Transport for London (TfL) has opened a new rail depot at Old Oak Common in a bid to support Elizabeth line operations, which are scheduled to launch in December this year.
The new depot will be able to accommodate and maintain up to 42 of the Elizabeth line’s 70 new trains at a time.
The depot will coordinate the new TfL Rail services from Paddington to Heathrow, which is set to begin later this month.
TfL Rail and the Elizabeth line operations director Howard Smith said: “It’s great to see the progress that has been made at Old Oak Common since work began four years ago.
“Our new depot will not only allow us to introduce our new TfL Rail service from Paddington to Heathrow Airport this month, but it will also be home to the new Elizabeth line train fleet.
“Old Oak Common will be vital in helping us to maintain our 70 brand new trains over the years to come.”
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More than 30% of the new depot will be powered by renewable energy systems to control the temperature of the main depot building.
TfL reported that these environmentally conscious measures means the depot will annually produce 500t of CO2 less than if it were to exclusively use conventional energy sources.
The depot was developed Taylor Woodrow, the civil engineering division of VINCI Construction UK.
It has 33 stabling roads and nine roads for the heavy maintenance of wheels, motors and other rail components.
Furthermore, it is equipped with a train wash facility to regularly deep-clean the vehicles.
The Elizabeth line will be operated by MTR Crossrail on TfL’s behalf.
Most of the Elizabeth line drivers are now based at Old Oak Common to complete their training using simulators.