GWR set to improve sleeper train service to London with new £20m Penzance depot

Work is under way to improve the sleeper train service between Cornwall and London.

Great Western Railway is looking to improve its service with a new £20million depot at Long Rock in Penzance.

The new enhancement scheme being built by the Spencer Group for GWR is expected to be completed by December 2017.

Richard Watson, project manager with Spencer Group, said the work was part of a commitment to the South West as part of an £80million ‘national strategic investment strategy for 2017 and beyond’.

Mr Watson said work on the Long Rock two-load shed maintenance facility, started in July 2016 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The £20million Penzance depot is party of an £80m commitment the subcontractor firm has pledged to the South West with planning permission being sought for a new £40million site in Exeter, further work in Plymouth and further work planned for the Tamar bridge.

Andrew Parkinson, group director of strategy and innovation at the Spencer Group said: “The South West is a key region for growth and investment so we are expanding our portfolio here for the long-term, creating jobs, encouraging wider inward investment and playing our part in boosting the local economy.

“Buying local is a big priority for us wherever we are operating, as we are keen to make sure that our work carries a positive impact throughout the community and region we are working in.

“We’re proud to say that of the total staff used on one of our projects in the South West, the Penzance Depot Enhancement Works, 96% were local workers.”

A spokesman for GWR said: “The depot at Long Rock is being modernised as per a package of improvements for Cornwall announced two and half years ago.

“The depot modernisation will allow for improved facilities to continue to maintain an improved sleeper service – the first of these new sleeper carriages came into service a month or so ago, with the rest coming into service throughout the course of this year.

“The improved facilities will also allow us more opportunity to ‘stable’ trains overnight, clean and re-tank them, helping us to achieve an enhanced Cornish mainline service.”