Eurostar's £400 million train maintenance depot opens in East London

2 Oct 2007

--World class depot for Eurostar's 27-strong train fleet--State-of-the art facilities will dramatically improve efficiency--Depot is vital for Eurostar's move to St Pancras International and the launch of services on High Speed 1 on 14 November
Eurostar's new UK depot, Eurostar Engineering Centre Temple Mills will be officially opened by Tom Harris MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport today (Tuesday 2 October 2007).
Situated in Leyton in East London, the Temple Mills depot is directly connected to the new dedicated 186mph line, High Speed 1, which will slash journey times between London and Paris/Brussels by at least 20 minutes.
Eurostar Engineering Centre Temple Mills replaces Eurostar's current UK depot North Pole International near White City in West London. Whilst North Pole has been an outstanding facility where the Eurostar fleet has been maintained for the last 13 years, it is inaccessible to High Speed 1.
Temple Mills is designed to meet the specific requirements of high-speed trains. With eight 400-metre tracks inside the depot shed, Eurostar trains will no longer have to be split in half for maintenance or continually shunted around the depot – saving at least two hours per train visit.
A first-of-its-kind, fail-safe protection system will also keep Eurostar staff safe while they work on the trains. Staff will switch from the effective but time inefficient padlock system to use swipe cards with PINs, so their personal safety and location can be assured at all times.
In addition, there are many other innovative features at Temple Mills, such as a bi-directional carriage washer and automatic wheel-condition monitoring equipment that largely replaces conventional, time-consuming manual techniques.
Eurostar Chief Executive Richard Brown said: "Temple Mills will further improve the efficiency of maintaining our fleet. A feat of civil and railway engineering, Temple Mills is a truly world class depot, which has been finished on time and on budget. It is a remarkable achievement and a symbol of the sheer hard work and determination of all involved."
Tom Harris MP said: "The Government fully funded the Eurostar Engineering Centre Temple Mills as part of its commitment to support the building of High Speed 1, the UK's first high speed line.
"With its state-of-the-art facilities for the maintenance of Eurostar trains, the depot at Temple Mills is the final piece of infrastructure needed to keep the high speed train fleet running smoothly and seamlessly once Eurostar moves to St Pancras International next month."
Notes to editors
1. Eurostar Engineering Centre Temple Mills was designed by architect Anthony Leslie and built by Union Railways, Rail Link Engineering and their contractors under the auspices of London and Continental Railways.
2. Eurostar's Engineering Centre Temple Mills is the main facility where all servicing, heavy maintenance and repair work of Eurostar trains will be undertaken in the UK from 13 November 2007. It is located 10 minutes Eurostar running time from St Pancras International. The depot is designed to house eight full trains, each 400m in length. The overall dimensions of the eight road shed are approximately 435m long by 54m wide, with a floor to ceiling height of approximately 12m. Adjoining the main shed are a number of workshops, offices and the main administration building, along with a huge stores and materials shed. The depot is a 24 hour, 365 day operation and is staffed accordingly.
Key features of the depot include:
- Inter-road spacing (6.5m v 5.8m) providing good working room for staff undertaking servicing/maintenance activities.- Fully fitted with an automated overhead electrification system.- Bogie Drop design allows two trains to be worked on simultaneously.- Toilet discharge equipment allows two trains to be cleaned simultaneously.- Carriage wash is bi-directional – trains can be washed when moving in either direction.- Fully automated wheel condition monitoring equipment.- Nine overhead cranes – six in the Servicing/ Maintenance building and three in the Bogie drop building. - 16 km (approx 10 miles) of track.- Twice as much stores space as Eurostar's previous depot in west London due to extensive 10m vertical racking.
3. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London Waterloo (until 13 November), London St Pancras (from 14 November) Ebbsfleet (from 19 November), Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
4. Eurostar will switch its London terminal from Waterloo International and begin services from St Pancras International on 14 November 2007. Journey times on High Speed 1, the UK's first high-speed line, will be London – Paris 2h 15min; London – Brussels 1h 51min; and London - Lille 1h 20min.
5. A new station at Ebbsfleet International, just off junction 2 of the M25 near Dartford crossing and Bluewater shopping centre in north Kent, will open on 19 November. Journey times will be 10 minutes shorter than from St Pancras.
6. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
7. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
8. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to, call 08705 186 186 or contact your travel agent.
For more information: Eurostar Press Office +44 (0)20 7922 4494