VolkerFitzpatrick completes main building at Gosforth depot

The new, state-of-the-art depot at Gosforth, located close to the centre of Newcastle, has been built and offices are now being used by Stadler, ahead of the arrival of the brand new fleet of trains.

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Covering 12 acres, the new facility features inspection roads and pits, a separate wheel lathe building and a wash-plant to clean train exteriors, along with storage for spare parts and materials, and office space for training and support functions.

Work to install eight new roads – each fully electrified – is also complete, and will allow Stadler to maintain the old trains whilst welcoming the new trains, set to enter passenger service from 2023, during the transition.

The new facilities will vastly improve the working environment and become home to a wide range of activities, including preventative and corrective maintenance and train presentation. The building boasts fantastic environmental credentials, including solar panels on the roof, and makes best use of natural light, providing an attractive environment for employees.

Other features include a rainwater recycling system to harvest and use for train washing facilities and toilets; a component drop to enhance maintenance efficiency; monorail cranes on both of the light maintenance roads, and an overhead crane on the heavy maintenance roads, which will be used for lifting roof components. There will also be a room dedicated to managing train movements digitally, which has been strategically positioned to have a bird’s eye view of the depot.

Michael Steiner, programme director at Stadler, commented: “The depot is really starting to take shape now, and we’re delighted to have completed the main building, which is a significant milestone in the project. It’s fantastic to be using this new facility already, and our employees are delighted with the new office space. The quality and specification of the new facility are second to none, and it’s been tailormade for the new trains, set to enter passenger service next year.”

Head of fleet and depot replacement at Nexus, Michael Richardson, said: “I’m pleased that the new £70m Metro depot is ready to welcome the new Metro train fleet, and that Stadler are now welcoming its workforce over to the modern new facilities.

“VolkerFitzpatrick and Stadler have created a world class Metro maintenance depot that will transform how our trains are looked after for many decades to come.

“The current Gosforth depot is more than 100 years old, and the remaining buildings will be demolished in the new year. The depot workforce are moving into brighter, cleaner and vastly improved facilities, which really will be transformational for them and for Metro.”

Marcus Dench, senior project manager for VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “The depot has come a long way over the last 18 months, and our teams have worked hard to achieve this critical milestone. We welcome Stadler to the new depot, and look forward to working alongside them as we continue to build this state-of-the-art facility.”