VolkerRail to install OLE at Gosforth depot

VolkerRail is working with sister company, VolkerFitzpatrick, to install all overhead line (OLE) equipment at the Tyne and Wear Metro’s Gosforth fleet depot.

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The brand new depot, being built by VolkerFitzpatrick, will accommodate the new state-of-the-art trains for Metro, set to start arriving next year and enter passenger service from 2023.

The new depot is being built on a 12-acre site, close to Regent Centre station. As well as being adapted to optimise train movements, to keep noise to a minimum for the benefit of local residents, it is also being fully electrified, in readiness for the new fleet of electric trains, currently being built by Stadler.

As part of the depot’s construction, VolkerRail will install all OLE structures and cable across the siding’s new 14 roads, and within the new depot building.

VolkerRail has already completed the early OLE stage works, which included installing a number of circular hollow section steel piles and foundations at the East and West ends of the depot.

Commenting, Reece Aspin, VolkerRail project manager, said: “Our team has already installed the new OLE structures within the depot, and has also started to prefabricate additional structures within our facility in Doncaster. Working with our sister company is always exciting for us. Building depots is something we do exceptionally well together, and this project will be no different.”

Commenting, Marcus Dench, VolkerFitzpatrick senior project manager, said: “VolkerFitzpatrick and VolkerRail have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in building train depots, and I am confident that this knowledge and experience will allow our teams to work seamlessly, whilst the depot becomes electrified.”

The team will begin the next stage of work, to install the depot’s new OLE booms at the end of October. This will be followed by further piling works, and then the main OLE steelwork erection and wire runs, before the redundant equipment is removed in Summer 2022.

Michael Steiner, Stadler deputy programme director, added: “Every stage of the programme to build a new depot for the new fleet of class 555 trains being manufactured by Stadler, brings us one step closer to their arrival in the north east. These trains will make best of use of the most advanced technology to promote safety, reliability and comfort to enhance the passenger experience.”