Rail News

Ground Work Commences on Depot for New Merseyrail Trains

Ground work has started on the new state-of-the-art depot at Kirkdale where all maintenance work for the new Merseyrail trains, due to be introduced in 2020, will take place.

Warrington-based BAM Nuttall are currently undertaking enabling works after being awarded the contract by Stadler Rail Services, who will be manufacturing and maintaining the new fleet.

New Merseyrail Trains
© Merseyrail Trains

New State-of-the-Art Depot

Preliminary work is due to start in October, with the depot build set to be complete by 2019, in time for the arrival of new trains for testing.

Features of the new depot will include:

  • The creation of a maintenance facility for the new state-of-the-art Stadler trains.
  • A driving cab simulator, including a full-size mock-up of a driver’s cab, facilities for a link between the trainer and trainee and a lecture theatre for people to observe the training.
  • A new train washing facility.
  • Stabling capacity for up to 30 trains.
  • New offices and welfare facilities for the maintenance workforce.
  • Meanwhile, the existing Birkenhead depot will remain essential to operations, with plans for a second new train washing facility. Detailed plans are still being developed for this site.
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Thomas Zweifel, programme director & deputy CEO UK for Stadler said:

“Stadler will implement in the Kirkdale depot its state-of-the-art technology and maintenance expertise. The significant local investment and up-skilling of local workforce are strengthening the Merseyside industrial sector and will overall result in a positive economic impact. Stadler is excited to be involved in this project that will see new trains on the Merseyrail network in 2020.

New Merseyrail Trains

Replacing one of the oldest fleets in the UK, the new stadler trains will provide fully step free access for all passengers, making Merseyrail the most accessible traditional network in the UK. The new Kirkdale maintenance depot will be entirely designed, built and operated by Stadler.

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The trains will have lower floors, only 960 mm above rail level, and will be entirely walk-through, increasing their capacity to 486 people (182 seated, 302 standing, and two wheelchair users). Strong but lightweight carriages, built from aluminium extrusions, mean they will be safer and more energy efficient.

David Powell, Merseytravel’s programme director for the new trains said:

“The new depot at Kirkdale and the refurbished depot at Birkenhead North will be essential in keeping our new trains reliable, clean and serving the Liverpool City Region well. The start of the ground works at Kirkdale is an exciting milestone – the first real visible sign that these new state-of-the-art trains are coming.”

 Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail’s managing director, added:

“The start of the work to overhaul Kirkdale depot is another step along the way to transform the Merseyrail network, moving us a stage closer to the introduction of new trains. We welcome this much needed upgrade, which will take the depot into the 21st century, equipped to maintain the trains to a very high standard.”

Original article © Merseyrail Trains.

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