Reading Train Care Depot

The Reading Train Care Depot wheel lathe facility was commissioned by First Great Western in order to serve the changing requirements of the Thames Valley fleet, as part of the Department for Transports electrification programme. Spencer Group took on the challenge of designing and building the scheme while keeping the facility fully operational for the duration of the contract.

Key Project Details

Client GWR/DfT
Duration 24 months
Location Reading
Contract Form JCT Design and Build Contract 2011

Project Scope

The works involved extending the existing train shed to create space for the new wheel lathe facility. P-Way was extended to allow trains to access the wheel lathe facility and the depot’s existing carriage wash plant room was relocated with all components (steel frame, cladding and equipment) being re-used as the existing room was fouling the alignment of the embedded concrete track slab.

Office / training rooms and welfare accommodation were located within the extension for the depot staff.

Once the wheel lathe building was weathertight and the overhead gantry crane commissioned, Spencer assisted the wheel lathe manufacturer (Danobat) to transport their components into the wheel lathe pit for them to assemble the lathe.

The project involved

6 articulated truck loads of wheel lathe components
>90% diversion from waste landfill


Spencer Group found an existing high-pressure gas main and HV electricity cables directly in the way of foundations for a new retaining wall. This wall formed the boundary of the access road we were required to construct to maintain a vehicle route to the West end of the Depot.

This required the site team and design team to review the programme and come up with an alternative access route and delivery strategy to commence construction of the wheel lathe building.

Once services diversions were complete the project took off and was delivered to a challenging programme, scheduled to mitigate further delays and serve the demands of the Client and DFT to ensure the project was completed by end of August 2017.

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The project involved

840 mile round trip commute for the project manager
1st wheel lathe danobat installed in the uk