Prince Charles travels on same Metro train as the Queen did in 1981

Prince Charles on Metro 4020
9 November 2021

Today’s Royal visit saw His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales travel on the same Metro train that the Queen used when she officially opened the network 40 years ago.

In a nostalgic nod to the Monarch’s famous visit in 1981, Metro’s operator, Nexus, ensured that the train from that historic day was wheeled out for Prince Charles’ journey on Metro this morning. 

Metrocar 4020 is now the only train in the Metro fleet to have carried two Royal guests on the network. 

Metro Operations Director, John Alexander, said: “It seemed only fitting that we used the same train from 1981 for today’s visit of Prince Charles to mark the Metro’s 40th anniversary.

“This was the train that Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled on when they formally opened Metro and dedicated the QEII Metro bridge.

“I’m relieved that the train worked just as well today as it did all those years ago.

“It shows the longevity of our fleet and brings home just how many years of great service we have had from these trains over the last four decades.”

The Metro train for the Queen’s visit in 1981 was chosen by the PTE’s Rolling Stock Manager at the time, David Thornton.

He was given the task by the PTE director general. Three trains were earmarked for the big day and then the one they felt was least likely to develop a fault was chosen by Mr Thornton. 

David, now retired, said: “The Royal opening in 1981 was a such an important day. We didn’t want anything to go wrong. The train that the Queen travelled on was chosen very carefully from a shortlist of three. 

“On the day of her visit I was at the depot in the early hours of the morning to get that train ready.

“It’s lovely to see that they have used the same train that Her Majesty travelled on for the visit of Prince Charles.”


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