The first phase of demolition work has been completed at the Tyne and Wear Metro depot, paving the way for foundations of the new £70m train maintenance facility to start going in.
The 100 year-old depot, at Gosforth in Newcastle, is being pulled down to make way for a state-of-the-art maintenance base for the new Metro train fleet, which is set to arrive in 2023.
Stadler, the Swiss train builder, and its construction partner VolkerFitzpatrick, have completed the partial demolition of the main building and are ready to lay the foundations of the new one.
Metro Development Director, Neil Blagburn, said: “Excellent progress has been made getting the site ready for our new £70m Metro fleet depot in Gosforth.
“The last few months has seen the partial demolition of the 100 year-old train shed, creating room to get the site ready for the new buildings and infrastructure. Around x acres of the original depot’s sidings have been removed paving the way for the first foundations to start going in.
“The completed project will provide a modern new home for the new Metro train fleet. These are the first steps on a really historic journey that will secure the future of the Tyne and Wear Metro for many generations to come.
“Our thanks go to Stadler, VolkerFitzpatrick and Thompsons of Prudhoe for getting this phase of the project off to such a good start.
“The old depot buildings will be pulled down in phases over the next two years. We are storing up to a quarter of our current trains at our purpose built satellite depot in Howdon while the depot transformation takes place.”
Rob Baxter, managing director at Stadler Rail Service UK, said: “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.”
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 depot’s new roads. We’d like to thank all parties involved, who have worked hard to not only ensure we comply with coronavirus restrictions, but who have also ensured that we keep the site as sustainable as possible.”
Three sections of depot sidings and an area of the main depot building have been successfully removed - part one of a four-part demolition process.
Work on the track beds has started and old tracks are being broken up and removed to make room for laying the foundations of the new tracks.
The Metro depot project started last year and most of the construction work is set to be completed by 2025.
Waste material has been crushed for recycling, and will be used to build a road on the depot site. This means that moving thousands of tonnes of stone by road has been avoided, highlighting Stadler’s green credentials and pledge to keeping its carbon footprint to a minimum.
Work will begin this month to build foundations for the new tracks, which will involve boring hollow steel tubes into the ground and filling them with concrete.
Foundation work on the main building will be carried out in July, and a 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.
The demolition work is being done by Thompson’s of Prudhoe.