NETHERLANDS: The first pile for the expansion of Amsterdam's Diemen metro depot was driven on September 3, watched by Bart Schmeink, General Director of city transport operator GVB, and Gert Jan Vos, Director of construction contractor Strukton.

The depot is being enlarged to accommodate the Series M5 trainsets which Alstom is due to deliver by mid-2013. The work will provide three 120 m tracks able to accommodate the new six-car trainsets, which at 116 m will be significantly longer than the current 80 m four-car trains.

One track will be equipped with jacks able to lift a complete M5 trainset to enable bogies and other large components to be exchanged. A wheel maintenance facility is to be built, and existing tracks realigned.