£40m Thameslink Programme railway cleaning facility opens
26 January 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
A new £40 million railway cleaning facility has opened in Cricklewood, north London, as part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme.
The new yard, which also features a drive-through train wash, is already cleaning trains on the busy Thameslink route between Bedford, London and Brighton. It will also be used by Thameslink’s new Class 700 trains when they are introduced this spring, and will play a vital part in running the programme’s new intensive train service.
Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme director Simon Blanchflower said: “Everything the Thameslink Programme does is about improving journeys for passengers and this new facility will make a real difference.
“We have turned a disused piece of railway land into a first-class railway facility”
“We have turned a disused piece of railway land into a first-class railway facility that will play a crucial part in what will be one of the country’s most intensive main line train services.”
The facility was constructed by contractors Carillion with site operator Thameslink and Network Rail on the site of disused rail lines not far from the existing depot. The site includes a new train wash, toilet emptying facilities and walkways for staff to remove rubbish from trains.
According to Network Rail, once the Thameslink Programme introduces a 24 trains per hour train service from Blackfriars to St Pancras International in 2018, it is expected that staff at the Cricklewood sidings will remove one tonne of rubbish from trains every day.
Thameslink Programme railway facility will remove one tonne of rubbish from trains every day
Keith Wallace, Projects Director at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “These sidings are a crucial part of our plans to modernise Thameslink services to give our passengers new, spacious trains starting this spring and, from 2018, more frequent services at all our stations between Bedford and London.
“The facility is state-of-the-art and a credit to Network Rail and the Thameslink Programme team. Our 26 staff on site are already using them to keep trains clean.”
MP for Hendon Matthew Offord, who opened the sidings on Friday, said: “I am delighted that the Government’s sponsorship of the Thameslink Programme is contributing to this new facility at Cricklewood. When completed, this investment will provide a much-needed modern and efficient train service for all users of the Thameslink line including my constituents in Edgware, Hendon and Mill Hill.”