New wheel lathe installed at Metro’s redeveloped depot

As the redevelopment of the Tyne and Wear Metro’s Gosforth Depot continues a new state of the art wheel lathe has been installed which will save time and should make train maintenance more efficient. The depot is being developed in a £70 million project by Stadler which will see the more than 100 year old facility given a new lease of life ahead of the new Metro trains being delivered from next year.

The wheel lathe is capable of faster and more precision repairs to a train’s worn wheels at just the touch of the button. An underfloor device, housed in its own special train care unit, machines the wheelsets when the trains simply drive over the top.

Michael Richardson, Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement at Nexus, said: “The new wheel lathe is an exciting part of the Metro fleet replacement project. There is no doubt that it marks a new era for maintenance when it gets brought into use on the new Metro fleet.  Stadler are making great progress with our new £70m depot and the investment in the most advanced maintenance technology is something we are all really looking forward to seeing. The new wheel lathe will transform how the wheels on the new trains are looked after. It will mean more effective and more efficient repairs, and all at the touch of a button.  We’ll get to see this amazing piece of technology in action after the new train fleet has started to be delivered at the end of the year.”

Wheel lathes are used to reprofile each wheel with pin-point accuracy so that they are perfectly rounded thus giving a smoother ride for passengers. The current lathe of the depot requires the trains to be lifted but with the new lathe being built into the floor there will be significant time savings in the process.

The new lathe works by first measuring the size of each wheel and the amount of metal that needs to be cut away is then calculated. The machine then starts reprofiling each wheel and once the cutting is done the lathe measures the wheels again to check them and then the train is made available for use again.

Paul Patrick, Engineering Director for Stadler Rail Service UK, said: “The installation of this piece of equipment is another step in the process to build a new, state-of-the-art depot, which has been designed to ensure maximum availability and reliability of the fleet for decades to come. The new wheel lathe points to Stadler’s commitment to innovation and technology, with the ultimate goal of providing an excellent service for passengers.”

This entry was posted in Tyne and Wear Metro. Bookmark the permalink.