Tuesday 11th August marked the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Tyne and Wear Metro and if things had been a bit more normal one of the centrepieces of the celebrations would have been the chance for the public to see behind the scenes at Gosforth Depot. But with Covid-19 restrictions making this impossible Nexus have provided the next best thing – a virtual tour!
A 20 minute film is now available on You Tube for all to enjoy. The virtual tour includes the running sheds and the main lifting shop (where the bulk of daily maintenance work is carried out before trains are sent into service). You can also see how a train’s wheels are made ready for service and how other essential components allow the trains to draw high voltage power from overhead lines and how trains are coupled together. The video also looks at the state of the art vehicles used for looking after overhead lines and how staff keep the 220 ticket machines in working order.
Huw Lewis, Nexus Customer Services Director, said: “A virtual depot tour is a great way to mark the 40th anniversary of Metro at a time when we’re unable to welcome visitors for an open day. It’s a fascinating insight into how we look after the ageing Metro train fleet, showcasing the passion, skill and dedication of our workforce. We had planned to allow the public in to have a look around the depot as part of an open day but the coronavirus pandemic meant the event had to be cancelled. The next best thing was to commission a virtual tour, which gives people access all areas at the depot. This is the last chance to look around the Metro depot building, which dates back to 1923, before demolition gets underway to make way for the new £70m depot on the same Gosforth site, which will be home to our new train fleet.”