A north-east firm which makes electrical components has secured a contract to supply equipment for the Tyne and Wear Metro’s new £362m fleet of trains.
Turbo Power Systems (TPS), who are based at the Team Valley in Gateshead, is the latest local firm to be taken on by Stadler as part of the project to design, build and maintain the new Metro fleet.
TPS have won an order to make highly specialised electrical equipment for all 46 of the new Metro trains - which go into production in August and will start entering service in 2023.
They will be responsible for making electrical converters, which will allow the trains to draw the high voltage power that make them run. These devices act as the interface between the pantograph and the power converters. They have an essential safety function for the propulsion system.
TPS designs and manufactures cutting-edge power conversion systems for industry, including transport and energy. All of their products are made at their factory in Gateshead.
Adrian Wetter, Stadler Project Manager, said: “Stadler has pledged to support the regional economy and involve as many north east or UK-based companies in the new trains’ project as possible.
“Ninety per cent of all contracts related to the building of the new depot has already gone to UK suppliers, many of which are north east-based. We are very pleased to award this highly significant contract for electric converters to Turbo Power Systems, which is a leading player in the region.”
Carlos Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Turbo Power Systems (TPS), said: “We are absolutely delighted to have partnered with Stadler to deliver one of our innovative power conversion systems for their trains. We have a proven track record in supplying energy conversion solutions, both locally and internationally, and we are proud to share our expertise with Stadler in such a relevant project for the north-east region.
“Our team developed a great relationship with Nexus, who supported and engaged us with Stadler during this entire process to guarantee the best of the Northeast supply chain is involved in this project. We are unconditionally committed with both Stadler and Nexus to deliver reliable and efficient products and services that will benefit the passengers and support the growth of our region.”
Director of Finance and Resources at Nexus, John Fenwick said: “The Metro fleet project is providing our region with vital economic stimulus in these challenging times.
“Stadler are committed to using local suppliers where possible and this helps to secure jobs and drive inward investment as they get ready to start building our new trains later this summer.
“I’m delighted to see that Turbo Power Systems in Gateshead have secured the contract to supply specialist components for the new trains. The electrical equipment is a critical part of the train power system to allow the trains to safely use the energy supplied by the overhead line. It’s a significant order and we are looking forward to working with them on the project.
“The new Metro trains will be state of the art and will deliver a step-change in quality, comfort and reliability for our customers. Each train will be 15 times more reliable and will cut energy consumption by 30% as well as having modern features including charging points, air conditioning and a vastly improved levels of accessibility.
“We are looking forward to the production line starting to roll this August and the first new units entering service from 2023. We will keep our customers updated throughout the manufacturing process.
Stadler, the Swiss train builder, will supply 46 new trains for Metro, along with a new £70m maintenance depot. The first trains are set to enter service from 2023.
The appointment of TPS is another example of Stadler’s commitment to the regional economy and an illustration of its pledge to use local suppliers, wherever possible.
The new Metro trains will be more reliable, cut energy and include modern features, such as charging points and air-conditioning. An automatic sliding step at every door of the new trains will dramatically improve accessibility, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with pushchairs, luggage or bicycles.
Stadler are also building a state-of-the-art new Metro depot at Gosforth in Newcastle and will maintain the new fleet as part of the contract, which was announced in January 2020 after a competitive tendering process.
Find out more about the new Tyne and Wear Metro fleet at www.nexus.org.uk/newmetrotrains