Work on constructing the new Tyne and Wear Metro Depot at Howdon in North Tyneside is continuing to make excellent progress with the past three months having seen more than 1.5km of line put down. The depot is scheduled to open in the summer.
The temporary depot is needed as reconstruction works at the existing Metro Depot in South Gosforth are due to get underway in August, reducing capacity at that facility whilst they take place. The site at Howdon is a former landfill site and it will be used for overnight stabling, cleaning and preparation of up to ten Metro trains.
So far the main concentration on the new depot has involved the laying of track with 12 new lines in place totalling 1.5km. On top of this 13 new track junctions and 1,000 sleepers have been installed to allow trains to access the new depot building.
Talking of the new building, that will be part of the next phase of works ahead of the formal opening of the facility.
Neil Blagburn, Metro Development Director, said: “The temporary Metro depot is making excellent progress. The new tracks and junctions are in place so that we can get the trains in and out of this vital new facility. The next phase will see the new depot building constructed. It will really start to take shape over the next few months. We must have this depot in place so that we can carry out all of our essential fleet engineering and maintenance work while we transition to the new main depot over the next four years.”
Work on rebuilding South Gosforth Depot will get underway in August with a transition to the new depot up until 2024 by which time all 42 of the new train fleet will have arrived in the northeast. Stadler have been contracted to rebuild the depot as part of the deal to build the new trains. A £70 million maintenance facility will be constructed on the site of the current buildings at South Gosforth with 100 people being employed directly.
Back to Howdon and the facility is also due to be used as part of the commissioning process of the new £362 million fleet of trains being build by Stadler.