TransPennine Express (TPE) is set to invest £7m into a new train servicing depot in Scarborough.
The facility, which is expected to open in summer 2018, will provide light maintenance services for trains between Scarborough and Liverpool Lime Street, and will create around 15 jobs.
It will maintain the 13 new, five carriage trains being introduced by the train operator, which will operate between Scarborough, York, Leeds, Huddersfield, Manchester and Liverpool from late next year.
Along with planned timetable enhancements, including new early morning departures and more services later in the day, the new, longer trains will mean an additional 700,000 seats per year for those travelling to and from Scarborough.
The investment will include enhancements made to the track itself, with a mile of brand new track being laid.
Nick Sworowski, TPE’s depots and infrastructure project manager explained that the operator is pleased to bring jobs to the area through the long-term investment.
He said: “We considered a number of sites across the wider Yorkshire area and Scarborough provides a geographically strategic site for this essential maintenance work.”
Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for Rail for North Yorkshire, welcomed the investment, adding: “Through our membership of Rail North, North Yorkshire County Council has been encouraging the rail industry and train operators to invest in the County’s rail infrastructure, to improve station facilities and to enhance the travelling experience for our residents.”
Chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership’s Infrastructure Board, David Dickson, commented: “The new jobs and investment in the depot at Scarborough are a very welcome addition to the significant upgrades that TransPennine Express is making to the capacity and quality of trains connecting Scarborough to York, Leeds and beyond.”
Councillor Joe Plant, portfolio holder for strategic planning and transformation on Scarborough Borough Council also welcomed the investment, explaining: “It will deliver skilled jobs into Scarborough and, along with new modern state of the art trains and improved timetabling, will make a significant improvement to connectivity to and from Scarborough for residents, visitors and business users.”
Construction is expected to begin in the New Year, and TransPennine Express has said that local suppliers will be used where possible.
All track works are planned for completion between January and April 2017, outside of the core charter train season.