UK: Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram buried a time capsule on May 16 to mark the ongoing construction of new depot facilities on an existing site at Kirkdale, where Stadler is to maintain the 52 electric multiple-units which it is to supply for Merseyrail services around Liverpool.
The depot is being built by BAM Nuttall under a £20m contract awarded by Stadler Rail Services UK last year. It is scheduled for completion ahead of the delivery of the first of the new EMUs in June 2019, and the full fleet is expected to be in service in 2021.
The contract also includes refurbishment of the existing Birkenhead North depot, which will be retained for overnight servicing and cleaning.
Kirkdale depot is being designed to minimise the movement of stock. The site will feature a maintenance shed, washing and stabling facilities, a modified wheel lathe building, office space and a driving simulator suite. The four-car EMUs will be 65 m long, but the site will have provision to accommodate the EMUs should they be lengthened to 80 m.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region’s portfolio holder for transport, said the new EMUs would ‘set the standard for the rest of the UK’.