THE REFURBISHMENT Centre at Bombardier Transportation's Derby works was officially opened by UK Transport Minister Derek Twigg on June 29.

Although the company has undertaken passenger car refurbishment at its workshops in Wakefield, Ilford and Ashford, this was 'the first time we've had a purpose-built facility at Derby', said Colin Walton, Chief Country Representative, UK, at Bombardier. 'We firmly believe that our vast experience in the design and manufacture of high-quality rail vehicles at Derby, combined with our expertise in re-engineering and modernisation of much of the UK's rolling stock, will ensure that our new Refurbishment Centre at Derby proves to be a great success and becomes the preferred location for UK refurbishment projects'.

According to General Manager Simon McCloud, 30% of the roofed area at Derby is dedicated to refurbishment, following investment in a £2·19m conversion programme that included a new shot-blasting facility. Under the latest phase due for completion in the fourth quarter of 2005, £587000 is to be spent on installing a traverser that will enable cars to be moved into the paint shop from the area where stripping and corrosion repairs are undertaken, creating a 'proper process flow' according to Production Manager Alex Evers.

Three contracts are currently being executed by the new centre. A fleet of 61 four-car Class 315 EMUs owned by HSBC Rail and leased to operator One are being refurbished under a contract worth £45m, and it is hoped to complete two cars a week at the peak rate of production. Also operated by One, 110 MkIII coaches owned by Porterbrook Leasing are being overhauled and refurbished under a contract worth £17m, where the expected peak production rate is four cars a week. Derby is also refurbishing D78 cars for London Underground's District Line (p500).

CAPTION: The Derby works is currently refurbishing Class 315 inner-suburban EMUs for train operator One. At the opening ceremony were (from left) Bombardier's General Manager Simon McCloud and President, LUProjects, TCChew, Transport Minister Derek Twigg, Metronet CEO Andrew Lezala and Mark Cooper of Bombardier