First test train arrives at temporary Metro depot

The first train has entered the Tyne and Wear Metro’s new temporary depot at Howdon on test as preparations for its opening continue at a pace. The depot – on the site of an old landfill site – has been built to allow for the cleaning of preparation for up to a quarter of the Metro fleet while the main depot at South Gosforth undergoes rebuilding ready for the new train fleet.

Tabitha Callaghan, Project Manager, said: “I’m pleased to say that we successfully brought the first test train into the workshop at our new Howdon depot. It’s a hugely significant moment as we countdown to this new facility becoming operational. The test was to ensure that all of the new infrastructure is correctly set up, that the train fitted into the maintenance area, and that everything worked as it should. It all went very well and we are all set to welcome more trains at the end of November when we bring the depot into use. Howdon depot has taken just over a year to build and it was a genuine collaboration between Nexus and our principal contractors. Covid-19 threw up some challenges for us, however, we found some innovative ways to overcome these to finish the project safely.”

The temporary depot was built by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd and consists of 11 new lines totalling 1.5km. There are also 1,000 new sleepers and 13 track junctions.

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