Northern depot upgrades enable longer trains to run between Cumbria and Manchester, improving capacity for customers

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Northern has invested in its safety, welfare and production capabilities by installing a new train fuelling and servicing facility at Barrow-in-Furness LMD. 

The new facility is essential for Northern to operate six-car Class 195 trains between Cumbria and Manchester Airport as part of the Manchester Recovery Task Force. This doubles the on-board capacity and provides more reliable services for Northern’s customers along the route. 

The new 75m servicing road means that up to three carriages can be serviced and re-fuelled simultaneously, whereas previously, the site could only service one carriage at a time. A steel canopy has been constructed to provide shelter for staff and house the new equipment, as well as upgrades to pumps and energy efficient lighting. 

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in this project for their hard work, including the support provided by our engineering team.

“The new facilities have meant that trains are able to be serviced faster, keeping them out in-service for our customers – improving reliability for the region and beyond. 

“Of the 3,000 new services a week introduced in our December 2022 timetable, 2,000 were in the North West. With this uplift, there was a need for a facility equal to that growth.” 

The work was carried out in a successful partnership with RTS Infrastructure Services 

Chris Reid, managing director at RTS Infrastructure Services Limited, said “It was a privilege to play a part in delivering the investment in the local area. I would like to personally thank the depot team for their support and proactive attitude that was fundamental in delivering the depot enhancements in a safe and timely manner.  A masterclass in teamwork and flexibility. The results demonstrate the RTS team’s capabilities to deliver large scale depot enhancement programmes while minimising impacts to depot operations.” 

Craig Wood, project manager at Northern said: “This project was delivered to very tight timescale’s and was made possible by a truly collaborative approach by all stakeholders.  Our delivery partner, Northern’s engineering and facilities team together with our project team worked closely together to implement innovative ideas to ensure that the project was delivered to schedule.”  

On Sunday 21 May, Northern’s new summer timetable comes into effect and all customers, especially those who have made regular journeys on the same train times, are advised to check before they travel. For more information, visit:

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England. 

Image credit: Northern

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