A major new £70m rail maintenance, storage and stabling depot, Doncaster Carr InterCity Express Programme Depot is under construction in a project which is progressing smoothly on schedule at Ten Pound Walk, Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
The depot will serve Hitachi Rail’s new fleet of intercity express long-distance trains operating on the East Coast Mainline network, and will provide facilities for the inspection, repair, cleaning, maintenance re-fuelling, re-watering and storage of the trains.
Once in operation, the depot will accommodate a minimum of 10 five-car trains which will stop there every night.
The design and build project for Hitachi Rail Europe, is being carried out by VolkerFitzpatrick, who have employed RPS Group as project architects.
This is considered to be an incredibly important project for Hitachi Rail Europe, as Doncaster will be the centre of excellence for the ECML IEP Fleet. It is of vital importance that the project is delivered on programme, to budget and to the highest specified quality.
The site previously occupied by the old Doncaster Carr TMD/WRD, which was operated by DB Schenker as a light maintenance yard.
The scheme involves the demolition of existing buildings and the erection and commissioning of a new 11,000m2 10-car, five road facility. To the north of the depot, a two storey office, workshop and welfare facility is being constructed and will include one raised maintenance road with roof and platform level access and monorail hoists. External elevations are in a double skinned composite insulated cladding system.
A wheel lathe is also being constructed for maintenance, and external sidings for train storage. Other buildings will include a train wash and an amenity building.
Supporting and enabling this work will be 4km of track and overhead wire, 32 turnouts, 109 OLE structures and 6.6km of drainage. Road access to the depot will also be upgraded as part of the works.
25,000 tonnes of ballast and 1,300 tonnes of steel are being used during construction, along with pre-cast concrete floor units.
300 pre-cast concrete units, each weighing nearly 13 tonnes, are being used instead of steel to support the trackwork. This pre-cast method is sturdier and ties in better with the slab foundations.
Works are progressing well on site, with all demolition and site cleansing complete. The building’s piling foundations are also complete, as is the steel frame superstructure, the roof and cladding. Internally the mechanical and electrical high level systems are now installed, and floor installation is being completed.
Challenging elements of the project include working on a site restricted by its long narrow layout, which is bordered by the East Coast Main Line to the west, a Network Rail maintenance facility to the north and a sleeper factory to the east. Site access is also very restricted, which made designing an operational workable depot very challenging.
However the site team have worked very hard and the project has remained on programme throughout, and is progressing on schedule for completion.
The project commenced in April 2014, with completion due in January 2017.
There has been a lot of interest and support from the local community, given that the site has been the centre of railway maintenance for over 150 years.
The first of Hitachi’s Class 800 series passenger trains are set to go into service on the East Coast Main Line in 2018.
The company signed a £2.7bn contract with the Government to provide 497 carriages for the London to Scotland route. They will be built in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
The Class 800 trains are set to offer 19 per cent more seats on each train, cut journey times between London, Doncaster and Edinburgh by up to 15 minutes and be more reliable.
Hitachi has also announced plans to move its global rail headquarters to the UK, further underlining the confidence in the UK economy and rail market.
Volker Kirkpatrick’s rail division has become an industry leader in rail engineering and construction work, offering a fully integrated approach that delivers efficient innovative solutions within the rail sector.
The division aim to be at the forefront of infrastructure delivery, providing high quality multi-disciplinary schemes to meet clients’ needs.
Core areas of expertise include engineering and construction, rail structures, depots and London Underground works
Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Europe, Ltd. and is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems, and maintenance depots.
Hitachi draws on many years of experience as a leading supplier of high-speed trains such as the Shinkansen (bullet train) for the Japanese and international markets.
In Europe, Hitachi Rail Europe’s first rolling stock contract was to deliver a fleet of 29 Class 395 trains, the first domestic high-speed trains in the UK, which are maintained at Hitachi’s state of the art depot in Ashford, Kent.
As part of the British Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, Hitachi Rail Europe will replace the UK’s ageing fleet of Intercity trains, and will establish a new rolling stock manufacturing facility in the UK for this purpose. The trains will be maintained and serviced in a number of new maintenance depots along the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line.