Nexus, the operator of Tyne and Wear Metro system, confirmed an order for 4 additional trains from Stadler as part of the Metro Flow programme. The new order follows a GBP 95 million (EUR 111.3 million) funding secured from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund for the Metro Flow programme.
The investment will allow Nexus to increase service frequency, reduce journey times, and improve reliability on Metro by dualling three sections of line between Pelaw and South Shields. The Metro Flow project will start on site in September 2022.
“Securing the funding to order these additional trains is the culmination of an enormous amount of work in successfully making the case for the Metro Flow project, which is a key tenet of our recovery plan as we emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic. The additional trains are required so that we can enhance the Metro timetable, delivering a more frequent and reliable service for our customers,” Director of Finance and Resources at Nexus, John Fenwick, said.
The new order brings to 46 the number of Stadler trains to be delivered as part of a GBP 362 million (EUR 424.1million) programme which will transform the journey experience for Metro customers.
The new train will arrive for testing next year and will enter passenger service in mid-2023, delivering a step-change in quality and reliability.
This summer, Stadler has officially began the manufacturing process with bodyshells now being built ahead of assembly at its factories at the end of the year. Scores of components are being supplied by firms in North East England, the UK and mainland Europe.
The train fleet will be delivered up to 2024. Stadler will be responsible for servicing and maintaining these trains for 35 years, underscoring their commitment to the regional economy.
The new trains for Tyne and Wear Metro will be 15 times more reliable and will cut energy consumption by 30%. They will have modern features including improved internet connectivity, charging points, air conditioning and a step-change in accessibility.
Among 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.
Stadler is also in the process of building a new GBP 70 million (EUR 82 million) depot at Gosforth as part of the new fleet project.
The Metro Flow project will be carried out by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, who won a GBP 55 million (EUR 64.4 million) tender for the construction stage of the project. It covers the upgrade and electrification of the existing freight line in South Tyneside from September 2022, boosting the capacity for an extra 24,000 passenger journeys every day.