Thames­link un­veils big­ger and bet­ter Hornsey de­pot

Rail (UK) - - Network News - Philip Haigh philip.haigh@bauer­me­ @phi­la­trail Con­tribut­ing Writer

THAMES­LINK and Siemens un­veiled their new de­pot at Hornsey on De­cem­ber 13. The new fa­cil­ity, built by Volker Fitz­patrick, is where their fleet of Class 700s will be main­tained and ser­viced.

The north Lon­don site now boasts a three-road shed on the site of the old Coro­na­tion Sid­ings, as well as ex­tra sta­bling space around the ex­ist­ing de­pot.

All three com­pa­nies ac­knowl­edged the chal­lenge of keep­ing the de­pot run­ning while ex­pan­sion work took place around it, and Thames­link En­gi­neer­ing Di­rec­tor Gerry McFad­den de­scribed the new fa­cil­i­ties as fan­tas­tic. “It’s’ the most com­plex and tricky re­build pro­gramme I’ve come across - it’s a bril­liant job,” he said.

Hornsey’s south­ern site now fea­tures 14 sta­bling roads, a car­riage washer, a wheel lathe and an un­der­frame clean­ing road, in ad­di­tion to the six-road main­te­nance shed that was al­ready there. The north site has the three-road shed and a car­riage wash line. The south­ern site also fea­tures au­to­matic in­spec­tion equip­ment to check trains as they ar­rive. Train move­ments within the de­pot are con­trolled from a sin­gle panel.

Work started on site in May 2012. In ad­di­tion to the rail­way changes, it in­volved widen­ing bridges over Turn­pike Lane and New River. Track and sig­nalling was com­mis­sioned in May 2016 and con­struc­tion was com­plete in July 2016.

In con­junc­tion with Three Bridges de­pot in Sus­sex, Hornsey will main­tain Thames­link’s Class 700 units, which are ar­riv­ing from Siemens at around one per week (ei­ther in eight-car or 12-car for­ma­tions).

Hornsey will also main­tain Class 717s that will take over from 40-year-old Class 313s on in­ner-sub­ur­ban ser­vices be­tween Moor­gate and Wel­wyn Gar­den City, Hert­ford and Steve­nage. The ‘717s’ should start ar­riv­ing in late 2018 for full in­tro­duc­tion in 2019, said McFad­den.

In 2017, Class 700s will start work on Great North­ern ser­vices. Shep­reth, Mel­dreth and Fox­ton will have plat­forms ex­tended to ac­com­mo­date eight-car trains. From 2018, all 115 Class 700s (1,140 ve­hi­cles) will be in ser­vice, run­ning through Thames­link’s cen­tral core un­der au­to­matic con­trol and at up to 24 trains per hour.

Mean­while, Thames­link has just with­drawn its last Class 321s, re­placed by its first batch of Class 387s from Bom­bardier. A sec­ond batch will re­place Class 317s.

When RAIL vis­ited Hornsey on De­cem­ber 13, 700110 was be­ing pre­pared for fur­ther ATO and Euro­pean Train Con­trol Sys­tem (ETCS) tests. Thames­link had run a train un­der ATO through the cen­tral core be­tween St Pan­cras and Black­fri­ars three weeks ear­lier, said McFad­den.

He de­scribed the ‘700s’ as a leap for­ward for tech­nol­ogy and a brave train to build. He said the class was run­ning re­mark­ably well for a new train, although they had proved not to like neu­tral sec­tions (part of the over­head wires).


An aerial view over Hornsey de­pot in Oc­to­ber 2016. In the cen­tre is the orig­i­nal de­pot. At top right is the new three-road north de­pot. Run­ning from bot­tom left to top right is the East Coast Main Line. At cen­tre left is Ferme Park car­riage sid­ings...


In­side Hornsey’s north shed on De­cem­ber 13 stand Thames­link 700019, 700110 (be­ing used for ETCS tests) and 700102.

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