Stadler completes the first phase of £70m Metro depot rebuild

Stadler and Nexus team unveil a banner at Gosforth depot to mark completion of phase one of Metro depot rebuild
24 November 2021

The first phase of a £70m project to rebuild Gosforth Metro depot has been completed, paving the way for further demolition work, and the construction of a modern new home for Metro’s new fleet of trains.

The opening phase of the project has involved the partial demolition of the 100-year-old depot, the installation of new stabling roads and overhead lines.

Stadler, the Swiss train manufacturer, which is building the state-of-the-art depot and supplying a fleet of 46 new trains on behalf of Metro operator, Nexus, will now start the new depot building and demolish more of the old facilities over the coming months.

The new Gosforth depot will be ready for the trains in autumn next year, when the first new train will arrive in the region. 

Stadler confirmed in September that it has started manufacturing the new Metro fleet, which will start entering service in 2023, delivering a step change in quality and reliability. 

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.”

Stadler has appointed VolkerFitzpatrick to build the new Metro depot. Stadler took over maintenance of the old fleet in October 2020 and they will look after the new Metro trains for 35 years.

The Gosforth depot site covers 12 acres and is located close to Regent Centre station in the suburbs of Newcastle. 

The new depot will comprise inspection roads and pits, cranes, jacks, test facilities, automatic train-checking equipment and a wheel-lathe. Other features include a wash-plant to clean train exteriors and other dedicated areas for both daily and periodic deep-cleaning. The outside area is being adapted to optimise train movements, while keeping noise to a minimum for the benefit of local residents.

The new facility has been designed to ensure maximum availability and reliability of the Metro 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 material supplies and office space for training and support functions. 

The building will promote sustainability, providing an attractive environment for employees. It will make best use of natural light, and all work spaces will have windows. Energy efficient lighting will be installed throughout the premises and solar panels on the roof will reduce overall energy consumption. Water recycled on site and rainwater will be harvested and used for train washing facilities and toilets. There will be a dedicated, secure area for bikes, and showers will be provided for people cycling to and from work. Charging bays for electric cars will be installed. 

Stadler has pledged to support the regional economy and involve as many Tyne and Wear-based companies in the project as it can. It is keen to use local suppliers for materials and services required for the depot re-build, the manufacturing of the new trains and the ongoing service and maintenance of the trains on the patch. More than 90 per cent of the suppliers used for the depot build project are based in the UK, with key suppliers from the north east region including Thompsons of Prudhoe and A&M Electricals in Washington.

Stadler is building a total of 46 new Metro trains for Nexus, which will be delivered up to 2024. 

The new Metro trains, which will be 15 times more reliable and will cut energy consumption by 30%, will have modern features including charging points, air conditioning and a step-change in accessibility.

Among the new features will be an automatic sliding step at every door of the new trains, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage or bicycles.

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Phase 1 of Gosforth depot project is completed

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