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Howdon Satellite Depot

November 2020

£70 Million

Buckingham Group Contracting for Nexus

Key Project Features

  • Preferred M&E service provider
  • Dedicated on-site project management
  • Innovative bespoke solutions
  • Delivered on time & on budget
  • Health & Safety top priority
  • No on-site accidents

Description of Project

With the existing Nexus Metro depot at Gosforth, North Tyneside undergoing redevelopment works and with an expanded fleet of rail vehicles, Howdon needed to be brought online as an additional depot facility where Metro vehicles could be stabled overnight and new rolling stock received.

The Howdon depot also needed to provide cleaning and light maintenance facilities while improvement works were underway at Gosforth. Emeg were responsible for undertaking the detailed design, installation and coordination of the mechanical and electrical installations required to create a suitable environment within the depot sidings, workshop and office facilities.

Project Background

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd (BGCL) were appointed by Nexus as the design and build contractor for the complete scheme and contracted Emeg as their preferred railway M&E engineering services provider.

Emeg were responsible for undertaking the detailed design, installation and coordination of the mechanical & electrical services installations required to create a suitable environment within the depot sidings, the workshop and office facilities within the accommodation building.

This included:

  • safeNet Depot Protection System (DPS)
  • Points heating
  • Automatic derailer
  • Mechanical & electrical services
  • LV distribution & earthing
  • Lighting, telecoms & fire protection
  • Gas & water supply
  • Ventilation & drainage
  • Heating & cooling
  • Building Management System (BMS)


Gallery – Click to view images

safeNet Depot Protection System (DPS)

An Emeg safeNet Depot Protection System (DPS) was installed to protect the depot staff from any unauthorised train movements into the workshop. This was achieved by using an automatic derailer located on the protected road, which prevents trains from moving into the workshop unless ALL staff are logged off the road via the Emeg safeNET depot protection system.

The EMEG safeNet DPS is based around a system of ‘Data Keys’ to allow personnel at the depot to work safely on a specific road within the workshop. The automatic derailer will serve to protect the road into the workshop and will normally be held in the ‘UP’ position, which is the derail position, until the DPS is turned ‘OFF’ at the ROLO panel by the authorised depot personnel. The Emeg safeNet DPS system is also capable of interfacing with the workshop bi-fold doors, such that a movement cannot take place unless the doors are proved to be fully open. The bi-fold door suppliers control unit shall have volt free contacts available to provide “DOORS OPEN” & “DOORS CLOSED” outputs to confirm the door status to the DPS system.

All works carried out by Emeg were conducted with Health & Safety as an absolute priority, ensuring that the day to day programming was met and the project was delivered on time, notwithstanding the challenges caused at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A thorough knowledge of depot systems and dedicated on-site management meant that BGCL had trust in Emeg when it came to integrating these works. The use of our dedicated design team coupled with our innovative bespoke solutions allowed Emeg to deliver the client’s requirements at Howden Depot on time, on budget and with no on-site accidents.

“It’s been a collaborative effort, delivered on time, and we’ve produced something we can all really be proud of.”

Tabitha Callaghan, Project Manager, Nexus

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