Posted 4th February 2009 | No Comments

£2m extension opens to await new train fleet

First Capital Connect managing director Elaine Holt joins depot manager Jason Long to declare the extension formally open.

A £2.2 million extension to First Capital Connect’s Bedford depot has been completed in readiness for the arrival of 23 new trains.

The Class 377 four-car Electrostar trains are an integral part of the £5.5 billion Thameslink Programme, which will radically increase the route’s capacity.

They will operate on a new timetable, allowing Network Rail to begin rebuilding Blackfriars station in London to take longer 12-car trains.

The Cauldwell Walk Traction and rolling stock maintenance depot will also be taking on another four Class 319 four-car units to boost Thameslink services through central London, bringing its new maintenance responsibility to a total of 436 coaches.

Built on a former ballast pit in 2004 to accommodate 43 four-coach Class 319s, the depot’s workload of Class 319s later increased to 82.

The new extension has provided a fifth covered track with centre and side pits and a door level platform to service new and existing stock.

FCC managing director Elaine Holt, who attended a formal opening of the new Cauldwell Walk extension, said: “With our contractor Fitzpatrick we completed the project to time and within budget in just eight months, despite having to work in a very constricted and intensively-used site.

“And in a welcome boost to the local economy, we’ve employed an extra 27 engineers, many from Bedford, Milton Keynes and surrounding towns.”

Have Your Say

Please read Guidance Notes for Contributors

Submitted comments are subject to approval prior to public posting. Railnews reserve the right to reject, alter or censor any submissions. Railnews also reserve the right to reproduce submissions in any format.

Railnews may, from time to time, send out marketing emails to subscribers and website users. If you would prefer not to receive these emails, please tick this box.