Siemens and West Midlands Trains to open their doors to support Rail Week 2018.(Siemens)

(Siemens Press Picture)

On Saturday 13 October, the two facilities will open their doors to the public as part of Rail Week 2018 and Government initiative ‘Year of Engineering’

The events are hosted by Siemens and NTAR, in partnership with West Midlands Trains. It is the first time the public have been able to visit the sites since 2012.

Kings Heath depot is home to the Siemens Desiro Class 350 fleets, which operates London Northwestern Railway services to and from London Euston, Birmingham and Liverpool. The facility opened in 2006 and the trains are maintained by Siemens on site.

Visitors to Kings Heath will be able to see a train up on jacks, take a walk underneath a train in the maintenance pit and sit in a driver’s cab. They will also be able to learn about the technology involved in keeping the trains safe, reliable and comfortable for the travelling public.

In NTAR, visitors will get to grips with the latest rail equipment and technology that supports world-class training of rail apprentices, technicians and managers across the country, as well as find out about careers within the rail industry.

The day will also feature rides on the ‘Hydrogen Hero’. This is the first fully operating hydrogen train in the UK, which will be on display in partnership with The University of Birmingham.

The event is free via pre-booked tickets, but through voluntary donations, the event will be supporting to two local charities – Headway Northampton and Headlines Craniofacial Support. Both of these organisations have been nominated by Siemens employees.

Will Wilson, Managing Director of Rolling Stock at Siemens Mobility Limited, said:

“Over the last eight years, Siemens has opened one of its train maintenance sites to the public as part of its very popular ‘Whistle Stop Tour’ series, giving adults and children an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the innovative work carried out at an operational rail depot to inspire them into careers within our industry.

“This event is only possible thanks to support from our customer West Midlands Trains and partner NTAR, and we are delighted to be working with them.”  

Simon Rennie, General Manager of NTAR, said:

“We are proud to be opening the doors of the National Training Academy for Rail to the public for the first time. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity to not only showcase the latest rail equipment and technology involved in the training of rail apprentices, technicians and managers across the country, but provides a platform for us to engage with the next generation, ultimately helping us to attract top talent to the sector.” 


Neil Bamford, Engineering Director for West Midlands Trains, said:

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Siemens to open up these facilities during this year’s Rail Week. 

“We want to give the local community, and particularly our younger visitors, a real insight into the technology, innovation and expertise that’s involved in running a fleet of trains. With record levels of investment being made into the rail network, it’s really important that we inspire the next generation of railway employees. Over the coming years will need more people than ever to deliver on the planned improvements on the railway – so it is a great time to be supporting these events.” 


Full details of events on 13 October:

  • This free hands-on family event is on Saturday 13 October 2018 and runs from 10:00 – 17:00, with last entry at 16:00.
  • Tickets must be pre-booked for this free event and are available from from 8 September
  • You can book an hour arrival slot. You can spend as long as you wish at the site (event will close at 17:00)
  • The traincare depot is unsuitable for children under the age of three years old, however babes in arms may be brought onto the site (without a ticket) and remain in the covered area in the car park where there are refreshments. No buggies / pushchairs can be accommodated on site due to space restrictions and there is no facility for these to be stored.
  • As a working train maintenance facility, there are some uneven surfaces and unavoidable stairs to climb to visit some of the attractions. Anyone in a wheelchair or requiring assistance should please let us know in advance at and we will advise further. All visitors are advised to wear flat, comfortable shoes as quite a bit of walking will be involved in your visit.
  • No parking is available on site (except for pre-booked disabled parking), therefore please use public transport. The site is located a short walk from Northampton train station and Northampton town centre where there are large chargeable public car parks and bus station. The entrance to the site from Northampton centre / rail station is on Spencer Bridge, where a marshalled gate can be found. This is on a busy road, so drop offs here are not permitted. Anyone being dropped off should use the main Heathfield Way entrance and a land train will take you to and from the main site
  • Anyone requiring a disabled parking space should contact us at in advance and also display their blue badge on the day.
  • For more information and to keep updated on the event, join us at

Book now!