In 2018, DKA were appointed to provide architectural services to complete the detailed design and construction phases of a new rail depot adjacent to Exeter St David’s. DKA were appointed through Arup to HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction Ltd. who were delivering the project for GWR and Network Rail. The project was handed over in late 2020 and increases the capacity of the existing depot to clean and service trains, which will in turn allow for greater passenger numbers on the network.
Exeter Rail Depot
Winner - National Rail Awards Infrastructure Achievement of the Year 2021
The scheme comprises a large maintenance building linked to a block containing support functions, a new Carriage Wash, upgraded Under Frame Cleaning building and ancillary structures. The depot operates 24-hours for train servicing, cleaning and stabling. Three internal roads create a range of servicing opportunities from heavy maintenance (engine and bogie replacement) to general train access from mid or high-level gantries for a variety of rolling stock.
The new support block sits between the depot and the public platforms, containing control rooms for the depot operations with office spaces, meeting rooms, a staff canteen and welfare facilities for depot staff and train crew. Owing to the shape of the site, the building is very long and narrow; the design having emerged from the functional and physical constraints of the depot site. Bridges link to a fuel farm to the north and to the existing station platforms to the east.
The design process followed the Network Rail GRIP stages. The single option development (GRIP4) was designed by others and DKA provided the Architectural design for GRIP5 and 6. The project was designed to BIM Level 2 and BREEAM ‘Excellent’ for sustainability. The project allowed DKA to bring their experience of other industrial building types in the aerospace, automotive and MoD sectors. We enjoyed the challenge of this building type and the collaborative environment fostered by the engineering specialist at Arup and HOCHTIEF.