To keep local residents updated on the development of the brand-new metro depot at Gosforth, VolkerFitzpatrick, the company contracted to build the new facility, has launched a community engagement app to help those living and working around the depot gain a better understanding of the works.
The app is available to download for both Android and Apple devices, and was developed with SitePodium, a specialist app development company, specifically for construction and infrastructure projects.
Throughout the course of the project, the team will use the app to post updates on the depot’s construction, including details of upcoming work activities, news, and initiatives and events for the local community. The app also allows people to submit queries, which can be reviewed and answered in real time, and to provide feedback on the project’s development.
Marcus Dench, VolkerFitzpatrick project manager, said: “Our team is focused on keeping residents informed of our progress, to help build a positive relationship with the community and the wider supply chain.
“This is a big step forward in the way construction companies connect with local communities. It’s not only a simple communication tool that suits people’s lifestyles – especially during the current pandemic – but is also a platform which can be updated instantly, helping us provide the most up-to-date information available.”
“We also aim to use the app to give an insight into the rail industry, providing learning resources to families, and to showcase the potential career paths available, as we highlight the different roles and skill sets needed to make this project a success.”
Rob Baxter, managing director of Stadler Rail Service UK, commented:
“Stadler arrived in Gosforth just a few months ago, and has a 35-year contract to look after the trains here. The new depot is being custom-made for the new state-of-the-art fleet of trains that we are building for the Tyne and Wear Metro.
“We have committed to putting localism at the heart of this project. Part of that is about engaging proactively with the local community through a range of channels, in our capacity as a local business, a local employer and a neighbour.
“Over the next few years, while the work is carried out, VolkerFitzpatrick’s app will provide a very useful tool for local residents interested in how the work to build a new depot is taking shape.”
Catherine Massarella, major projects director for Nexus, said: “The construction of a £70m new depot by VolkerFitzpatrick and Stadler is a vital element in our £500m plans to transform local public transport by 2025 – we cannot introduce new trains without new depot facilities. At Nexus we pride ourselves on keeping our communities involved in our projects and this app is another innovative solution to reach stakeholders and neighbours, letting them ask questions easily and find out about what’s happening to create this major environmentally-friendly new facility.”
To download the app, simply scan the QR code or search ‘Gosforth Depot’ in Google Play for Android devices, or the App Store for Apple devices.
Gosforth depot is being built for Tyne and Wear Metro to accommodate its new state-of-the-art trains, set to enter into passenger service in 2023.
Stadler has a contract to service and maintain the new Stadler-built trains for 35 years at the overhauled facility. Stadler officially commissioned VolkerFitzpatrick to build the depot in June 2020.
The new purpose-built depot represents a £70 million investment for the new Tyne and Wear Metro trains and is being designed to ensure maximum availability and reliability of the fleet, to become home to a wide range of activities, including preventative and corrective maintenance, overhauls and train presentation.
Once complete, the new depot will have storage for spare parts and materials supplies, and office space for training and other support functions. As well as inspection roads and pits, cranes, jacks, test facilities and a wheel-lathe, the depot will feature a wash-plant to clean train exteriors and other dedicated areas for both daily and periodic deep-cleaning. The outside area will be adapted to optimise train movements, whilst also keeping noise to a minimum for the benefit of local residents.
Photo credit: VolkerFitzpatrick