Modernised depot to transform Great Northern rail services

Great Northern passengers are set to see a transformation in rail services with the completion of an enlarged, modernised train depot in north London, which is now one of the biggest in the UK.


The traincare centre at Hornsey in north London will house and maintain a £1 billion-worth of new train fleets and make possible a new, high intensity Thameslink service from Great Northern stations across central London to London Bridge, Gatwick and beyond as part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme.

Hornsey now boasts a new state-of-the-art maintenance building, built by Siemens using main contractor VolkerFitzpatrick, large new sidings and improved servicing for the following additional modern trains which Great Northern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will run:

  • Class 387 trains for Great Northern services between London King’s Cross and Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn (entering service now)
  • Class 700 trains for new Thameslink services across London to the south from many Great Northern stations between the capital and Peterborough and Cambridge (trains arrive on Great Northern in 2017 and begin running as Thameslink in 2018)
  • Class 717 trains for Great Northern suburban services from Welwyn Garden City, Hertford and Stevenage to and from Moorgate in the City of London (arriving late 2018)

All these trains will have air-conditioning, the latest passenger information systems, wheelchair accessible toilets and other features for passengers with disabilities.

Hornsey will also become a centre of excellence for apprenticeship schemes run there by both GTR and Siemens. Up to 20 apprentices will be trained there (by GTR and Siemens) a year in the maintenance and servicing of a range of over six classes of trains.

Gerry McFadden, engineering director for GTR, said: 
“This enlarged and modernised facility will support the biggest fleet renewal in the history of this part of the Great Northern railway and create fabulous new journeys on to an expanded Thameslink network.

The new maintenance building at Hornsey is a crucial part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme which will support the exciting new cross-London connections for passengers on much of our existing Great Northern route.

Built specifically for Siemens to maintain our new Class 700 Thameslink trains, the new building complements the improved existing depot where we care for the Great Northern fleet and together they create a centre of excellence in engineering.”

Dave Hooper, Thameslink programme director for Siemens UK, said:
“Siemens is proud to have delivered the new depot at Hornsey on time and on budget. This will be a first class, state-of-the-art train care facility for the excellent new Class 700 Thameslink trains, which will make journeys in and out of London more comfortable and more reliable for passengers.”

Rail minister Paul Maynard said:
“This new depot is another example of the enormous investment this government is making throughout the rail network. It is a major step in delivering the Thameslink Programme, which is transforming north-south travel through London, and will be used to maintain the new Thameslink trains, providing a modern, safe and accessible service for passengers.”

Chris Evans, managing director for the civil engineering division for VolkerFitzpatrick, added: 
“We are very proud to have safely delivered Hornsey depot for Siemens, after already successfully completing Three Bridges depot as part of the Thameslink Programme in 2015. We carried out the construction of this flagship project in a challenging environment with rail lines in operation on this key route into London.”