Tanfield Railway given boost by Metro depot redevelopment

The Tanfield Railway – which runs from Sunniside, Gateshead to East Tanfield, County Durham – is to benefit from the redevelopment of the Tyne and Wear Metro depot at Gosforth with more than 20 tons of used track equipment being donated by Nexus.

As we’ve recently reported work on the redevelopment started earlier this year and surplus materials, including both sleepers and control equipment, were made available by contractors VolkerFitzpatrick.

Neil Blagburn, Metro Development Director, said: “It’s fantastic that our depot modernisation project can bring benefit to local heritage railways, who often rely on donations like this. No doubt there will be a great deal more equipment and materials looking to be repurposed as we press ahead with the complete transformation of our 100-year-old depot at Gosforth. The Tanfield Railway in particular, were keen to get some of the old sleepers from us. It is among the world’s oldest railways and it’s big honour to have a few pieces of the Metro network helping to support such a local icon.”

Tanfield Railway General Manager, David Watchman, added: “The new Metro fleet is an exciting project for the future of transport in the region. But it’s great to see that it’s also helping to preserve some of the north east’s unique heritage. We’re really grateful to Nexus, Stadler and VolkerFitzpatrick for this donation. Equipment like this is often very hard to obtain new, and of course re-using it in this way is much better for the environment. Our volunteers are looking forward to putting it to good use as we prepare for our 300th anniversary in 2025.”

The redevelopment of the depot is expected to take four years to complete by which time the new fleet of trains will have been delivered by Stadler from Switzerland. Stadler have a 35 year maintenance contract for both the current fleet and the new trains and they have appointed VolkerFitzpatrick as contractors to build the new depot.

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