Train carriages that have carried millions of passengers are being put to new use inspiring the next generation of rail engineers.
Three former Heathrow Express carriages, which ran for 25 years between central London and Heathrow Airport, have been moved to Siemens Mobility’s new rail manufacturing site in Goole.
When in service, the units were known for their industry-leading passenger experience and luxurious interiors and clocked up some three million miles in service each year. They will now be fitted out for use as a facility for training apprentices and hosting schoolchildren and other visitors and have been rebranded with information about the Goole investment and Siemens Mobility’s work at the forefront of the UK rail industry.
As a business employing thousands of essential workers that have supported critical national infrastructure through the pandemic, Siemens Mobility has also designed one carriage with thank you messages to the NHS for helping the country through the Covid-19 challenges.
Sambit Banerjee, managing director rolling stock and customer services for Siemens Mobility in the UK, said: “These trains, which were part of a fleet that carried six million travellers a year, have come to the end of their passenger life but now have an important new role as part of our Goole rail village.
“They will form the perfect backdrop for our apprentices to learn new skills, for schoolchildren to be inspired to be part of a new pipeline of talent for the rail industry, and for other visitors to appreciate the latest digital technologies that are revolutionising the rail network.
“A group of our talented young graduates and apprentices are working on plans to design and equip the trains for their new use and we’re looking forward to visitors experiencing them in the future.”
He added: “A huge thank you to Aura Brand Solutions, who ‘wrapped’ the carriages on our behalf to turn our vision into reality.”
Siemens Mobility’s investment of up to £200 million in the Goole facility will create up to 700 direct jobs, with a further 250 roles during the construction phase and an additional 1,700 indirect supply chain opportunities. The new train factory is scheduled to open in 2023 when it will begin manufacturing state-of-the-art Tube trains for the Piccadilly line on the London Underground. It will be complemented by a neighbouring research, development and innovation cluster and co-located supplier facilities.