Contracts have been signed for work to start on a new train maintenance depot at Exeter, part of a wider programme of improvements to increase rail capacity in the South West, including new and refreshed trains and station improvements.
In partnership with Network Rail and the Department for Transport, train operator GWR is expanding its existing Exeter Olds View Depot train maintenance facility in Exeter to accommodate an increase in its fleet size in the Devon and Cornwall area which will lead to more seats, and more frequent services.
Construction work is due to start this spring and be completed by early summer 2019.
GWR Regional Development Manager West, Matt Barnes explains:
“With brand new electric trains in operation on suburban London services and bi-mode Intercity Express Trains coming to the mainline in Devon and Cornwall this summer, this depot will allow us to expand the regional train fleet at Exeter – providing more carriages, and more frequent services to the area.”
The new depot is situated alongside existing facilities next to Exeter St. Davids station and will provide enhanced modern servicing, cleaning and maintenance facilities necessary to support these trains. The plans include office and welfare facilities for staff and the depot is designed to provide improved facilities for train maintenance.
HOCHTIEF (UK) has been appointed to carry out the works. Managing Director, Lawrence Jackson said:
“HOCHTIEF (UK) is a major supplier of rail infrastructure in the Western Region and is delighted to be supporting GWR in delivering the new depot at Exeter Olds View. Our business will work in collaboration with the project team to provide an essential part of rail fleet improvements.
“The project will provide local employment and training through apprenticeships to provide a legacy from the construction work and the project team will liaise with local schools and colleges to inspire the next generation of construction workers.”
New electric trains in London and Thames Valley area, and new Intercity Express Trains across the GWR mainline network will enable GWR to provide significant improvements in capacity on mainline, regional and local suburban services.
These changes are part of the wider franchise improvements that GWR is delivering, including the largest fleet upgrade that the Great Western network will see in a generation.