COBRA Sidings

This disused rail facility in Wakefield has been given a new lease of life to provide temporary accommodation for trains, as work on the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade progresses.

The COBRA sidings previously handled a wide variety of rail freight – from coal and steel to spring water and household waste – but have been out of use for several years. Now, they will play a vital role stabling Northern’s train fleet overnight when essential Transpennine Route Upgrade work will restrict access in and out of their Holbeck depot in Leeds.

  • The TRU East Alliance team who brought the COBRA sidings back into use
  • The disused COBRA sidings in July 2022, before work started to bring them back into use

Led by the TRU East Alliance track team, the project to transform the derelict site took just two months. Alongside them, additional key work to bring the sidings back into use and link them back into the network was carried out by signalling, civils and electrification & plant colleagues.

Over the eight weeks, they dealt with challenging logistics, tight timescales and extreme temperatures. Despite these hurdles, the COBRA sidings in Wakefield were completed on schedule – a great result achieved through true collaborative working by all the teams involved.

On Wednesday 31 August, Northern ran the first test train into the new sidings, to trial the new infrastructure and give their representatives the opportunity to view the fantastic work completed in such a short space of time. Watch it arrive here: