New sleeper factory to open in Doncaster
July 21, 2012
A new factory to be built in Doncaster will produce hundreds of thousands of concrete sleepers for Network Rail’s programme of track improvement works.
Owned by Network Rail, the factory will be built and operated on the former Woodyard site near Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster.by new consortium, Trackwork Moll.
Doncaster Council agreed planning permission for the new building in June, a formal agreement between Network Rail and Trackwork Moll has been signed, construction was due to start as Rail Professional went to press, with full production to begin in spring 2013.
Just two suppliers currently produce concrete sleepers in Britain – one of which has given notice of planned plant closure – so Network Rail decided to seek a build and supply contractor in 2009. Trackwork Moll won the tender and the scheme received board approval in spring of last year.
Director of Network Rail’s national delivery service, Martin Elwood, said: ‘This factory is crucial if we are to deliver better value for money whilst maintaining a safe, reliable railway. We need around 700,000 concrete sleepers each year and this factory will produce about 400,000 of those. It will also create around 30 new jobs, with knock-on benefits to the local supply chain.’
As well as protecting vital track programme supplies, this strategic Network Rail decision to site the factory in a central location – in sidings already used as an engineering train hub – will make UK distribution easier and more efficient and, reducing costs by increasing competition and introducing more modern production methods, added Elwood.