Stadler reaches the halfway stage in new Metro train fleet build

The new Stadler Class 555 Tyne and Wear Metro train on test at Cullercoats
25 May 2024

The £362m programme to build a new fleet of trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro has reached its half way stage. 

Stadler, the Swiss train manufacturer, has now built 23 of the 46 trains that we have on order. 

This latest landmark comes hot on the heels of the new Metro trains entering a phase of day time test runs on the network as we get ready to put the first ones into service later this year. 

Michael Richardson, Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement Programme at Nexus, said: “We’re delighted to see that Stadler has reached the halfway stage in the production of new Metro train fleet, which is going to be transformative for our customers and workforce. 

“We’re getting a total of 46 new trains and half of the number that we’ve got on order are now completed. Seven new trains have been delivered so far, and more are set to follow. 

“The testing of the new Metro trains continues on our network. We are making good progress and were aiming to get the first trains into customer service later in the year. 

“Testing the Stadler Class 555 Metro trains includes 90,000 individual checks. This had previously been taking place overnight when the Metro network is closed. It covers everything from seats and windscreen wipers, to more big-ticket items like brakes, CCTV, doors, wheels, and power supply.

“There are approximately 19,000 hours of training time, with the first few trains completing 37,000 kilometres of running, as part of the testing phase.”

Patrick Küng, project manager, Stadler, said: “Producing half of the trains on order illustrates how far we have come in the project to supply these fantastic new Tyne and Wear Metro trains. Safety, reliability and comfort are at the heart of this fleet, which has been designed with the 21st century customer in mind. They will transform rail travel in the north east of England.”

The daytime testing of the new Metro trains began on Wednesday 15 May when a new Metro train operated in the gaps between timetabled services provided by the current fleet on Metro’s coastal route between Newcastle and North Tyneside.

It allows for a process known as kilometre accumulation, putting the trains through their paces by simulating customer service, and follows a detailed testing phase which has been talking place during the night.

The public will be unable to get on board the new trains at this stage. Special netting has been fitted to each set of doors to prevent anyone getting on should the train stop at a station. Announcements will also be made over the public address system and Nexus employees will be in the carriages to advise customers the train is in test.

 

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