Wednesday 8 Jul 2020
Network Rail opens £14million facility in Doncaster after major expansion project
Network Rail marked the opening of a £14million depot in Doncaster yesterday (Tuesday, 7 July) which will bring highly skilled teams across the borough together. It will also help to boost the economy in the town which is famous for its railway history.
Work began to expand and transform the site at Marshgate, which is close to Doncaster station, in 2015. Almost 600 workers will be based at the multi-million-pound facility, which means teams can work more collaboratively on projects to maintain and improve the railway.
The development will bring the opportunity for future jobs at Network Rail. It is also more inclusive for everyone, with gender neutral facilities such as toilets and changing rooms, and lifts which mean the buildings are accessible.
Network Rail engineers have carried out work to demolish the older buildings on the site and build new, modern facilities. There are also new access roads, footpaths and car parks. Work was completed in July 2019, in partnership with Doncaster Council and Sheffield City Region, to strengthen and heighten Friarsgate Road bridge as part of the project. This means that larger vehicles can use the bridge to get in and out of the depot.
Work on the main building is now complete, but the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted some of the final stages of the project and landscaping work will continue as teams begin to use the facility. Risk assessments have been carried out to make sure workers can continue following social distancing guidelines, with some smaller buildings, which were due to be demolished, remaining to create additional space.
Speaking as he opened the facility, named Mallard House after the famous steam locomotive, Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of Network Rail said: “As an industry, we have a lot to do as we support people returning to the railway after COVID. But we have a fantastic history in Doncaster as one of the archetypal railway towns and we have a fantastic history in the name of Mallard.
“I genuinely believe that with the quality of the people we have here and these new facilities to support them, we have a fantastic future as well.”
Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail’s Eastern Region, said: “It was important for us to develop this modern £14million depot in Doncaster to celebrate the strong railway history in the town.
“Doncaster is already home to the Flying Scotsman and the National College for High Speed Rail, and this state-of-the-art facility at Marshgate will enhance both the vital work that our teams are doing in the area and the future of the railway.
“It will bring workers from depots across the area together, so that they can work collaboratively to maintain and improve the railway in the region.”
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.