A new virtual tour of the Tyne and Wear Metro depot has been produced to mark its 40th anniversary.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, commissioned the video tour after plans to hold a public open day were scrapped due to Coronavirus restrictions.
The virtual tour, which is in the format of a 20-minute film which can be viewed online, gives people an in-depth look around Metro’s main maintenance depot at Gosforth, in Newcastle, ahead of its £70m rebuild.
The Tyne and Wear Metro celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday, 11 August.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “A virtual depot tour is a great way to mark the 40th anniversary of Metro at a time when we’re unable to welcome visitors for an open day.
“It’s a fascinating insight into how we look after the ageing Metro train fleet, showcasing the passion, skill and dedication of our workforce.
“We had planned to allow the public in to have a look around the depot as part of an open day but the coronavirus pandemic meant the event had to be cancelled.
“The next best thing was to commission a virtual tour, which gives people access all areas at the depot.
“This is the last chance to look around the Metro depot building, which dates back to 1923, before demolition gets underway to make way for the new £70m depot on the same Gosforth site, which will be home to our new train fleet.”
The virtual tour allows people to see the running sheds, where trains are stored, and the main lifting shop, where the bulk of the daily maintenance work is carried out before trains are sent into service.
Viewers get the chance to see how a Metro train’s wheels are made ready for service, and how other essential components allow the trains to draw high voltage power from overhead lines, and how the Metro carriages are coupled together.
There is even a chance to see the outside test areas where the all-important brake tests are carried out on the Metro trains.
Other elements include a look at the state-of-the-art vehicles that Nexus uses for looking after overhead lines, and how staff keep Metro’s 220 ticket machines in working order.