‘Stay off the railway’ warning as high voltage cables switched on in Wigan: Overhead inspections at the Wigan Depot

Thursday 29 Aug 2019

‘Stay off the railway’ warning as high voltage cables switched on in Wigan

Region & Route:
North West & Central

Members of the public are being warned to stay off the railway as new high voltage railway equipment is switched on in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

As part of a project to redevelop the Wigan Springs Branch Depot, overhead line equipment has been installed to support the introduction of electric trains across the North West.

The electric trains are being introduced as part of the Great North Rail Project which is providing passengers with better, more reliable journeys.

Now the electricity has been switched on, residents in the area are being reminded to never trespass on the tracks as the new equipment - which carries 25,000 volts of electricity - poses an even greater risk to life and limb now it is live.

Lawrence Cheung, senior sponsor at Network Rail, said: “Safety is our priority and we are informing local people about the new equipment which will allow Northern to stable and clean their growing fleet of trains in the North West.

“Once installed, the cables are always switched on - even when there are no trains passing. It carries 25,000 volts of electricity, which can be fatal. Our message is simple – never trespass on the railway for any reason.”

Wigan Springs Branch Depot is being adapted to stable and maintain 24 electric and eight diesel trains for Northern – creating 19 jobs in the process.

Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said: “It’s fantastic to see the new depot nearing completion, bringing with it greater flexibility for train operations and, crucially, more jobs for the area.

“We’re grateful to Network Rail for the work done so far and look forward to being able to officially open the depot later in the year.”

With the number of passengers set to double in the North over the next 25 years, more depots are needed to enable the more frequent services and additional trains planned by 2020.

The location provides easy access to the electrified rail network and the £46m state-of-the-art depot will provide more flexibility for Northern to move their trains across the region overnight in preparation for services the next day. It will be brought into use from December 2019.

For more information about railway safety visit networkrail.co.uk/safety-in-the-community.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100

About Network Rail

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk