New Metro boss Martin Kearney has gone back to the floor to see the work that goes into looking after the 40 year-old train fleet.
Kearney, the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, spent four hours with the night shift teams at Metro’s Gosforth Depot in Newcastle.
He saw the scale of the engineering works that are required to get the ageing trains turned around and ready for the morning’s services at 5am.
And he also saw the challenges that the maintenance crews face, working with trains that date from mid 1970s, with parts that are becoming increasingly obsolete.
The visit also included a stop at the Metro’s Control Centre to meet Metro drivers and control room staff
He said: “What struck me is the team work, camaraderie and hard work that everyone is putting in. I’ve been really impressed.
“It was good to see is the improvements that the staff are making. We are working in challenging times with a train fleet that is 40 year-old, but the staff are doing a great job.”
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has appointed the Swiss firm Stadler to build its new trains and maintenance depot.
And Mr Kearney, who began his career in the railway industry at the age of 16, had a message for Metro passengers - who rely on the service and will not get to use the new trains until the summer of 2023.
He added: “Every single member of staff at our depot is working flat out to ensure the best possible Metro service goes out each and every day.
“You can see when you look around our current depot that it isn’t a new facility and the trains are very old. The maintenance teams do have a challenging job.
“But they are absolutely focused to get the best possible service out while we wait for Stadler to build and supply our new rolling stock.”
Mr Kearney, who has over 30 years of experience in the public transport industry, started work as the Chief Operating Officer at Nexus on 20 January.
He was formerly the Chief Officer for Train and Ferry Operations at Transdev Australasia, a company that provides public transport services in eight locations in Australia and New Zealand.