The depot in Gosforth is being commissioned by Swiss train manufacturer Stadler, which has a 35-year contract to service and maintain the 46 new trains it has built and are set to enter passenger service from 2023.
The project involves the demolition of the old 1923 Gosforth depot and clearing the site before building work begins. Work is scheduled to begin later in the year, with most of the building work set to be completed by 2025. The planning has been configured to enable the legacy fleet to continue operating from the depot, while the construction work takes place.
The new depot represents an investment of £70m as part of the £362m fleet replacement programme led by Nexus, the local transport authority that runs the Tyne & Wear Metro.
Robert Baxter, managing director of Stadler Rail Service UK, said: “The appointment of VolkerFitzpatrick to build a new Gosforth depot is a highly significant milestone for the Nexus project, heralding the start of this exciting project in the northeast, which will see the transformation of rail travel in the region.”
Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon, who chairs the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “Today's announcement brings us another step closer to having a Metro service in Tyne & Wear fit for the 21st century. The new state-of-the-art depot, which has been designed by Newcastle-based Ryder Architecture, will be environmentally friendly and we look forward to seeing it take shape over the next few years.”
VolkerFitzpatrick operations director Paul Lilley said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by Stadler to design and develop this new £70m facility. As a leading constructor of rail depots, we have extensive experience of managing such projects and look forward to helping Nexus further enhance their network and create a state-of-the-art facility in readiness for their fleet of Metro trains being introduced in 2024.
“Working in collaboration with Stadler, Nexus, other key stakeholders and our supply chain, we aim to demonstrate a one team approach for delivering this project, with sustainability and innovation at the forefront of the design, which will change the current landscape and bring a focal point to the local area.”