With new rolling stock being procured on a regular and extensive basis, there has been a significant rise in the number of depots being built. Unfortunately, there are examples of designs being less than optimum, with some extensive re-engineering being required to make them suitable for the new rolling stock. Industry lacked guidance for depot procurers and designers, and the links between designers and end users were lacking. The result was that depots were providing features and systems which were sometimes incompatible or over engineered, all leading to unnecessary extra cost.

In response to this issue, we set about creating a brand new, comprehensive Guidance Note for the design of passenger rolling stock depots. Following a series of depot visits around the country, the new Guidance Note brought together all elements of the design of the depot and facilities, from how you define what makes an effective depot, through to procurement and contractual issues. The document clarified that many of the mainline standards did not apply in a depot. It also advises that a designer should adopt the most suitable requirements on the basis of operational needs, and ensures that the risk assessment of the operation is in line with the philosophy of the Common Safety Method for Risk Assessment (CSMRA). The guidance acts as the single source of information for any party involved in providing a new depot or developing existing depots. It includes examples (with photos) of effective features from depots around the country as well as lessons learned where the depot design has been less than optimum.

Ahead of its publication in September 2018, the guidance note is now owned by industry so that it can be continually updated with new lessons learned to help ensure a growing and consistent understanding of how to get depot designs right first time. Through providing industry with guidance and the means to take ownership of it, and further develop it, we have:

  1. Laid the foundation for much greater collaboration between depot designers, specifiers and the end users
  2. Considerably lowered the risk of basic mistakes being made in depot design, potentially saving industry millions of pounds.