"When Rail Engineer was invited to visit North Pole in early December, it seemed like a good opportunity to sort out Christmas presents. When the itinerary arrived, the route was found to be via St Pancras and Paddington. However, it was not then to catch a plane at Heathrow for the snow-covered North. Instead the next leg of the journey would be by bus.
"For the trip wasn't to Santa’s North Pole at all, but to Hitachi’s new depot at the edge of Wormwood Scrubs.
"North Pole depot opened in 1994 as the maintenance facility for Eurostar trains, then operating out of Waterloo. A six-road, 400 metre long light maintenance shed and a four- road heavy maintenance workshop were built, along with separate buildings for a wheel lathe and a carriage wash.
"When Eurostar moved to St Pancras in November 2007, maintenance moved to Temple Mills near Stratford and the North Pole facility became surplus to requirements."