RPS Appointed for GWR Exeter Depot Expansion

exeter-depot-1The Great Western Railway network in the South West of England is currently undergoing the greatest investment since it was originally built over 150 years ago.

The modernisation programme will see the electrification of much of the Great Western network, and the delivery of new fleet of Intercity Express Programme trains; enabling train operator GWR to deliver more seats, more frequent journeys and reduced journey times.

RPS has been appointed by Great Western Railway (GWR) to develop preliminary designs for a major expansion of its depot at Exeter. The scheme, subject to funding, will provide state-of-the-art facilities to allow planned and corrective maintenance, together with increased capacity for overnight train refuelling, cleaning and stabling. The potential development of the depot will also provide accommodation for GWR’s local train operations team, train drivers and train crew.

The maintenance depot is on a prominent site adjacent to Exeter St David’s Station. Design of the new building will need to be carefully considered to reflect the site context and the proximity of the new building to the Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed station. It is hoped that the relocation of existing train operations accommodation will help to facilitate future enhancements to the station and adjacent public areas.

With the existing train maintenance depot crucial to the ongoing delivery of GWR rail services a key aspect of the design will therefore be the development of a detailed, phased, strategy allowing existing depot operations to continue until the new facility is complete. RPS will work closely with GWR’s depot operations team to ensure that the proposed phasing is optimised and any required temporary arrangements are fully identified.

A Great Western Railway high-speed train passes along the Dawlish coastline near Exeter. Wikimedia Commons: Phil Wakely – The perils of the late afternoon sun! This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

RPS has been appointed initially to develop the design to completion of GRIP Stage 3 in accordance with Network Rail’s Governance for Railway Investment Projects. The GRIP 3 design will be submitted for formal approval by Network Rail before progressing to the next stage of design development, and will be used in seeking the necessary planning approval. The scope of RPS design work includes civil and structural engineering, architecture, building services, permanent-way and signalling. RPS will also provide specialist town & country planning and environmental expertise, as required to support the design development and planning consent processes.

Our appointment to progress this project follows the completion of GRIP 4 design for GWR’s maintenance depot enhancements at Penzance and is the latest project to continue the longstanding record that RPS has as a specialist in the design of train maintenance facilities.

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