Greater Anglia has opened new sidings just outside Norwich station to help store its new trains when they’re not in service.
The sidings are next to the mainline just outside Norwich station. There are four new tracks with enough space to hold up to four 12-carriage trains.
The first Greater Anglia train to use the new facility entered the sidings on Tuesday 3 March.
Greater Anglia is replacing all of its old trains with 169 brand-new state of the art trains and the new sidings create extra space to keep them – which is needed as there are more carriages in the fleet as a result of the £1.4 billion new trains investment programme.
Greater Anglia directly managed the project, in the franchise’s biggest infrastructure scheme to date, with the company’s project management, engineering and commercial teams delivering the works, alongside principal contractor Keltbray.
The project was also carried out in close collaboration with Network Rail’s Asset Protection team.
Ian McConnell, Greater Anglia franchise and programmes director, said: ‘It was great to see the first train enter Norwich Victoria sidings. These sidings will help us to improve the reliability of our service and make maintenance and cleaning of our trains much easier.’
The design and build contract took just over nine months to complete, starting in May 2019 with construction works being completed over the weekend of 29 February – 1 March.
During the project, old sidings were removed, the site was re-levelled and four new tracks were installed.
Three new sets of points were installed and an existing set of points on the mainline at the entrance to the sidings underwent heavy maintenance, to be brought back into use for the first time in 15 years.
Over Christmas and January, new overhead line structures and wires were installed.
The project also included associated signalling works, such as moving the exit signal, upgrading an adjacent mainline signal and other related works.
In addition to the sidings, a new shunter’s cabin has been provided, as well as drivers’ walkways with bollard lighting and CCTV.
A new compound area with three parking spaces and an accommodation building with an office for the site security and welfare facilities for drivers and shunters has been created next to the sidings.
As part of the wider investment programme to prepare the network for its new trains, Greater Anglia has also been redeveloping its Crown Point train maintenance depot and has recommissioned the Wensum sidings adjacent to the depot.
The retention of train servicing facilities for maintenance, repair, cleaning and stabling of trains in Norwich is good news for the local economy in Norfolk, as it means those jobs, resources and local support services linked to train maintenance are retained in the city.