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The depôt performs at least four major functions:

and whilst it is often convenient to have these all on the same site, the choice of a suitable site may be considerably eased by considering them separately.

  Vehicle Storage

 Repair Shops

  Control Room

 Power Distribution



   The space requirement for the proposed 40 trams will depend on the type of vehicle chosen.

A double-decked vehicle to seat 50 (with standing room for a further 100) will be approx 10 metres long and 2.5 metres wide. To allow access it will need a storage floor area of:
10.5  x  3.5 metres  =  37 sq m

Depôt area 1480 sq m

Single-decked vehicles of the same capacity are approximately twice the length and would require twice the floor area
A minimum height of 6m is needed in both cases.

The floor area requirements may be relatively small, perhaps as little as 200 sq m for the main work area and a similar area for stores and offices. An interior height of around 8 to 10 metres in part of the main shop will allow for the easy lifting of tram bodies during major overhauls but the remainder of the building could be lower or two-storied, so as to economise on land area.

 The requirements for this would be in the region of 100 sq m of accommodation which would be subdivided into one control room and several offices

 This could be an outdoor yard and might usefully be incorporated in an existing electricity sub-station.


In addition, small feeder sub-stations will be required at strategic points in the system


 To avoid significant amounts of 'dead-running' between the depôt and the starting pont of the services, the depôt should be as near as possible to the geographical centre of the system.

 The repair shops do not need to be central, provided:
a) They are connected by rail to the system
b) There are sidings or loops at strategic points in the main system, which could accommodate a 'dead' tram until such time as it could be towed back for repair without disrupting services.

An inspection pit is necessary, so the area should be well drained

Because of the telecomunications requirements, a central location is desirable; preferably adjacent to one of the tram stops. It might, with advantage, be incorporated in one of the other tramway buildings.

 A central location will offer significant savings in cabling costs, but in practice the cost of land and the availability of incoming supplies might dictate a suburban site.

The requirements for sub-stations are different.




A tram depôt is relatively quiet and operation throughout 24 hours should be no problem at a sensible distance from any but the most select residential areas.

In London, tram depôts have been sited behind a rank of shops with access down an alleyway.

  This will involve moderately noisy industrial processes which may be required to operate at any time of day or night. It could only be sited on an industrial area and preferrably not near any residences.

 Any ordinary office site will suffice.

 The site should be near the tramway, but the extra cost of cabling to a more remote site must be balanced against the possibility of lower land costs.

As the system approaches maturity there will be an increasing track repair burden. This may require additional storage space for large components such as rails and point assemblies. Additional outdoor space should be allowed for this when specifying the depôt area, or the possibility of purchasing a storage yard should be considered.

A site to the west of Westmoreland Station Road, which is currently used as the B&NES Council's Waste Transfer Depôt, has been considered as the site of a possible tramway depôt. It could become vacant around 2008 and is about the right size and position to fulfil all of the above requirements if a fleet of predominantly double-decked trams were to be used. There is probably insufficient space for a fleet of single-decked articulated trams, additional stabling would probably have to be found, unless an expensive two-storied storage shed were to be built.

Unfortunately, this site would be connected to the rest of the system by a route through a low railway overbridge, so double-decked trams of the normal height would not be able to use it unless substantial engineering work were to be undertaken to lower the roadway under the bridge.

Picture and more info
Depôt vehicles

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