Manchester International Depot
The depot building, seen from a passing train
|Location||Longsight, Greater Manchester, England|
|Owner(s)||London & Continental Railways|
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 Regional Eurostar international train services from Manchester to Europe via the Channel Tunnel.
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: 500 mi (800 km) Manchester-Paris and 760 mi (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 & Property (LCSP), a subsidiary of London & Continental Railways.
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 its new Class 185 DMUs for First TransPennine Express, until its own 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 mi (12.1 km) 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.
In May 2018, Construcciones Auxiliares y Ferrocarilles sub-let the depot from LCSP in conjunction with Alstom for use in testing Transpennine Express rolling stock in conjunction with Freightliner. Mark5a coaching stock along with Class 68 locomotives on hire from Direct Rail Services were based at the depot with further testing activity on Class 397 EMU's being undertaken later in 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Longsight International TMD.|
- "The all-time guide to UK Shed and Depot Codes" (PDF). TheRailwayCentre.com. 5 May 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "Taxpayers are funding rail depot for trains that only run in France". The Independent. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-07.