Stadler starts moving into the new £70m Gosforth Metro depot

The new Gosforth Metro depot
23 November 2022

Stadler has started moving its workforce into the new Gosforth Metro depot as the £70m facility nears completion. 

The depot, which will be home to the new Tyne and Wear Metro train fleet, is almost ready to become operational, with the finishing touches being put to the building. 

It will be a modern new facility for Stadler staff, one that will transform Metro train care, heralding a bright future for the network. 

Stadler has begun the process of moving its staff into the depot’s new office spaces, with the train engineering and maintenance teams set to transfer there in the New Year. 

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has 46 new trains on order from Stadler, who are also delivering the new depot as part of the £362m project.

The first new Metro train is set to enter passenger service in the autumn of 2023 after testing and driver training. The new Metro fleet will be delivered in phases up to 2025. 

Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement at Nexus, Michael Richardson, said: “I’m pleased to say that Stadler has the new £70m Metro depot ready to welcome the new Metro train fleet, and they are now transferring their workforce over to the modern new facilities. 

“They 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.” 

Michael Steiner, programme director at Stadler, said: “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 it straightaway, as well. The quality and specification of the new facility are second to none, and it’s been tailormade for the new, modern and technologically-sophisticated Metro trains, entering passenger service next year.” 

Stadler 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.

The new Metro trains will cut energy consumption, 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.


New Metro depot nears completion - overview from Stadler and Nexus

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