Spencer Group helps the UK’s rail network prepare to service the next generation of high-speed trains

Working with partners across a wide range of rail projects has always been an important part of our work at Spencer Group. Through 2016 and 2017 we look forward to completing upgrades to depots across the UK.

A key part of our strategic plan is to continue our growth in the rail depot market, delivering highly efficient and successful projects around the UK.

Spencer Group have always held a strong presence in this space, however within the last 2 years we have excelled in supporting the rail operators’ ability to service the country’s new high-speed trains.

In light of the recent announcement made by Transport Minister Chris Grayling, changes to the way the railway will be managed has introduced new opportunities for Train Operating Companies (TOC’s) to take more ownership of the rail infrastructure.

Spencer Group has developed an excellent track record of designing, modifying and upgrading a number of important depots around the UK, to meet increased demands of the train operating companies.

2016 has seen us develop a fantastic relationship with Great Western Railways, working on two important depots in preparation for HS2:

  • At Reading Depot, we are delivering a brand new wheel lathe facility alongside additional track modifications;
  • At Penzance Depot, enhancements include the building of an extension with staff accommodation facilities.

Throughout the year we have also been modifying a number of other depots that will service Hitachi 800 biofuel trains for the Government’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

Our teams have designed, built and are installing enhanced fuelling systems and servicing aprons for the depots, which will power the trains that are set to take over from the InterCity 125. These depots have included the Craigentinny Depot, linked to Edinburgh Waverley, Doncaster and Heaton Depots respectively. The latter receiving significant praise.

Steffan Thrower from Hitachi said:

“The quality and safety of the work Spencer Group carry out has been excellent throughout, and I’d like to pass on my personal thanks to the hard efforts of your project team, particularly in coordinating the day to day work activities with Virgin Trains which I’m very aware has been challenging to the programme.”


Alister Reid from Virgin Trains said:

“Please pass on my thanks to the team who delivered the construction works at Craigentinny Depot. It had the potential to have a major impact on VTEC’s ability to provide a service had it gone wrong. Fortunately, as with all other high risk activities on this project, the communication between VTEC and Spencer has proved to be a key element to objectives being delivered on target, with no impact to VTEC’s ability to provide a service.

One of the things we are most proud of is our ability to keep all rail services 100 percent operational whilst upgrading the Depots. We feel this is where we excel, in working flexibly and collaboratively with partners to avoid disruption to the UK’s railway.

2017 will see us continue focusing on Rail depots with a recent win for Neville Hill Rail Depot, in Leeds. The capacity of the depot needs to be enlarged with a significant platform extension to take the new larger trains.


Andy Parkinson, Spencer Group Strategy Director added:

With many other opportunities in the pipeline, it’s clear that our focus in this market is paying off as we are seen as the ‘go to’ company for depot enhancements. Our expertise in this space is second to none and we look forward to becoming market leader.


For more information, please contact us at depots@cspencerltd.co.uk

New Cross Gate Depot Extension Timelapse