The first train in the new £362m Metro fleet has entered the final assembly phase at Stadler’s factory in Switzerland.
And a new set of photos, released today, show just how that new train is coming together on the production line.
Stadler are now in the process of fitting the main interior components on the new train, the first of 46 that Metro operator Nexus has on order.
The first new train is set to arrive in North East England at end of 2022.
The works include the installation of wheels, seats, equipment cases, piping, wiring, flooring, windows and other internal furnishings. Works are taking place at Stadler’s state-of-the-art production line in St Magrethen in northern Switzerland.
This latest stage in the manufacturing process follows the completion of the first bodyshell in Metro’s iconic yellow livery.
Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement Programme at Nexus, Michael Richardson, said: “It is really exciting to see that the first new Metro train is at the final assembly stage over at the factory in Switzerland.
“Stadler build world class trains, with great attention to detail, and they are making excellent progress. From here on the production line will keep rolling. We can expect to see the first new train here in our region a year from now.
“I am sure our customers are just as pleased to see the first of the 46 new Metro’s that we have on order really starting to take shape.
“The new Metro fleet will deliver a step change in quality, comfort and reliability. They are going to transform the service that we deliver to our customers. It is the most significant project since Metro opened in 1980.”
Markus Bernsteiner is the chief executive officer of Stadler Rheintal, where the new trains are being made. He commented: “After more than 20 years in the industry, it is still a special moment for me when we start the assembly of a new project. This is because it’s the first time that all the hard work that has taken place behind the scenes over the last two years finally becomes visible, which is always very motivating for the whole company. Getting to this point with these new trains for Nexus is one of the highlights of the year for our factory.”
Stadler is building and delivering 46 new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro, entirely replacing the legacy fleet. The Swiss rail builder is also currently constructing a new £70m depot for these trains, at Gosforth, with the first new train set to arrive on site at the end of 2022.
Since October 2020, Stadler has been responsible for servicing and maintaining the current Metro fleet, and it will have the same responsibilities for the new trains, once they are introduced into passenger service. The service and maintenance contract is for 35 years.
The new Metro trains will be safe, reliable and comfortable. Modern features will include charging points, air conditioning and there will be an automatic sliding step at every door, making it easier for wheelchair users and people with push-chairs, luggage or bicycles to get on and off.
The lightweight vehicle design, the recovery of braking energy and the use of highly efficient traction converter technology will all lower energy consumption. Trains are being built to accommodate an energy storage system, so that in the future, they will be able to operate on an extended network.
The new Metro trains, which will be 15 times more reliable and will cut energy consumption by 30%, will have modern features including charging points, air conditioning and a step-change in accessibility.
Among the new features will be an automatic sliding step at every door of the new trains, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage or bicycles.