Allerton train maintenance depot is ready to service Northern Rail’s fleet of Northern Electrics trains after a £23m upgrade by Network Rail.
The fleet of 20 electric trains – due to be fully deployed by December 2015 – will provide 6.7m additional seats every year for Northern Rail's customers on routes between Liverpool, Manchester, Wigan, Preston and Warrington.
Located near Liverpool South Parkway on the busy Manchester to Liverpool line, the depot was acquired by Network Rail in 2011, and was transformed from its then near-derelict state to a cutting-edge maintenance facility servicing Northern Rail’s fleet of diesel trains.
As part of its North West Electrification Programme, Network Rail, supported by lead contractor Buckingham, then committed to a further package of improvements at Allerton, re-electrifying the depot (after de-electrification in 2009) to accommodate Northern Rail’s electric trains.
"Network Rail’s support through the improvement and extension of Allerton depot is vital. It means that we are not only equipped to maintain the electric trains we already have in service, but we are able to introduce even more in the coming months."
Alex Hynes, managing director of Northern Rail
"The electrification of Allerton depot is an important part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, with Network Rail investing over £1bn to improve rail services across the north.
With electrified routes between key towns and cities, passengers will benefit from bigger, better and more environmentally friendly trains. The improvements at Allerton mean these trains can now be housed and maintained to help deliver these benefits."
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail
Work on the depot started in 2014, with the improvements delivered in three phases. The first two included electrifying and extending the existing train shed to accommodate the new, longer electrified trains, as well as modernising the existing maintenance pit for improved access. New sanding equipment was also introduced – to address track adhesion problems, for example, caused by leaves and ice on the line.
Further improvements are underway to improve capacity, enabling the depot to stable up to 100 trains. These include modifications to the Hunts Cross end of the depot, with works scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
"Our investment in infrastructure is transforming the railways in the north, giving passengers better journeys and helping to build the Northern Powerhouse.
The re-electrified depot at Allerton will help us to deliver more electric trains on the Northern Rail network, expanding the fleet in the north west, and crucially, providing additional seats and capacity for customers."
Andrew Jones, Transport Minister
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We’re investing £38bn in the railway by 2019 to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.