The depot will include washing and stabling facilities, a maintenance shed with run-through tracks, offices, and a simulator room. The structure will be designed to enable extension for 80m-long trains.

The contract also includes refurbishment of Merseyrail’s existing depot at Birkenhead North, which in future will focus on overnight servicing and cleaning with most maintenance activity transferring to Kirkdale.

All depot works are due to be completed by 2019, when Stadler will deliver the first trains for testing. The fleet will enter passenger service in 2020.