The new HS2 rolling stock depot that will maintain and service high speed trains will be built in Leeds, the Transport Secretary has confirmed.
In a statement to Parliament, Chris Grayling revealed that the depot will be located on a site close to Aire Valley, adjacent to the M1, to the east of Leeds.
This is in a slightly different location than originally planned; the previously proposed site near Crofton, east of Wakefield, had to be scrapped because of operational and community concerns following the announcement of the M18/eastern route decision.
Alternative plans were drawn up as part of a consultation and the decision to relocate close to the Aire Valley has been made with local development plans on the wider site in mind.
HS2’s decision to place its rolling stock depot in the area will help Yorkshire become a thriving hub, creating prosperity and productivity on the enterprise zone site, and ultimately attracting new investment for the region.
The rolling stock depot will deliver vital 24-hour maintenance of the high speed trains, resulting in faster journeys on the East Coast mainline.
The construction of the depot – and its vital work once completed – are part of HS2’s commitment to create in excess of 100,000 new jobs and 2,000 apprentices, while the National Colleges for High Speed Rail in Doncaster and Birmingham will both train 1,200 students a year at full capacity.
And Mr Grayling, when confirming the location of the depot, said it will be an “economic catalyst” for the region.
He said: “Constructing this vital depot in Leeds underlines how the benefits of HS2 drive prosperity right across the UK, with Yorkshire playing a crucial role in maintaining the new high speed trains and delivering significantly better journeys for passengers.
“The depot will act as an economic catalyst, creating skilled jobs, boosting the local economy by unlocking regeneration opportunities and driving continued investment.
“This ensures Leeds will not only see immediate benefits when HS2 arrives, but will see Yorkshire become a thriving hub for training the engineers that HS2 and future major projects will need.”
It is another important step in the infrastructure project that has made real progress since Royal Assent was granted.