Spencer Group M&E was selected by Northern as its delivery partner for the building and facilities upgrade project to bring the maintenance depot back to life.
The depot was built in the early 1990s as part of a plan to operate international Eurostar train services from Manchester to Europe via the Channel Tunnel. However, the plan never came to fruition and the depot has remained underused.
It has been used by a variety of train firms over the years for commissioning new fleets, but not as an active, working depot.
Now, Spencer Group has delivered extensive upgrades which will enable Northern to use the depot as a vital servicing and stabling facility for its fleet of trains. It will accommodate Northern’s new Class 323 electric units, supporting services in the Manchester area.
The extra stabling capacity at the upgraded depot, which features two roads, two sets of tracks and a 300m-long storage facility, will also alleviate congestion at other depots, further improving services.
Spencer Group removed all redundant and life-expired equipment. We self-delivered elements of the £1.8m project including the installation of bespoke Control Emission Toilet (CET) facilities, energy efficient LED lighting, heating ventilation and air conditioning, CCTV and a new fire alarm system.
Dan Whittle, Operations Director (M&E) at Spencer Group, said:
"We’re delighted to have completed these major upgrade works to Manchester International Depot on behalf of our client, Northern.
This project is an example of Spencer Group providing a complete solution which meets our client’s needs. We’ve taken it from feasibility to implementation and completion utilising our in-house design capabilities. We’ve also developed and installed a bespoke CET system ourselves, based on extensive research.
Our skillset means we can deliver projects like this in their entirety. We’re adaptable and flexible too, meaning we’re able to tailor our delivery to the client’s needs.”
David Manifold, Principal Design Engineer at Spencer Group, said:
"We’ve worked in close collaboration with Northern from the very first stages of this project, providing detailed designs for all their requirements.
We’ve also been able to identify and implement maintenance and energy saving improvements throughout the design process, ensuring the depot will be a modern, fit-for-purpose facility.
These works are a further demonstration of Spencer Group’s wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary capabilities to deliver projects like this from start to finish."
Northern and Network Rail are also planning to re-energise the depot’s overhead electric wires.
Craig Wood, Northern's Project Manager, said:
"These works to upgrade Manchester International Depot will have a positive impact on services across the region.
We’ve worked with Spencer Group before and they have an outstanding reputation across the industry for their professionalism and the quality of their work.
They’re extremely focused on safety, which is clearly of paramount importance in the rail industry, and we’ve been really impressed with their work."