Manchester train servicing depot brought back to life by Spencer Group

Manchester International Depot has been transformed into a modern train servicing and stabling facility, thanks to major upgrade works by Spencer Group.

Manchester International Depot has been transformed into a modern train servicing and stabling facility, thanks to major upgrade works by Spencer Group.

The multi-disciplinary engineering company was selected by Northern as its delivery partner for the £1.8m building and facilities upgrade project, to bring the maintenance depot back to life.

The depot was built in the early 1990s as part of a plan to operate international Eurostar train services from Manchester to Europe via the Channel Tunnel.

However, the plan never came to fruition and the depot remained underused.

The depot has been used by a variety of train firms over the years for commissioning new fleets, but never reached the status of being an active, working depot - until now.

Northern will now use the depot as a vital servicing and stabling facility for its fleet of trains.

Dan Whittle, Spencer Group’s operations director (M&E), said the company was delighted with the completion of the project, which is an example of Spencer Group providing a “complete solution” for its clients.

“We’ve taken it from feasibility to implementation and completion utilising our in-house design capabilities,” he said.

Hull-based Spencer Group removed all redundant and expired equipment as part of the project and self-delivered elements such as the installation of bespoke Control Emission Toilet (CET) facilities, energy efficient LED lighting, heating ventilation and air conditioning, CCTV and a new fire alarm system.

Mr Whittle said the depot’s bespoke CET system involved extensive research by Spencer Group, before they could carry out the full installation.

“Our skillset means we can deliver projects like this in their entirety,” he said. “We’re adaptable and flexible too, meaning we’re able to tailor our delivery to the client’s needs.”

David Manifold, Spencer Group’s principal design engineer, said the team worked in close collaboration with Northern from the outset, providing detailed designs for all their requirements.

He added: “We’ve also been able to identify and implement maintenance and energy saving improvements throughout the design process, ensuring the depot will be a modern, fit-for-purpose facility.

“These works are a further demonstration of Spencer Group’s wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary capabilities to deliver projects like this from start to finish.”

The newly improved depot will accommodate Northern’s new Class 323 electric units, supporting services in the Manchester area.

The extra stabling capacity at the upgraded depot, which features two roads, two sets of tracks and a 300m-long storage facility, will also alleviate congestion at other depots, further improving services.

Northern and Network Rail are also planning to re-energise the depot’s overhead electric wires.

Craig Wood, Northern’s project manager, said: “These works to upgrade Manchester International Depot will have a positive impact on services across the region.”

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