Alstom has announced a series of activities to celebrate 175 years of railway history in Manchester Longsight depot. The main anniversary event will be a special reception at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, which will take place in June.
Other activities include supporting the publication of a book charting the history of Longsight, an educational outreach programme with local schools and the launch of a digital archive.
Over the last 175 years, Longsight has been a vital part of the local community, and generations of engineers have been trained and employed there. It is still a fully working depot and has always been at the forefront of UK rail engineering.
On site Victorian railway sheds sit side by side with the latest technology, including TrainScanner, Alstom’s predictive maintenance solution, which was developed here. The depot employs over 200 and is primarily used to maintain the Alstom built Pendolino fleet of 56 Class 390 ‘tilting’ trains used by Virgin on the West Coast Main Line. The Longsight team help keep 50 trains a day in service along Britain’s busiest intercity route.
“At Alstom we are proud of our rich heritage in Manchester. So much has been achieved in the past 175 years at Longsight and we are proud to be the guardians today of that heritage. I believe that our Manchester engineers here today are among the best in the world and as we develop and deploy new technologies here today like TrainScanner it is a fitting tribute to our Victorian ancestors who built this great depot.” Said Piers Wood, Managing Director, Regional & Intercity, Alstom UK & Ireland
“Although there will be no public event at Longsight depot itself the East Lancs Railway is delighted to be participating in marking this landmark occasion of 175 years of continuous railway servicing of the railways in Manchester from the early days of steam to the modern striking Virgin Train rolling stock today. It is remarkable that some of the original steam sheds are still clearly visible on site and recognisable as will be seen in Eddie Johnson's new book on the Longsight Railway sheds which will be launched at the ELR as part of the celebrations on June 3rd as well as a special train. Longsight has served the railways well over the years and is still going strong when so many famous shed names have disappeared. As Vice President of the ELR we are proud to work with Alstom to mark the occasion'.” Said Keith Whitmore, vice president of the ELR and Chairman of Greater Manchester Transport Heritage
In the future, Alstom has plans to expand its presence in the North West. Construction of a £21 million technology centre and training academy in Widnes is underway and the new facility will open in Summer this year.