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United Kingdom, 2007-May-10
A quarter of a billion pounds investment programme in rail travel for passengers in the North of England reached its pinnacle today when His Royal Highness, The Duke of York, officially opened the new Siemens train depot in York.
The opening of the £10 million depot marks the completion of the £250 million First TransPennine Express Pennine Class 185 Desiro fleet of 51 trains.
The new depot will support Siemens’ £30 million fleet maintenance facility in Ardwick, Manchester, which was opened in 2006.
Over 150 jobs have been created across both depots, which use state-of-the-art technology to maintain trains which typically travel 185,000 miles each every year across a network stretching from Liverpool in the North West to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the North East.
The introduction of the Pennine Class 185 fleet has transformed customer service on the First TransPennine Express network with 95% of passengers preferring the striking new trains to previous rolling stock.
The project is the culmination of a successful partnership between the government, fleet owner HSBC Rail, train manufacturer and maintainer Siemens Transportation Systems and service operator First TransPennine Express.
Alan Wood, UK chief executive of Siemens, said: "I welcome the major investment made in the UK rail network and new trains as illustrated by the First TransPennine Express fleet and the York depot opening today.
"By providing the infrastructure to offer a reliable, high quality rail service, we help our customers attract passengers, reducing the road congestion that can cripple our economy and damage the environment in which we live and work."
Christian Roth, managing director for Siemens Transportation Systems, said: "The completion of the fleet and opening of our York depot highlights the dedication of Siemens and its partners in delivering a high quality train supported by first class maintenance facilities. We are committed to keeping the fleet running reliably throughout the lifetime of the franchise and beyond."
Vernon Barker, managing director of First TransPennine Express, said: "The official opening of York depot marks the final phase of our successful £250m investment into new trains and depots.
"Our customers and staff are already telling us how delighted they are with the Pennine Class 185s and the depot will help us to maintain these high standards. This is a major investment for transport in the North of England and the increase in the number of passengers using our trains indicates that more people are choosing to travel by rail."
HSBC Rail (UK) Ltd finances the provision of the new trains which will be leased to First TransPennine Express during its eight-year franchise. Peter Aldridge, head of HSBC Rail, said: "The successful introduction of the Class 185s and construction of both depots is built around the close working partnership First Group and Siemens have built with us.
"This depot will help Siemens and First TransPennine Express to sustain the step change in quality of service that First TransPennine Express passengers are now experiencing. "
As the first diesel variant of the proven Siemens Desiro electric train, the 100mph Pennine Class 185 was built in Germany by Siemens and features air conditioning for passengers and crew comfort, intercity train quality seating, including a first class section, on board security cameras and easier access for disabled passengers.
The depot in York is the fifth facility built in the UK by Siemens Transportation Systems, which includes depots at Northampton, Acton in West London, Northam in Southampton and Ardwick in Manchester.
ransPennine Express run by First Group plc in partnership with Keolis SA - operates inter-city services on three main routes across the North of England:
North TransPennine - including Newcastle to Manchester Airport, Middlesbrough to Manchester Airport, Scarborough to Liverpool and Hull to Manchester Piccadilly
South TransPennine from Cleethorpes via Doncaster and Sheffield to Manchester Airport
North West from Windermere, Barrow in Furness and Blackpool North via Preston and Bolton to Manchester Airport
Destinations served by TransPennine Express include Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Northallerton, Thirsk, York, Malton, Scarborough, Hull, Leeds, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Meadowhall, Doncaster, Sheffield, Barrow in Furness, Blackpool, Lancaster, Preston, Bolton, Manchester, Manchester Airport, Warrington and Liverpool.
HSBC Rail (UK) Ltd owns approximately one third of the UK's rolling stock and provides a comprehensive range of rolling stock and management services for rail passenger and freight markets. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Bank plc, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, headquartered in the UK and a member of the HSBC Group. Serving over 125 million customers worldwide, the HSBC Group has some 10,000 offices in 82 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$1,861 billion at 31 December 2006, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as 'the world's local bank'.
iemens was established in the United Kingdom 164 years ago. The company employs 20,314 people in the UK, including about 6,500 in the manufacturing sector. Last year’s revenues were £3.5 billion, including exports of £580 million, and it spent almost £75 million on research and development. As a leading global engineering company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s major challenges, including the shortage of natural resources, increasing environmental care, and a growing demand for healthcare, mobility and security. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK, with its headquarters in Bracknell, Berkshire. The company’s global headquarters is in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.siemens.co.uk
As part of Siemens in the UK, Siemens Transportation Systems (STS) employs around 1,000 people in the UK, providing expertise in rail systems and technology to the UK rail industry. With proven capability in rail infrastructure STS is delivering a major re-signaling project in the Portsmouth area, traction power upgrades across the UK and new telecommunications systems in London and the West of England. It is also developing the GSM-R cab radio solution for the entire UK rolling stock fleet at the Rail Communication's site in Poole, Dorset.
In rolling stock, Siemens provides and maintains passenger trains for TransPennine Express, South West Trains, Heathrow Express, One Great Eastern, Northern Trains and Silverlink and Central Trains. For more information on Siemens Transportation Systems please visit www.siemenstransportation.co.uk
Images and interviews available on request
Siemens Transportation Systems
Tel: 01530 258204
Siemens Transportation Systems
Tel: 01530 258111
Tel: 01904 522122
HSBC Rail (UK) Ltd
Tel: 020 7380 5057