The Swiss company which is building new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro has announced a new collaboration with Newcastle University to promote shared learning and innovation.
Stadler has committed to collaborating with Newcastle University on a variety of projects, underscoring its commitment to North East England.
This follows the announcement in January that Nexus, the public body which own and manages Metro, had awarded them the contract to build, deliver and maintain 42 new trains.
Newcastle University and Stadler have formally agreed to work together on a broad range of initiatives, signing a ‘memorandum of understanding’ to endorse their partnership.
Rob Baxter, managing director of Stadler Rail Service UK, said: “Stadler is very pleased to have signed this agreement with Newcastle University. Both our business and the university put a premium on research, education, innovation and enterprise, and I look forward to a successful partnership, which I am confident will enhance and enrich the two organisations.”
Dr Roberto Palacin, Reader in Transport Futures, Newcastle University, said: "I am delighted that our relationship with Stadler is formalised through this MoU to closely collaborate in specific innovative projects related to the design, operation and maintenance to the new Metro fleet as well as enhancing our educational offer in engineering, providing a long-lasting positive impact to our city, region and beyond.”
Metro Development Director, Neil Blagburn, said: “In Stadler we have appointed one of the best train builders in the world and this new agreement with Newcastle University really underpins their commitment to our region and their investment in our local economy as they gear up to build the new Metro train fleet.
“I have no doubt that joint working with the university on research, education and innovatiion will be hugely beneficial. This builds on the work that the Open Lab team has already done to give over 20,000 people a say on what the new trains should be like.
“Collaboration and knowledge sharing is vital and ensures that the development of our new trains, and our partnership with Stadler, leave a positive and lasting legacy for many years to come.”
The two organisations have pledged to collaborate with each other on all aspects of the Metro fleet programme, including the technology and knowledge required for their construction, as well as for maintaining them at Gosforth depot in Newcastle.
Joint projects will cover research, education, innovation, energy conservation at a systems level, condition monitoring and driver-training. The agreement is for five years, to be reviewed thereafter.
Stadler has pledged to support the regional economy and involve as many Tyne and Wear-based companies and institutions in the new trains project as possible.
It is keen to use local suppliers for materials and services required for the depot re-build, the manufacturing of the new trains and the ongoing service and maintenance of both the legacy fleet and the new trains.
Next year, it will for the third time be the headline sponsor of EMCON, the annual regional networking event at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Committed to nurturing talent, Stadler will invest in its workforce, providing employees with the education and training needed for 21st century trains.