After completing the rebuild of the Gosforth Metro depot, Stadler’s next steps will see demolition and construction work to create a modern home for Metro’s new fleet of trains.
The first stage of the £70m project saw the demolition of part of the 100-year-old depot alongside the installation of brand new stabling roads and overhead lines.
The next phase of the project will see Stadler start work on the new depot building with the demolition of further old facilities over the next few months. Stadler have appointed the building of the new depot to VolkerFitzpatrick.
The Swiss train manufacturer is not only building the ultra-modern depot but will also supply the fleet of 46 brand new trains for Metro’s operators, Nexus, and are set to enter service during 2023 bringing improvements in quality and reliability for passengers.
The new Gosforth depot project is expected to complete by autumn 2022 in time for the first of the new trains to arrive in the area.
The Gosforth depot site is located on a huge 12-acre site which is near to Regent Centre station on the outskirts of Newcastle with the new site being made up of inspection roads and pits, cranes, jacks, test facilities, automatic train-checking equipment and a wheel-lathe. Other facilities will include a wash-plant to clean train exteriors and other specialised areas for both daily and periodic deep-cleaning. The outside area is being upgraded to optimise train movements, with a focus on keeping noise to a minimum for local residents.
Stadler took over maintenance for the old Metro fleet during October 2020 and will undertake maintenance of the new trains for the next 35 years.
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 building.
“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 and will secure a very bright future for the Tyne and Wear Metro.
“Stadler have already begun manufacturing the new trains over on Switzerland and by 2023 we will have the first new train in full service following a period of training and testing. The new trains are going to transform the quality of services we can offer our customers.”
Rob Baxter, Managing Director of Stadler Rail Service UK, said: “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.”