Latest News | 15 March 2022

Train operator announces £35m investment in Derby depot

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East Midlands Railway has announced that its Derby depot is to undergo a £35 million upgrade in readiness for its new train fleet.

The train operator has said its Etches Park site is to undergo the revamp so it can accommodate its new Aurora bi-mode fleet.

The work, which is largely funded by rolling stock company RockRail, will be delivered in two phases.

The first phase involves upgrading the site so it can accommodate the new trains, while the second phase involves the construction of new train cleaning areas, replacement offices and staff facilities at the sites’ South Shed.

Lisa Angus, transitions and projects director at EMR, said: “These massive improvements to Etches Park are great news for the city of Derby and the customers we serve.

“Using the latest technology and techniques, we will be able to operate our new Aurora fleet as efficiently as possible, while also maintaining specialist engineering jobs in the city for decades to come – helping to cement Derby’s proud railway heritage.”

The first phase of works, which will cost £15 million, is being undertaken by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd (Buckingham).

It will involve reconfiguring the current track layout at the site – helping to improve operational flexibility and greater train movements across the depot.

Alongside these works, the North Shed, where trains are maintained at the depot, will also be extended and a new electric overhead line will be fitted so the new bi-mode fleet can easily be tested.

A new carriage wash system will be built at the site, all fuelling and servicing equipment will be upgraded, and the depots’ fuel road will be extended to accommodate longer trains.

New technology will play a key role in the future of the depot, including the use of a new Vehicle Equipment Monitoring System.

This system feeds back numerous levels of detailed data to EMR so it can quickly monitor its trains in real-time – helping to plan preventative maintenance at the depot and leading to an enhanced performance of its trains.

When they enter service in 2023, the Aurora trains will offer significant advances on EMR’s existing fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors.

The trains, which will have the ability to run on overhead electric lines, will have air conditioning, free wifi throughout, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.

Lisa said: “Everyone at EMR is very excited to begin operating our new Aurora trains for our customers in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire and these new improvements are another important step on our journey to bring the new trains to the regions we serve.”

Elaine Clark, chief executive of Rail Forum Midlands, said: “It is great to see the preparations for the arrival of the Aurora fleet taking shape with the investment in the Etches Park Depot in Derby.

“This is great news, not just for passengers and EMR, but also for ensuring skilled jobs are retained and helping to encourage further investment for the city.”

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