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Video | Network Rail's new mobile workshops

The first of eight ‘engineering workshops on wheels’ has started duties on Britain’s railways.

Network Rail said the mobile maintenance trains would make working on its lines quicker, safer and less disruptive for passengers.

As well as working space and tools, each train will have two built-in 2t cranes to move heavy equipment, along with multiple power points, a kitchen and a toilet.

A large, extendable work area will allow access to the track below, providing cover, floodlighting and protection from passing trains.

Network Rail on its mobile maintenance trains

Network Rail maintenance director Neal Lawson said: “Many tasks on the railway can only be carried out when the railway is closed to traffic – but with passenger numbers growing, and demand for freight increasing at record levels, the need to keep the railway open round-the-clock is greater than ever before.

“These new trains mean our frontline staff can complete a wide range of maintenance and repairs more quickly and efficiently, reducing the need for costly and disruptive closures of the tracks. They’ll also keep our people safe, warm and dry and better able to focus on getting the job done.”

The maintenance trains have been manufactured by Robel in Germany and will be delivered to Network Rail over the next 12 months.

The first to arrive will be based in Darlington, with the others due to be stationed at Paddock Wood, Derby, Woking, Retford, Romford, Peterborough and Horsham.

The fleet will be operated and maintained by Colas Rail under a three-year deal.

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