New Metro train completes its first test runs to South Shields

The new Stadler Metro train
14 August 2023

The eagerly anticipated new Tyne and Wear Metro train has completed its first test runs through South Tyneside. 

We are pleased to say the tests have been successful and were part of our detailed preparations to get the new Metro fleet ready for customer service.

And one of the new Stadler trains has been moved to the Nexus Learning Centre at Mile End Road in South Shields to assist with training for drivers and customer service teams. 

The testing, which is the latest phase of the £362m new Metro fleet programme, is currently taking place during the early hours of the morning when the network is closed. 

The Stadler Class 555 Metro trains are undergoing a period of testing and driver training before entering service for customers. Two more new trains are set to be delivered late this year. 

The new Metro fleet will offer a comfortable, new, air conditioned, open plan layout, sleekly modelled interior, transforming the customer experience, while setting new standards for accessibility.

Major Projects Director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: “I’m delighted to say that the new Metro train has been put through its first test runs on our lines through South Tyneside.

“We’ve also taken one of the new trains to our Learning Centre in South Shields to support training for our drivers and customer service teams. 

“The testing of the new trains is going well, and we are working closely with our colleagues at Stadler so that we can get first new trains into service for our customers. 

“This is a very detailed and vital process of testing ahead of drivers starting their training on the new Class 555 Metro. 

“These trains will have to go through a phase of rigorous testing on our network, and all our drivers will need to undertake a period of train handling experience during the implementation phase of the project.

“Once the trains are in service they are going to be transformative for our customers and our workforce in terms of comfort, quality and reliability.

“Our customers, employees, specialist user groups and trade unions helped to design the new trains as part of a far-reaching consultation exercise that received 23,000 responses. We are getting a bespoke design from Stadler, with a sleek modern appearance, inside and out.” 

Cllr Margaret Meling, Lead Member for Economic Growth and Transport, said: “It’s great news that the test run was a success and I am sure passengers are looking forward to these new, modern trains coming into service.

“Having a reliable, safe and efficient public transport network is vital for boosting our economy as well as helping us to address our climate change commitments.

“This investment into the Metro fleet is going to bring long term benefits to South Tyneside and the wider region.”

Stadler, the Swiss train manufacturer, are building a total of 46 new Metro trains on behalf of Nexus.

The fleet will enter service in phases and the aim is to have all of the new trains in service by 2025. 

Stadler has delivered three new trains to North East England so far, and more are set to arrive later this year.

The Class 555 Stadler train is a unique design for Metro and in the months ahead will undergo rigorous testing to ensure that it interfaces correctly with signalling systems and other Metro infrastructure. 

Metro drivers will also start a process of training at the controls of the new train.

The new trains have been designed and shaped by customers, and in response to vast consultation will include modern features such as linear seating, charging points, air conditioning and will deliver a step-change in accessibility.

Among the new features will be an automatic sliding step at every door to enable seamless boarding, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage or bicycles.


Testing the Stadler Class 555 Metro train

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