Spencer Group completes New Cross Gate Depot works to allow five-car train access

MAJOR works to upgrade New Cross Gate Depot have been completed on schedule thanks to Spencer Group.

The £10m project, which is part of Transport for London’s (TfL) £320m programme to boost capacity, London Overground Capacity Improvement (LOCIP), saw Spencer redevelop the depot so that it can accommodate five-car trains.

Working alongside TfL and Bombardier, the project team completed the final snagging works this week (February 16) and handed the depot back to the client.

To accommodate the longer five-car trains, a programme of infrastructure upgrades was required.

These consisted of platform extensions across the London Overground network, construction of a new train stabling facilities at Silwood and the reconfiguration of the existing maintenance depots at New Cross Gate and Willesden.

The existing depot was only four years old, however, Spencer was contracted to redevelop most of the associated facilities.

The works included extending the Maintenance Facilities Building by 21m to accommodate the longer trains, extending the Heavy Clean Shed by 20m, relocating the Wheel Lathe as well as altering existing P-Way, installing new track and reconfiguring traction power supplies.

Substantial changes to reconfigure the bays used to maintain the trains and the revision of the interior layout of the shed to accommodate the larger trains also formed part of the scheduled works.

Work started onsite in July 2013 and was complete in January 2015 on schedule.

Glenn Smithson, Project Director at Spencer, said: “I would like to congratulate my team on delivering a substantial package of works on schedule. Although the depot is part of a larger project, the works were essential in order to increase capacity and allow five-car trains to be serviced there.

“The depot is an extremely busy facility. So, to not affect the depot’s operational capacity, we took an innovative approach towards carrying out the necessary works. Much of the work was completed behind a purpose-built screen to allow the facilities to remain operational while works continued.

“By employing this way of working, we not only limited the impact on users of the depot but also ensured the works remained on schedule.”

London Overground announced plans to reconfigure the depot in March 2013 after it was confirmed most of its trains were to be extended from four to five carriages to enable them to carry more passengers.

Nearly all of the proposed changes could have been made within the existing depot site but, in order to extend the maintenance shed, the existing retaining wall needed to be removed to allow the new construction.

Throughout the project, as on any scheme Spencer undertakes, safety was the number one priority.

To this end, Spencer introduced a new health and safety initiative at New Cross Gate to ensure safety levels on the project remained at a high level.

Operations director Tim Evans, with the support of SHEQ, implemented a ‘Site Safety Gold Star Award’, which was issued to a member of the project workforce on a weekly basis.

Tim said: “The award is designed to give recognition to one member of the workforce who has displayed excellent health and safety standards, attitude and behaviour through the week.

“Spencer and TfL management jointly selected the member of the workforce they felt met the grade and in turn, a certificate and small prize was issued at the end of the week.

“This scheme had a very positive effect on project health and safety, workforce motivation and safe behaviours on site.”