Metro wins at the Rail Business Awards for training excellence

The Nexus Learning Centre in South Shields
25 February 2022

The Tyne and Wear Metro has scooped a prestigious national award for its commitment to employee development at its new £9m Learning Centre in South Shields.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, won for Education and Training Excellence at the Rail Business Awards - recognising the boost it gave driver recruitment and customer service training by opening the learning centre.

The Nexus Learning Centre, which opened in 2020, is a purpose-built training facility, bringing a wide range of rail infrastructure and operations training under one roof in a modern new setting.

Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “This prestigious award is recognition for all the hard work that we have done to transform our employee development and training facilities at our new Learning Centre.

“It’s a tremendous achievement for us to win at the Rail Business Awards, where we were up against the best in the UK rail industry. 

“We have trained a record number of new Metro drivers at the new learning centre, and we can also deliver a wider range of customer service and infrastructure training there too, which is helping to drive excellence right across our business.

“I was also delighted to see Nexus and Stadler highly commended for the work that we put local people at the heart of the design process for our new Metro train fleet.”

The UK Rail Business Awards winners were announced at a glittering ceremony in London on Wednesday, 23 February 2022. The annual awards attract scores of entries from right across the UK rail sector, including leading train companies, engineering and technology firms.

Nexus, along with train builder Stadler, were also highly commended in the Marketing and Communications Excellence category for involving 23,000 people in consultation on the design of Metro’s £362m new train fleet through an interactive online and VR engagement campaign.

The Nexus Learning Centre was funded through a £7m grant from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and a £1.4m contribution by Nexus.

The centre boasts a 70 metre stretch of dual track for rail infrastructure training, including track, track points, signalling and overhead line.

It will eventually be home to a new computerised Metro driver training simulator, in preparation for the delivery of new Metro trains.  It will also allow engineering staff to learn how to maintain the new trains, which are set to start arriving in 2022 and enter services in 2023.

Nexus can now safely and securely stable Metro trains overnight in South Shields, allowing for an earlier start of services and later evening services from South Shields when the new train fleet is brought into service.

Other facilities include classrooms, offices, a staff canteen and breakout area, store rooms, a conference room for 50 people.

© 2022 Nexus Tyne and Wear - Public Transport and Local Information.