Stadler has finished building a new state of the art depot, which will accommodate the fleet of 46 METRO trains being manufactured for the Tyne and Wear Metro. Boasting enviable green credentials and a range of innovative features, the new facility has been designed to a high specification to ensure maximum availability and reliability of the fleet for decades to come.
Ahead of the entry into service of the new Tyne and Metro trains, Stadler has completed the project to construct a new depot at Gosforth in Newcastle. The purpose-built facility features inspection roads and pits, a separate wheel lathe building and a wash-plant to clean train exteriors. There is a storage areas for spare parts and materials, as well as office space for training and support functions.
Set to vastly improve the working environment and become home to a wide range of activities, including preventative and corrective maintenance and train presentation, the new depot covers 12 acres just outside Newcastle city-centre. VolkerFitzpatrick was the construction partner that carried out the work.
The facility also has a component drop to enhance maintenance efficiency, monorail cranes on both light maintenance roads and an overhead crane on the heavy maintenance roads for lifting roof components. A room dedicated to managing train movements digitally has been strategically positioned to have a bird’s eye view of the depot.
To minimise carbon emissions, the new depot makes use of premium insulation and has solar panels on the roof. It makes best use of natural light, providing an attractive environment for employees. Water is recycled on site and used for train washing facilities. There is a dedicated, secure area for bikes, and showers for people cycling to and from work. Charging bays for electric cars have been installed.
The structure of the original facility, built 100 years ago, was crushed in-situ and material was reused for tracks and the foundations of the new one. This helped maintain air quality and keep lorries off the roads, particularly those in the area close to the depot. Landscaping has made the site greener that it has ever been.
Paul Patrick, Managing Director for Stadler Rail Service UK, commented: “After three years of hard work, the new facility is now an asset to the local area and one that local residents and the wider community can be proud of. It has been built to a very high standard, with quality and precision at its heart, and its technologically sophisticated features will mean that trains can be maintained efficiently and speedily.
This promotes an efficient, smooth-running railway for the benefit of passengers, supporting regional jobs and growth and helping the north east to flourish.”
Cathy Massarella, Managing Director of Nexus, said: “It’s fantastic to see that the new £70m Gosforth Metro depot has been completed on time. Huge thanks go to the teams at Stadler and VolkerFitzpatrick for doing such a superb job as well as our own project team.
“The new depot will revolutionise Metro train maintenance. It’s transformative for the teams who work there, and provides a state of the art home for the new Metro train fleet. It brings fleet maintenance into the 21st century, ensuing that we have the very best facilities for many years to come.
“A huge amount of work has gone into the project. From the demolition and construction phases through to the creation of all 17 of the new train stabling lanes, overhead lines and signalling systems. It’s been built on exactly the same site as the previous Metro depot, but these new buildings bring a step change in quality. It’s a cleaner and brighter working environment, boasting a range of features to save energy and cut carbon emissions.
“The completion of Gosforth depot is another step on the road to a brighter future for the Tyne and Wear Metro. The work to get the new trains ready for service is continuing and that will be the next big milestone to come.”
Paul Lilley, Divisional Director for Rail and Depots for VolkerFitzpatrick, added: “It has been a privilege to work with Stadler and Nexus to deliver this depot, which will be integral in providing modern and reliable rail services for the Tyne and Wear Metro. Through the team’s dedication and collaborative spirit, we have been able to stay on track for completion and deliver the facility safely and efficiently – regardless of working on an active depot, and worldwide events that included a pandemic.
“I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank our supply chain who have made all of this possible – VolkerRail, NG Bailey, PLS engineering, First in Rail and A&M Electricals.”
Image credit: Stadler