Meeting about new rail depot including wheel lathe which should ‘boost local area’

James Cartlidge MP at Sudbury station

James Cartlidge MP at Sudbury station

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Members of the public are invited to a meeting to find out more about Greater Anglia’s plans for a new rail maintenance depot on the Suffolk/Essex border.

The train company last month unveiled plans for a brand new state-of-the-art train maintenance depot on the derelict site of a former chemical works factory at Brantham, just north of Manningtree rail station.

Greater Anglia deputy managing director Mike Kean will talk about proposals for the depot at a meeting hosted by Brantham Parish Council. Greater Anglia staff will also be able to answer questions from the public about it.

The meeting is due to take place on Tuesday 7 March, at Brantham Village Hall, starting at 7pm.

The new depot will be used for stabling and light maintenance of about 20 of the brand new trains due to arrive in East Anglia from 2019.

Once open, at least 30 people will work at the multi-million-pound depot, which Greater Anglia plans to complete by December 2018.

It will include 13 tracks where trains can be parked overnight for cleaning and toilet maintenance. Two further tracks will be undercover in a 300-metre shed, with full under- train inspection pits and cranes for general train maintenance.

Covering an area of 22 acres on the north side of the existing railway, the depot will be fully electrified.

In addition, a new wheel lathe will be installed, to provide another location on the Greater Anglia network where train wheel repairs can be carried out, minimising the length of time trains are out of service. This is especially useful during autumn, when slippery conditions damage wheels.

Other facilities will include a train wash, remote train monitoring systems, a control room and spares storage.

South Suffolk MP in particular has campaigned for greater access to wheel lathes in the region after rail cancellations in autumn 2015.

Land owners St Francis Group will also clear derelict land opposite the new depot and fully landscape it.

The site is due to be cleared in March and building should begin in the summer.

Mike Kean said: “We are very excited about building this depot – the last time we built a new depot in East Anglia was in 1982. We hope it will act as a boost to the local area as well as playing a crucial part in our transformation of the railway in the region.”