The Tyne & Wear Metro’s Gosforth depot is being completely rebuilt in a £70m project.
At the site of the new depot, the first sidings have been laid, a new stabling area has been completed, and the first test trains have been successfully run in. These tracks are in readiness for when new trains start to arrive in 2023.
The existing depot building is 100 years old. The completion of the sidings will allow further demolition work of the depot to take place.
Demolition of the old depot is being carried out by Thompsons of Prudhoe, whilst VolkerFitzpatrick has been appointed to build the new depot.
Nexus Project Manager, Stephen Bowles, said: “I’m delighted to say the first new train stabling area has been completed as part the Gosforth depot project.
“They have installed more than a kilometre of new track, ballast and overhead lines in this phase of the work. A test train was successfully taken into these sidings, which will serve the new depot and stable the current Metro fleet while we transition to the new one.
“The next step is the second phase of demolition work on the current depot buildings that remain on site, the commencement of the new maintenance building is progressing, and we can also expect to see the steel structure erected and construction progressed over coming months.”
Metro is owned and managed by Nexus, which is a public body. Transition from the old to the new depot will take place in phases by 2024.
A new fleet of 46 trains is being delivered by the Swiss train builder, Stadler, on behalf of Nexus.
Stadler took over maintenance of the old fleet in October last year and will be responsible for the servicing and maintenance of the new trains for 35 years, underscoring their commitment to the regional economy.
The new trains will be 15 times more reliable than the current trains and will cut energy consumption by 30%.
They will have charging points, air conditioning, and much-improved accessibility through an automatic sliding step at every door, which will make travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers, as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage, or bicycles.
The latest updates on the project can be obtained by downloading the VolkerFitzpatrick app, which is available for both Android and Apple devices. To download the app, search ‘Gosforth Depot’ in Google Play for Android devices, or the App Store for Apple devices.
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