© Text and photos by Stuart Smith
Click image for an enlargement
On Wednesday 29th June, our group met at Derby station for the short walk to the Bombardier Works in nearby Litchurch Lane.
Prior to leaving the station, 4 ex-
During the short walk to the works, we noticed two interesting vehicles. One was the ex-
On arrival at the works we signed in, although we had a short delay (probably caused by the earlier visit of Margaret Beckett and other local MP's and dignitaries etc,) before being met by Kathryn Lancaster, who is the Internal Communications Manager for Bombardier Transportation.
At the time of our visit (June 2011), the works were manufacturing several different types of trains-
During the actual visit we were shown the various stages of construction that modern units go through.
The frames are delivered to the works by road and indeed several were stabled just inside the security gates as we arrived. Once on site, they go for painting in the dedicated paint-
Once inside the assembly building, we saw the entire construction process in action-
The next stage of the process involves flipping over the roof panels and mounting them on to the side frames. After this, the installation of windows takes place, plus internal panelling, lino flooring (or carpets depending on the type of vehicle).
The process continues with the fitting of doors, which along with the windows, are leak tested using a high pressure test facility. Should any faults or leaks be detected, then rectification is much easier at this stage of the process! The 'doormen' are a highly skilled group of workers, and are apparently very sought after by other teams within the works.
Following this, the remaining internal fixtures are completed.
The Class 172 DMU's are fitted with Cummins engines.
Each vehicle has a total construction time of 80hours (5 stages of 16hours), and the works are currently manufacturing around 25 cars per week.
There are three traversers located around the works which enable vehicles to be moved between the various buildings, one of these dates from 1935 and was painted by Terrence Cuneo.
On the eastern side of the complex is a 1.4km test track, which allows speeds of up to 40mph to be achieved. The track is equipped with 25kv overhead, and 3rd/4th rail to allow all vehicle types to be tested.
During our visit, one of the new S-
For shunting 'new' trains around the yard, three Class 08 diesels are based on site. Two sport a light blue livery and carry internal numbers (003 & 004), whilst the third has been repainted into BR Green, and carries the number D3849.
The full list of trains/units seen on site were-
Classic EMU PROTOTYPE 76112
172 213 / 214 / 216
172 334 / 337 / 338 / 340 / 341 / 343 / 344 / 345
08602 / D3769 / AZ004
08682 "Lionheart" / D3849
08846 / D4014 / 003
Traverser 3335 0-
Traverser No 4 0-
11087 / 12090
21015 / 21027 / 21028 / 21030 / 21051 / 21053 / 21054
24063 / 24064
In the week or so prior to our visit, the government announced that Derby Works had failed to win the contract for new the Thameslink trains. However, the staff are still confident of winning the deal to build trains for Crossrail, and thereby securing the long-
Our visit concluded with a group photograph in front of some of the stock which has recently being constructed, and which will soon leave the works and be put into everyday use.