posted on 15th Jun 2020 23:22
On 15 June 2020 Stadler announced it has officially commissioned VolkerFitzpatrick to build a brand new depot at Gosforth, which will accommodate the new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro, set to enter passenger service from 2023. VolkerFitzpatrick, one of the UK’s leading engineering and construction firms, will soon start work to transform Gosforth depot. The new fleet, comprising 46 METRO trains, is being manufactured and delivered by Stadler, who will maintain them for 35 years. It has pledged to use local suppliers, engage with local businesses and educational establishments, and invest in the new workforce, set to transfer to its business later this year.
The new purpose-built depot represents an investment of 70 million GBP as part of the 362 million GBP fleet replacement programme led by Nexus, the public body which runs the Tyne and Wear Metro. It will be 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 be storage for spare parts and material supplies and office space for training and support functions. With inspection roads and pits, cranes, jacks, test facilities, automatic train-checking equipment and a wheel lathe, the 12-acre site close to Regent Centre station will also 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, while keeping noise to a minimum for the benefit of local residents. The building has been designed to ensure maximum sustainability and to provide an attractive environment for employees. It will make best use of natural light, and all workspaces will have windows. Energy efficient lighting will be installed throughout the premises and solar panels on the roof will reduce overall energy consumption. Water recycled on site and rainwater will be harvested and used for train washing facilities and toilets. There will be a dedicated, secure area for bikes, and showers will be provided for people cycling to and from work.
The project will involve the safe demolition of the old depot, open since 1923, clearing the site, followed by building the new depot. Work is scheduled to begin later in the year, with most of the building work set to be completed by 2025. The planning has been configured to enable the legacy fleet to continue successfully operating from the depot, while the construction work takes place.