Plans for a new £70 million maintenance depot on the Essex/Suffolk border have been unveiled by Greater Anglia.
The facility is due to be built on the site of a derelict chemical works factory at Brantham near Manningtree station and is expected to create at least 30 new jobs.
It will be used to repair and maintain the fleet of new trains which are due to arrive in East Anglia from 2019, and it's expected it will be ready for opening by December 2018.
Clearing of the existing site will take place in March, before building work gets underway in the summer.
What will the new depot include?
The depot will include 13 tracks where trains will be parked overnight for cleaning and toilet maintenance.
The hope is that this will ultimately help reduce delays and cancellations once the trains are on the main network.
There will also be two further tracks housed in a 300-metre shed for general train maintenance and the site will be fully electrified.
Furthermore, a new wheel lathe will be installed to give another option for repairing train wheels, while a train wash, remote train monitoring systems, and a control room will be among the other facilities available.
These are exciting plans which are integral to our commitment to improve and transform the railway in East Anglia. Providing a depot at Manningtree will enable us to bring in our ambitious new timetable with more frequent trains and reduced journey times. It also reduces the amount of time that trains are out of service for maintenance.
Local MP James Cartlidge also welcomed the plans for the new depot, saying that it will help boost the local economy.
“I am delighted that Abellio has chosen to make such a significant commitment to the economy of South Suffolk," he said.
"The fact we have a train depot reduces the potential road traffic pollution we might have expected from other potential occupants.
"Ultimately, this announcement proves that private investment in the railways can have a wider benefit for Suffolk’s economy."