Manchester International Depot
Manchester International Depot is a train maintenance depot in Manchester, England. It was constructed next to the Longsight depot in the early 1990s as part of a plan to operate Eurostar international train services to locations in the United Kingdom beyond London, known as Regional Eurostar.
By the time that Eurostar services became operational through the Channel Tunnel in 1994 it was decided that regional Eurostar services from Manchester (via the West Coast Main Line) and Glasgow (via the East Coast Main Line) to Paris and Brussels were not economic to run due to their long journey times compared to air travel: 800 km Manchester-Paris and 1,230 km Glasgow-Paris. However the depots and trains had all but been completed by this time and trial runs operated on both main lines.
The Manchester International Depot, with signs saying "Le Eurostar habite ici" and other Eurostar branding, stood empty and unused for almost ten years. Unlike the majority of the British railway network it does not belong to Network Rail but to London & Continental Stations and Property (LCSP), a subsidiary of London and Continental Railways who also jointly operate the current Eurostar service with SNCF and NMBS/SNCB via their subsidiary Eurostar (U.K.) Ltd.
The future of regional Eurostar operations is still unclear. However, in 2005 Siemens began using the depot, rented from LCSP, as a testing base for their new Class 185 DMUs for TransPennine Express until their own Siemens Ardwick traincare facility dedicated depot at had been completed. In 2011, it was reported that London & Continental Railways still own the Manchester site.
In January 2013, it was announced that an extended Manchester Piccadilly on the north side of the station would be the new terminus for High Speed 2 - as opposed to the south side where the disused Manchester Mayfield station is. A 7.5 mile tunnel would be built under the dense districts of south Manchester to minimise disruption. This tunnel will surface south of the A57 Hyde Road on the current site of the International Depot.
- "Taxpayers are funding rail depot for trains that only run in France". The Independent. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-07.