MACHYNLLETH’S train depot is celebrating 10 years of engineering excellence.
Fixing trains, fitting wifi and first in the UK with a new signalling system, it’s all in a day’s work for the Arriva Trains Wales team.
A £3m upgrade in 2007 saw the team of 10 more than treble in size to 33 and since then things have gone from strength to strength.
In the last two years alone, the number of annual journeys on the route have increased by 4,000 so that for 2016/17 there were 27,869 booked services on the line.
That is the greatest number of services in a single year since before the Beeching axe in the 1960s.
Thanks to the hard work of those at the depot, alongside the excellent work of Network Rail and train crews, performance has been consistent with an 87.3 per cent Public Performance Measure in 2016/17 (the number of trains arriving to their destination within five minutes of their schedule).
A fleet of 24 trains serving the 33 Cambrian line stations in mid Wales and Shropshire are now looked after at the depot, with eight rolling in each night for maintenance, while the team are also able to respond if trains are caught by flooding or landslides along the route.
While a depot has existed in the town for many years, previously it could only carry out basic refuelling and running repairs.
Any major work had to be carried out at the Canton depot in Cardiff, meaning trains could be away from the area much longer. Prior to the upgrade there were just 10 members of staff based in Machynlleth depot, many of whom remain and have gone on to gain new qualifications and progress within the company.
“It’s a great place to work and that’s been shown by the fact people tend to stay with us,” said head of production at Machynlleth, David Watts. “We’ve achieved a lot over the years.”
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