Government announces new HS2 depot to be based in Leeds

A new facility in Leeds will be built for the maintenance of trains running on the HS2 network with 125 jobs to be created as a result, it has been revealed today.

The HS2 rolling stock depot will be built at Gateway 45 near the M1 and allow 24-hour maintenance of the high-speed trains running from London to Manchester and Yorkshire, according to the government. Phase 2b of the network, connecting Leeds to London via Birmingham will be completed in 2032/33 with the overall project costing £56bn to build. Trains will travel at speeds up to 250mph and reduce the journey time from Leeds to London by around 50 minutes.

It also been confirmed that The University of Leeds' new Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration will train postgraduate engineers through MSc and PhD places at the site with the hope that the site will become a hub for training the next generation. 

Commenting on the announcement, the transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “Constructing this vital depot in Leeds underlines how the benefits of HS2 drive prosperity right across the UK, with Yorkshire playing a crucial role in maintaining the new high-speed trains and delivering significantly better journeys for passengers. The depot will act as an economic catalyst, creating skilled jobs, boosting the local economy by unlocking regeneration opportunities and driving continued investment.”

The news has been welcomed by many within the region, including the leader of Leeds City Council, Judith Blake. She said: "I welcome the news that the HS2 depot will be located at Gateway 45 in Leeds. It's now important that through our continued work with HS2 and the DfT that we finalise the proposals for the University of Leeds' Institute for High Speed Rail, which will be world leading in its field, and underpin the continued success of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone."

The initial plan for HS2 starts with a line between London and the West Midlands with trains containing 1,100 seats and would run as often as 14 times per hour in each direction. The second phase involves services from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. The Department for Transport says there will be almost 15,000 seats an hour on trains between London and the cities of Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds - treble the current capacity.

Professor Lisa Roberts, deputy vice-chancellor: research and innovation at the University of Leeds, added: "The location of the HS2 rolling stock depot, combined with the new advanced testing facilities to be built as part of the University's Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration are a significant step forward for UK high speed rail capability. "They position Leeds city region as a global centre for high speed rail research and development, so we're working closely with HS2 to ensure our facilities are aligned with its needs and those of industry, so all sides can deliver for the country."

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