New £100m rail depot to be built in West Yorkshire

Proposed design for the main depot building in Shipley

A new £100m rail maintenance depot is to be built in West Yorkshire. 

Rail Minister Huw Merriman today (March 14) announced the Shipley TrainCare Centre forms part of the government’s £3.9bn investment in the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU). 

The TRU is delivering major upgrades on the 70-mile route between Manchester, Leeds and York.

With construction of the depot set to begin this year, the new maintenance facility will be home to Northern’s electric fleet of trains operating across West Yorkshire, bringing essential maintenance works closer to the centre of the north Transpennine route, leading to increased reliability for passengers.

Initially, the rail depot will be used to house and maintain Northern’s fleet of electric trains on the Airedale and Wharfedale Lines while access in and out of its Neville Hill depot in Leeds is restricted during a future phase of TRU.

Northern will keep Shipley depot open following the completion of the upgrade, with as many as 100 permanent employees.

Neil Holm, managing director of TRU, said: “We’re delighted to reveal our plans for this major investment in Shipley, demonstrating the Transpennine Route Upgrade’s commitment to supporting local communities and creating local jobs.

“This brand new depot will support rail services while we carry out essential improvements and will also leave long-lasting legacy benefits for the town going forward.”

Rob Warnes, strategic development director for Northern, added: “As the future home for most of our electric train fleets for West Yorkshire, the new site will bring a wealth of highly skilled jobs into the region, as well as providing resilience for our network across the north.

“It will play a key part in helping us to deliver our plans for the Transpennine Route Upgrade and beyond.”

The project will also provide a boost to the West Yorkshire economy by creating local employment opportunities in Bradford and surrounding towns, with the project set to hire 80% of its workforce from within a 40-mile radius of the route.

As many as 100 highly skilled jobs will be supported at the site, as well as apprenticeships, building on the hundreds of opportunities created for young people as part of the TRU so far.

History has come full circle for the site, which was originally built as a goods yard alongside the railway line between Shipley and Bradford, opened by the Leeds & Bradford Railway Company in 1846. 

For decades it handled consignments of coal and stone from the nearby Wrose Quarry - when it returns to its railway roots it will be handling clean, modern electric trains.

The depot has most recently been used as a recycling centre operated by Crossley Evans.

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