local councilors have denied even having knowledge of what is going on development wise yet it is on their Council website. Felling of great old trees on a massive scale has taken place with no regard for ecological damage. It is an utter disgrace and another example of Networks utter contempt of local people. Remember, this is only preliminary works, wait until the actual construction begins, residents lives are going to be a misery.

By Steve Ashall