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Newton Heath depot visit

October 3, 2009
A class 142 in the depot at Newton Heath

A class 142 in the depot at Newton Heath

Thanks to our friends at Northern, FOWS today visited Newton Heath depot for an informal open day commemorating the last day of trains running on the Oldham Loop.

We were given an interesting tour of the repair and paintshops by Northern staff who had kindly come in on their days off to act as hosts and guides.

The depot’s 200-strong workforce’s achievements are impressive, coaxing much improved reliability out of the 100+ aged diesel units in their care. Passengers will also have noticed the on-going refurbishment process which has seen nearly all of the units turned out in Northern colours, and many of them fitted with new and better quality seating, wheelchair spaces and areas with tip-up seats that can accommodate bicycles.

Freshly painted class 156 unit outside NewtonHeath depot

Freshly painted class 156 unit outside NewtonHeath depot

We were interested to learn that Northern’s trains are all painted by hand: it takes a team of 6 painters 3 days to complete a unit like the freshly out-shopped example shown here.

A big thank you to the Northern staff, both for today’s visit and their excellent work improving an aging fleet on a limited budget.

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