A maintenance vehicle which has given 30 years of service to the Tyne and Wear Metro is to benefit railway operators in the Far East.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has sold its giant track tamping machine following its three decades looking after 77kms of Metro track.
It has been snapped up by a Polish company called Newag S.A., a firm that specialises in the modernisation of old railway rolling stock. They intend to sell it on to railway firms in the South East Asia.
The 40 tonne vehicle, which is known as an on-track tamping machine, is used to sustain track geometry levels and alignment in accordance with UK rail industry standards.
Nexus invested £2.3m in a new track tamper in 2014 as part of the £350m Metro all change modernisation programme.
Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “This piece of maintenance equipment has given great service to Metro since the late 1980s.
“It is a vehicle that the public may not have often seen in use, as the bulk of its operations were during the night when Metro services were not running.
“A tamper is needed to keep the Metro tracks in tip top condition so that they can carry passenger services smoothly for the 38 million people who use the Metro every year.
“We knew that we needed to replace it and in 2014 we were able to acquire a brand new tamper as part of our modernisation programme.
“I’m delighted we have found a buyer for old tamping vehicle, which has gone to a depot in Germany for refurbishment before heading off to Asia.”