The new Stadler Rail depot in Kirkdale, Liverpool, has been completed, ready for the arrival of the new fleet of four-car trains.
The £21 million re-build of the depot facilities began in 2018 and forms part of the £460 million being invested in the new trains and related infrastructure.
The newly upgraded depot includes washing and heavy maintenance capabilities as well as stabling room for 30 of the new trains. The facility is also equipped with 24-hour CCTV and secure access controls.
During a recent visit, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, met with members of the construction team as well as some of the newly qualified Stadler engineering and maintenance apprentices who will be working on the new trains.
He also thanked local workers for their efforts in helping to bring new state-of-the-art trains to the Liverpool City Region. Over three-quarters of the team working on construction of the depot are residents of the Liverpool City Region, while two-thirds of all specialist sub-contractors are from within 50 miles.
“In the Liverpool City Region, we’re trying to build a fair and inclusive economy where the benefits of jobs and investment are felt within our communities, rather than by shareholders – that means we’re committed to using as much local talent and expertise as possible,” he explained.
“The new trains will massively benefit rail users, but I’m really keen that their impact is felt across the region. This new depot will go on creating high-quality local jobs for years to come as part of a 35-year contract to maintain and upgrade the new trains.”
John Costello, safety critical supervisor at BAM Nuttall, who comes from Kirkby, just six miles for Kirkdale, said: “As a local person with very specific training and expertise, it is fantastic to work on a project that uses my skills and is relatively close to where I live.
“Developments like Kirkdale depot are fantastic for the city region. We should do all we can to ensure that local people are involved in them so that the benefits of local investment are shared across the board.”
The Kirkdale depot is now also the home of Stadler’s UK headquarters. Once the new trains enter passenger service, the majority of the company’s UK workforce will be based at this site.
Stadler also has a second depot at Birkenhead North, where the existing fleet is maintained. The Swiss rail-builder has a contract to service the new trains for 35 years, providing jobs in engineering and maintenance.
Jenny Corkill, one of Stadler’s newly qualified apprentice technicians, said: “’I was very pleased that straight after completing my apprenticeship course at Stadler, I was offered a permanent post within the business.
“The training has prepared me well for a career on the railway, and I am delighted that I could immediately benefit from it by securing a decent job in the Liverpool City Region.”