The Swiss train builder Stadler has moved its new management team into place as it gets ready to deliver the £362m Tyne and Wear Metro train fleet and new depot on behalf of Nexus.
Stadler will oversee the transition to the £70m depot over the next four years, and the delivery of Metro’s state-of-the-art new trains into passenger service by 2023.
The Stadler team – headed up by new managing director for Stadler Rail Service UK Rob Baxter – has now moved into Metro’s Gosforth depot to start work in earnest.
He said: “Within a few months, Stadler will assume responsibility for servicing and maintaining the legacy fleet used for Tyne and Wear Metro services, ahead of the arrival of the new trains in a few years. The new team will be critical to the success of this project, and it’s pleasing to have a group of such talented individuals in place.”
Metro Development Director, Neil Blagburn, said: “Stadler are now mobilising their team at the Metro depot. This is a significant moment in the Fleet Replacement Programme, which will culminate with the arrival of the much-needed new Metro trains and a £70m state-of-the-art depot.
“This will transform the Tyne and Wear Metro and secure its future for many generations to come.
“As part of the suite of contracts we entered into, Stadler will take over the maintenance of the current Metro train fleet and will soon start building the new maintenance facility on the existing site, a complex process which will take four years to complete.”
Five other people have been recruited to work solely on the Nexus contract alongside the existing Metro depot workforce, who will transfer to the employment Stadler via TUPE in August.
The new Metro fleet, comprising 42 new trains, is being manufactured and delivered by Stadler, who will maintain them for 35 years. The new purpose-built depot represents an investment of £70m as part of the £362m fleet replacement programme led by Nexus.
Rob Baxter brings with him a wealth of industry experience, having held several senior posts in the UK and overseas. With 20 years in the rail industry, he has worked at Angel Trains, Network Rail and more recently, at Jacobs, where latterly, he was the Business Development Director. He has also worked in the oil and gas market.
Based at Stadler’s UK headquarters in Liverpool, Rob will lead the UK division of Stadler Rail Service and the maintenance and mobilisation activities in Liverpool and Newcastle. Once all the new Stadler trains are in operation in East Anglia, Glasgow and Wales, he will head up the contracts in those areas.
Paul Patrick, who currently works for Nexus, will be the Engineering Director, and Neil Heaton will be the senior Fleet Introduction Advisor. Other appointments include Roland Thomas, who will be the depot construction Contract Manager; Michael Steiner, Transition Manager; and Steve Moore, who will be the Planner. All five will be based in Newcastle.