UK: Stadler Rail Services UK has awarded BAM Nuttall a contract worth around £20m to build the depot in Kirkdale where it will maintain the fleet of 52 electric multiple-units which Stadler Bussnang is to supply for Merseyrail services, and also to refurbish the existing Birkenhead North depot.

‘We have been working collaboratively with Stadler during the tender stage of this exciting programme’, said BAM Nuttall Pre-Construction Director Alan Cox on March 20. ‘From our Warrington office we have been able to provide locally-based staff to support the bid and develop the programme. We will continue with this locally-based approach throughout the delivery phase and also provide opportunity for our northern based supply chain.’

Scheduled to be completed in 2019, the Kirkdale depot will include a maintenance shed, washing and stabling facilities, office space and a simulator suite. The new four-car articulated EMUs will be 65 m long, but the depot will be designed with provision for future extension to accommodate 80 m trainsets.

Main maintenance is to be undertaken at Kirkdale, with the existing Birkenhead North depot to be upgraded with a new train washing plant to support a focus on overnight servicing and cleaning.

The train supply deal signed by Liverpool region transport authority Merseytravel and Stadler on February 16 is worth ‘up to £700m’, including maintenance throughout the EMUs’ expected 35-year life. Stadler will also oversee the maintenance of the existing fleet, taking on 155 staff from Merseyrail tobring the total number of Stadler employees in the UK to more than 200 by 2019.

Stadler said it was committed to building up its UK supply chain, and was already in talks with potential suppliers. Jürg Gygax, Executive Vice-President responsible for the Services Division, said the depot deal ‘underlined the company’s commitment to the UK’, with the majority of the overall value to be ‘retained in the UK and the northwest’.