Demolition work completed on century old Gosforth Metro depot buildings

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The last sections of the former maintenance sheds and the office block at Gosforth Metro depot have been pulled down, paving the way for new sidings that will provide the storage space for the new Stadler Metro train fleet.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the completion of the demolition work marked the end of an era.

The ageing facilities that were first built in 1923 have been razed to rubble to make space for the new £70 million Metro depot and new trains.

A total of 17 new sidings for train stabling will be created to serve the new depot, and provide room for the new trains to be parked up as more start to arrive from the Stadler factory in Switzerland.

Michael Richardson, head of Fleet and Depot Replacement Programme at Nexus, said: “All of the old Metro depot buildings have now been demolished, which marks the end of an era for Metro, and the start of a new one as we look ahead to our new trains.

“The office block and maintenance sheds had been home to Metro for more than four decades. What we have replaced them with is a transformative new maintenance hub for the new Stadler train fleet, which boasts modern facilities which secure Metro’s long term future.

“Work will now continue on the sidings that will be used to store the new trains at Gosforth as more of them start to arrive. This is happening alongside the testing of the first new trains which have been delivered to us by Stadler.”

Gosforth depot was first opened in 1923 by the London and North Eastern Railway. It was a replacement for a fire-damaged railway depot at Walkergate, and it has been home to rolling stock ever since.

The Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, now Nexus, took it over from British Rail in 1980. The depot’s location allowed for Metro trains to access lines to the west near Regent Centre and to the east towards Long Benton.

The building was the former home to Tyneside’s iconic, and often forgotten, electric trains. The last electric train ran south of the river in 1963, and north of the river in June 1967.

Diesel trains were kept at the Gosforth depot for the following decade, but even then it was already being eyed up as a base for the new Metro system.

When the project got the green light, British Rail duly handed it over to the PTE.

A full refurbishment was needed to get it ready for the new yellow Metro carriages. Works included the installation of overhead lines, inspection gantries, wheels lathes and lifting jacks.

The new Gosforth depot has been designed to ensure maximum availability and reliability of the Metro fleet for decades to come.

It will vastly improve the working environment and become home to a wide range of activities, including preventative and corrective maintenance, overhauls and train presentation. There will be storage for spare parts and material supplies and office space for training and support functions.

The building will promote sustainability, providing an attractive environment for employees. It will make best use of natural light, and all work spaces will have windows.

The new Gosforth Metro depot has been constructed on behalf of Stadler by Volker FitzPatrick.
The demolition work was undertaken by Thompsons of Prudhoe.

Image credit: Nexus

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