First phase of Gosforth depot build completed

The first phase of the £70m project to rebuild Gosforth depot has been completed, paving the way for the construction of the state-of-the-art facility, to house the new Metro train fleet.

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The opening phase of the project involved the partial demolition of the 100-year-old depot; extensive ground works; the removal of old lines and installation of new train stabling track; and overhead line structure and cable installation.

VolkerFitzpatrick is building the state-of-the-art depot on behalf of Stadler - the Swiss train manufacturer - which is currently constructing the new fleet of 46 trains on behalf of Metro operator, Nexus, and which will service and maintain the new fleet, at Gosforth depot, for 35 years.

VolkerFitzpatrick will now begin the second phase of work, which includes constructing the new depot building, and further demolition works to the depot’s train stabling sheds, to the west of the depot; the final two demolition stages will be undertaken in 2022.

All work being undertaken has been configured to enable the depot to stay operational.

Rob Baxter, managing director of Stadler Rail Service UK, commented: “This is a hugely ambitious project, taking place in an area of the country with a strong railway heritage. Although work to build a new depot only started last year, I am delighted that great progress is being made, with the site really taking shape.

“Partners involved in this project are working together closely and effectively to manage this complex construction challenge. With the new sidings now ready, it’s already beginning to look like a home for the brand new trains arriving from next year.”

Chief operating officer at Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “Great progress is being made with our new £70m Metro depot at Gosforth, which is going to house the new Metro train fleet.

“I’m pleased to say that the first phase of this transformative project is complete, on time and on budget, paving the way for further demolition work of the 100 year old depot building on site, and the start of the construction of the new depot facility.

“We can look forward to seeing the first new Metro train arrive at this state-of-the-art facility at the end of next year. It is a historic project, which secures a very bright future for the Tyne and Wear Metro, as well as benefiting the local supply chain.”

The Gosforth depot site covers 12 acres, and is located close to Regent Centre station in the suburbs of Newcastle. The new depot will comprise inspection roads and pits, cranes, jacks, test facilities, automatic train-checking equipment and a wheel-lathe. Other features include a wash-plant to clean train exteriors, and other

dedicated areas for both daily and periodic deep-cleaning. The outside area is being adapted to optimise train movements, while keeping noise to a minimum for the benefit of local residents.

The new facility has been designed to ensure maximum availability and reliability of the 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 also be storage for spare parts and material supplies, and office space for training and support functions.