New state-of-the-art depot opens in Wigan

VolkerRail has built a new state-of-the-art depot in Wigan for Network Rail, creating a new facility for Northern to stable and service 24 electric and eight diesel trains, and creating 18 new jobs and apprenticeships.


Network Rail has invested £46 million into the project at Springs Branch as part of the Great North Rail Project – a vast programme of improvements to transform train travel for customers in the North.

Officially opened on Friday 7 February by the Mayor of Wigan borough, Councillor Stephen Dawber; Makerfield MP, Yvonne Fovargue; and leader of Wigan council, David Molyneux, the new facility provides more flexibility for Northern to move its trains around the network overnight in preparation for services the next day, and makes room for more trains that will meet the growth in passenger numbers, set to double over the next 25 years.

Councillor David Molyneux said: “This is a fantastic new facility for Wigan Borough, and we hope the enhanced travel experience encourages passengers to visit Wigan.”

VolkerRail’s major projects division has spent the last 20 months transforming the site – which was operational throughout the project - into a fully electrified facility, providing easy access to the electrified rail network (West Coast main line) and more flexibility for Northern to move their trains across the north.

In total the team built five new service platforms and 1,000m of walkways, installed 3,400m of new track, 2,600m of new overhead line equipment, a new train washing facility and 1,200 of track drainage.

Lauren Rodgers, project manager at Network Rail, said: “The rail industry has come together to build this £46m new train depot at Springs Branch, and we’re really happy to have created 18 jobs.

“This much-needed infrastructure will really benefit passengers, as it not only helps keep trains clean and tidy, it also creates more operational space for Northern to move units more reliably and punctually across the north west.”

VolkerRail’s operations director, Paul Jones, said: “VolkerRail is extremely proud to have led the design and construction activities that provided Network Rail with this state-of-the-art servicing depot. Managing the delivery of the scheme to meet the necessary handover milestones, whilst maintaining access for the operator, is testament to the collaborative relationship between VolkerRail, Network Rail and the depot operator. Everyone’s involvement has resulted in the development of a safe, efficient and reliable facility, to benefit passengers.”