The third episode of That Metro Guy goes behind the scenes of the new Gosforth Metro depot to find out how the £70m project is nearing completion.
He was shown around the depot construction site, which will soon be a modern new home for the new Tyne and Wear Metro train fleet. Watch the latest episode here.
Craig Pearson, aka That Metro Guy, has become an ambassador for the Metro Futures project as it enters its most significant phase, with final production underway and the first new train set to arrive at the end of this year.
Craig, 39, of Gateshead, will be video blogging at key moments on the drivers’ journey to their new trains, under the title ‘That Metro Guy’.
He will be bringing people closer than ever before to the project, along with fellow Metro Futures Specialist Mick Fulcher, filming and producing their own videos, and uploading them to a dedicated YouTube channel – which you can view here.
Craig, a Metro driver of nine years, will record video clips and appear prominently on social media at key stages of the project as production ramps up, and we countdown to the new rolling stock that will transform Metro for its customers and staff.
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 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 is building a total of 46 new Metro trains for Nexus, which will be delivered up to 2024. They will be responsible for servicing and maintaining these trains for 35 years, underscoring their commitment to the regional economy.
The new 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.