Nexus, which owns, manages and is modernising Metro, has officially unveiled its new look Metro trains following a multi-million pound refurbishment programme.
The first modernised train, with its plush new interior and sleek light metallic grey and black colour scheme, has been officially unveiled after spending more than a year being stripped down and refitted.
The first Metrocar to be chosen for refurbishment is car 4041, named after the late Gateshead Councillor and MP Harry Cowans in honour of the work he did in the 1970s to get the Tyne and Wear Metro built.
It is the first of Metro’s fleet of 90 trains to be refurbished as part of the £385m Metro: all change modernisation programme.
The interior of the train has been redesigned. New seating, lighting and flooring have been installed, giving the train a cleaner, brighter and more modern appearance. The new layout allows for improved wheelchair access.
The new colour scheme still incorporates the iconic bright yellow brand colour of the Tyne and Wear Metro. The new livery will replace the current ‘red, green or blue’ Metro train liveries, which date back to the mid 1990s.
Director General of Nexus, Bernard Garner, said: “It’s great to unveil our first newly refurbished Metro train, the first of 90 trains to be modernised. It is also fitting to name the train after the late Harry Cowans MP, a man who played such a key role in getting the Metro system built more than 30 years ago.
“This refurbishment is a key part of our £385m Metro all change modernisation programme.
“The first train is now back from the factory and more trains will follow suit over the coming months. The upgrades will be of huge benefit to passengers. The work is of a high quality that gives Metro a much needed new look.”
Chair of the Tyne and Wear ITA, Cllr David Wood, said: “I’m delighted to see the first new Metro train. It looks great and delivers the high quality that the public deserve. The £385m Metro all change programme is making good progress. I am proud and excited about the upgrades that are now coming to fruition, including new look trains, stations and new ticket machines.”
Managing Director of DBTW, Richard McClean, said: “Welcoming back the first of the refurbished trains is a big moment for Metro and we are looking forward to people being able to see the changes we have made.
“This is the first of many trains to be refurbished which will help to improve the passenger travel experience on Metro.”
The Metro trains are being transported by road to Doncaster, where they are being stripped down, refitted and repainted.
DBTW, which operates trains and stations on behalf of Nexus, is delivering, as part of its contract, the ‘three-quarter life’ refurbishment, which is being carried out by WabTec in Doncaster, a company which has carried out similar projects for London Underground trains.
The refurbishment programme, which will continue until 2014, is being managed by DBTW against rigorous timescales, while ensuring it has no impact on the day-to-day operation of Metro, which requires more than 80 of the fleet at peak times.
The new train livery dovetails with the new grey uniforms issued to all Metro staff over the last few weeks.