Job cuts at rail depot as Greater Anglia upgrades to new trains

The Crown Point depot. Pic: Archant library

The Crown Point depot. Pic: Archant library

A 'small number' of engineering staff based at Greater Anglia's Norwich depot will lose their jobs as a result of the rail firm upgrading to a new fleet of Swiss trains.

Trains between Norwich and Sheringham have been delayed after a problem at a level crossing. Picture

Trains between Norwich and Sheringham have been delayed after a problem at a level crossing. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Greater Anglia is investing more than £40m into the Crown Point depot in Thorpe Hamlet, Norwich to cope with the new 58 Stadler trains - but has confirmed this means there will be some compulsory redundancies.

Around 70 engineers will transfer to Stadler but it is believed there are around 120-150 in total currently employed. Greater Anglia has confirmed it has offered some voluntary redundancy packages and there will be options to apply for other roles.

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A Greater Anglia spokeswoman told this newspaper: "The manufacturer of our new regional, intercity and Stansted Express trains, Stadler, has a contract to provide maintenance for our new trains, and as a result a number of Greater Anglia engineering staff will transfer to Stadler.

"We have been communicating and consulting closely with relevant staff and union representatives at our Crown Point depot regarding the changes. We have offered staff a voluntary leaving scheme, which a number have accepted. There are also some options for staff to apply for other roles within Greater Anglia.

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"We anticipate that only a small number of Crown Point-based staff may be subject to compulsory redundancy by the time the transfer takes place, and we will continue to work closely with Stadler to ensure we reduce this number wherever possible.

"A number of Greater Anglia staff will continue to be based at the depot, as their activities remain the responsibility of Greater Anglia at Crown Point."

The investment in the depot gives special high walkways for engineers to enable maintenance and repairs - with most of the new trains' components being on the roof.

But one engineer, who is taking voluntary redundancy and who did not want to be named, said: "It's really sad for Norwich, some people are leaving next March, others just after Christmas. It's sad for the younger ones. He said the new Stadler trains, which were launched in September, were nicknamed 'Basils' by engineers because they were so faulty, a pun on Basil Fawlty, the TV character from the sit-com Fawlty Towers.

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