With the first stage of demolition works now complete, and track foundations work well underway, VolkerFitzpatrick has made great progress with the construction of the new state-of-the-art train depot for Tyne and Wear Metro and Stadler.
Since construction began in February 2021, the team has removed three depot roads and an area of the main depot building, as part of the first of a four-stage demolition process.
Work on the track beds has now commenced, and old track is being broken up and removed in preparation for the laying of the new track foundations, which began this month. This sees the team undertake piling works to bore hollow steel tubes into the ground, before filling them with concrete. Foundation works on the main building will be carried out in July 2021, and the second phase of demolition, involving the removal of an old stabling shed to the west of the depot, will take place later this year. The final two stages of demolition will be in 2022 and 2023.
Rob Baxter, managing director at Stadler Rail Service UK, commented: “The project to build a new depot has been configured to enable the existing trains to continue successfully operating from it, while construction work takes place. This is a challenge, but I am delighted that the project has maintained momentum despite the pandemic, and that so much progress has already been made.”
During the recently completed demolition work, waste material has been crushed for recycling, and will be used to build a road on the depot, negating the need for thousands of tonnes of stone to be delivered by road.
Marcus Dench, VolkerFitzpatrick senior project manager, said: “Our team has made great progress so far, having completed phase one of the demolition works, and we are now ready to start works to install the foundations needed to support the depots new roads. We’d like to thank all parties involved, who have worked hard to not only ensure we comply with COVID restrictions, but who have also ensured that we keep the site as sustainable as possible.”
The new facility on the 12-acre site, close to Regent Centre station, will comprise of inspection roads and pits, cranes, jacks, test facilities, automatic train-checking equipment and a wheel-lathe. It will 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 new, purpose-built depot is being 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 materials supplies, as well as office space for training and support functions.
To follow the progress of the construction work, you can download VolkerFitzpatrick’s Gosforth depot app. To download it, search ‘Gosforth Depot’ in Google Play for Android devices, or the App Store for Apple devices.
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