Crossrail Test Centre
One of the biggest investments in the history of the Derby Litchurch Lane site has taken place, in the form of a new facility which forms a fundamental part of Bombardier’s current and future train build projects.
Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation unveiled its exciting new Testing and Commissioning facility at its UK design and manufacturing site in Derby, back in May.
The state-of-the-art facility was officially opened by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Right Honourable Patrick McLoughlin, MP, in a ceremony held on Friday 13th May, attended by senior rail industry representatives.
Speaking at the launch event, Mr McLoughlin commented:
“I am delighted to open this new testing and commissioning facility in Derby, which will ensure passengers benefit from cutting edge trains with improved capacity and comfort.
“The government is making a record investment in our railways and it is fantastic to see firms such as Bombardier, who are delivering a £1billion contract for Crossrail as well as London Overground, make the most of the opportunities this brings. This new facility will help secure jobs in Derby, at the heart of the UK rail industry and help to drive the Midlands engine for growth.”
Four train roads can take trains up to 250m in length as part of the facility’s features, with the site as a whole measuring over 10,000 square metres. Each train road has full length overhead lines and vehicle servicing and inspection pits, and is fully accessible by rail at both ends, connecting it to the existing test track and production facilities, also incorporating a two storey annexe with space for up to 90 employees.
The facility can be configured for both initial engineering type-testing on multiple trains and for final acceptance testing and validation.
Paul Bodhill, the project’s director at CPMG Architects, said:
“This was a major project that we are proud to be involved in. Work to build the test centre started on site early last year and now it’s great to see the functional and modern building that will have a huge impact on the UK’s rail network complete.
“Bombardier’s £1 billion contract with the national rail giant meant that a new building was needed to accommodate the construction of 66 planned new trains for the UK’s developing rail network. New features for these trains include air-conditioned, Wi-Fi and 4G enabled carriages with the capacity to transport 1,500 train users.”
International infrastructure group Balfour Beatty created the V shop facility which has formed part of Bombardier’s existing Litchurch Lane plant. Construction commenced in December 2014, with the investment doubling Bombardier’s testing and commissioning capability at its Derby site and builds on its established presence of over 3000 staff based at more than 20 sites across the UK.
Andy Ward, Director of Operations at Balfour Beatty, said:
“We are delighted that the new V Shop facility has been completed for our customer Bombardier Transportation. The successful delivery of the scheme was a direct result of the close collaborative work between Bombardier, Balfour Beatty, CPMG Architects, Scott Hughes Structural Engineers, and our other design and build supply chain partners.”
Richard Hunter, Managing Director of Bombardier Transportation UK, said:
“This new £12million facility is one of the biggest investments in the history of our Derby site and V Shop is a fundamental part of both our current projects and future train builds, enhancing our ability to deliver all the stages of a new train product from a single UK site. It increases our capacity to deliver high volume orders within short timescales, ensuring we meet the future requirements of the UK market.”
Forming part of an overall £20million investment by Bombardier, the new addition supports future deliveries and the new trains which are being constructed at present for Transport for London’s new Elizabeth line (Crossrail) service. V Shop will initially be used for testing and commissioning the fleet of 66 Class 345 EMUs for the Crossrail project, based on giving a length of over 200 metres for a complete trainset and the new facility will enable the 9-car trainsets to be tested complete, without the need to separate them.