A full-sized replica of the new Tyne and Wear Metro train has gone on public display for the very first time.
The detailed cab mock-up is being exhibited at the Stephenson Steam Railway in North Tyneside.
It will give visitors of all ages the chance to see inside the new Metro train’s driver cab. Features include the full cab layout, the driver’s seat, a dashboard, and an exterior with the iconic yellow Metro livery and destination displays.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has donated the replica to the museum to let the public get a closer look at the new Metro fleet ahead of the first train arriving at the end of the year.
Plans to showcase the mock-up as part of a road show across the region had previously been shelved due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement Programme, Michael Richardson, said: “We are delighted to say that the replica of our new train has gone on public display for the first time.
“The Stephenson Steam Railway is the perfect location for this exhibit, and it will make for a great day out while the schools are off.
“We hope that visitors will really enjoy seeing this life-sized mock-up as we countdown to the first real train arriving at the end of the year.
“It gives a fascinating snapshot of what the new Metro trains are going to look like. We certainly think younger visitors will really enjoy seeing inside the driver’s cab and it will help to capture their imagination and inspire them.
“The mock-up is exactly to the scale. It has the same layout as the trains which are being built by Stadler. You interact with the control panels and get a sense scale, and how vastly different the new fleet is going to be compared to the current one.”
Michael Steiner, Programme Director for Stadler, said: “We are pleased that the cab mock-up of our state-of-the-art new trains set to serve the Tyne and Wear Metro will go on public display at the Stephenson Steam Railway. This single piece of kit is an illustration of our core values, including innovation, precision, efficiency, craftsmanship and comfort. It’s fantastic that the general public will be given the opportunity to get a flavour of the new trains, ahead of their introduction into service next year.”
The mock-up was visited by more than 150 Metro drivers to make sure the new trains will be designed to the highest standards of comfort and usability.
The Metro cab has advanced technology. Digital control panels and new CCTV screens to view the train and platform with greater ease.
The new Metro trains, which are being made by the Swiss train builder Stadler, are set to enter passenger service in 2023, delivering a step-change in quality and reliability for passengers.
The Metro cab mock-up was built based on the feedback train crew provided using virtual reality technology last year, a process which honed the train cab design.
Stadler brought the mock-up over to the UK from Germany in February 2021. It had previously been kept in a workshop at the Metro depot at Gosforth in Newcastle.
Stadler is building a total of 46 new Metro trains for Nexus, which will be delivered up to 2024. They will be responsible for servicing and maintaining these trains for 35 years, underscoring their commitment to the regional economy.
The new trains will deliver a step change in comfort and quality, and will cut energy consumption by 30%, will have modern features including charging points, air conditioning and a step-change in accessibility.
Among the new features will be an automatic sliding step at every door of the new trains, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage or bicycles.