Last month, I noted that Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson had urged consideration of using Crewe Works for refurbishment work. At the time, I wondered whether he knew the current state of the complex, and, now that an update on that front has been received from a source at the Works, I am sure he does not.
My assumption in that previous post was that the Works was still capable of refurbishing rail vehicles. However, that is no longer the case, following the closure some months ago of 10 Shop, which will be familiar to Channel 4 viewers as the location of a live debate just before the 2008 by-election.
Moreover, my information is that 10 Shop has been cleared of machinery, so the idea that Bombardier Transportation might be angling for refurbishment work appears less than plausible. It would be interesting to know how our MP has been caused to believe otherwise.
Also, the ability to move any kind of rail vehicle around the Works has been effectively lost as key equipment has been decommissioned and dismantled. The buildings to the east of the wheel shop – the only part of the site still with regular work – were demolished recently.
The rail link into the Works has not been used for many months, and whether it is usable any more I doubt, especially as debris from the recent wall collapse is still strewn across it. If not, any vehicles to be worked on would have to be brought in and out by road.
As I posted previously, it would not just be our MP who would be happy to see more done at the Works: more jobs are always welcome in this part of the country. But the sad reality is that, right now, the Works has ceased to do repair and refurbishment work, and is not in a position to do any more.