Metro Mayor ‘breaks ground’ on new railway depot at Kirkdale

Visualisation of new Kirkdale depot

THIS morning Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram officially ‘broke ground’ on the construction of a new £20 million state-of-the-art railway depot at Kirkdale, Merseyside.

This is the latest major step in a £460 million project to deliver 52 new metro trains for the Merseyrail network. It builds on previous milestones, including the agreement for Stadler to take over the operation of Merseyrail’s existing depots.

With construction being carried out by BAM Nuttall, the Kirkdale depot has been designed to drive the most efficient use of the new fleet by minimising the movement of stock within the facility. It will feature washing and stabling facilities, a maintenance shed with run-through tracks, office space, and a simulator suite. The design includes potential for the depot to be extended for 80-metre long trainsets.

The depot works are due to be completed in 2019, in time for the arrival of new vehicles for testing. The new fleet will be fully in service by 2021.

As Jürg Gygax, Stadler’s Executive Vice President responsible for the Service Division explains, the breaking ground ceremony celebrates not only the forthcoming transformation of metro travel in the Liverpool City Region, but also Stadler’s commitment to Liverpool, the North West and the wider United Kingdom:

“It’s just over one year since we signed the contracts with Merseyrail and Merseytravel to deliver and maintain a new fleet of trains for the Liverpool City Region; we are now delighted to be marking the start of work on Stadler’s first new piece of physical infrastructure in the UK. Not only will it be vital to keep Liverpool’s new fleet running efficiently and delivering the best possible experience to passengers, it also symbolizes Stadler’s wider commitment to the city region.

“By making Liverpool our home in the United Kingdom, Stadler is committed to investing in our presence in Kirkdale to help us secure more contracts around the country.”

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, said: “It’s great to see work progressing on the depot. New trains for our region will better connect 1.5 million people to training and apprenticeships, work and leisure. They’ll also boost the economy by £70m a year and create around 1,000 new jobs so this work is vital is to the success of the project.”

Liverpool City Region Transport Portfolio Holder, Liam Robinson, said: “I’m really pleased to be here today to mark the beginning of the depot works.  Lots of preparation is going on behind the scenes within Merseytravel and Merseyrail to get ready for the brand new fleet and the Kirkdale depot is one of the first, tangible things passengers will see happening over the coming months.

“2020 may seem like a long time away however, this time next year the first train will arrive in the UK for testing and the year after we will be getting ready to welcome safer, faster and more comfortable trains to our Merseyrail network. So today’s event really brings the project to life and I look forward to seeing it develop.”