Former coal mine to test Tube trains

Former coal mine to test Tube trains

A former coal mine site is to be used to test new air-conditioned Tube trains for London Underground.

State of the art rolling stock will be commissioned at a 14-mile long rail test track at the former Asfordby Mine at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Rail property management company BRBR has taken a 20-year lease on the site and its first client is Metronet, which maintains and renews two-thirds of the London Underground system.

Mark Loader of Metronet said: “The test site will enable us to really prove the reliability of these new trains. We’ll be able to simulate six months to a year’s service in only one month. That means a more reliable train for Tube travellers when they enter service.”

Jon Lloyd, chief executive of Harworth Estates – the property arm of UK Coal, which owns the site – said: “Asfordby is a perfect example of what can be created and achieved on former active mining sites, particularly with the benefit of a rail link.

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“We have several other such sites in Yorkshire and the Midlands, and will be encouraging their re-use in a similar way to the benefit of the local and regional economies.”

Asfordby ceased production as an operational mine in 1997 due to severe geological problems.

The twin concrete and steel winding towers were demolished the following year and UK Coal, then trading as RJB Mining, subsequently gained approval for offices, workshops and other buildings on the 400-hectare site to become a business park.

It now provides accommodation for 30 companies employing almost 200 people.

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