New Metro trains take the strain during traction power testing

The new Metro trains have proved that they can take strain on a series of traction power tests over the network’s curves and gradients.

Stadler’s Class 555 trains were put through this latest round of testing to evaluate their horsepower as part of the countdown to get the first new train ready for service next year.

There was particular focus on the curved sections of Metro track at Manors and Tynemouth, and on a gradient in the underground section between Haymarket and Jesmond.

It was an examination of the new train’s ability to tow one of the old trains. This is vital given that the transition to the new fleet will see both the current and the new trains in service at the same time.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the tests had gone well and were part of the 90,000 different checks being undertaken to get the first new train ready for customers.

Head of fleet and depot replacement for Nexus, Michael Richardson, said: “Our rigorous testing programme continues to go well, and one of the most recent runs saw a focus on the new train’s traction power.

“We had to check that the new train was capable of hauling one of the old ones, especially in areas of the Metro network where there are curves and gradients. This is essential given that the fleet transition period will see both new and old trains in service on the network at the same time.

“The test train was loaded with 39 tonnes of sand packages to simulate a full customer loading and then put through its paces towing one of the old two carriage sets, which, I am pleased to say, it managed comfortably and performed as expected.

“The team also tested that at fully laden new train is capable of hauling another one of the new trains. The power output is really impressive. It weighs 98 tonnes and then laden with 39 tonnes of extra weight it was still able to pull an old Metro car set, which with two carriages coupled together weighs 80 tonnes.

“Testing the new Metro fleet is a really detailed process. We are going through around 90,000 different checks and are leaving no stone unturned as we get the first train ready to welcome customers next year.

“The Stadler trains are going to be transformative, and we are really excited to get them into service. They have been shaped by customers, employees, trade unions and specialist user groups. We believe this to have been the most far-reaching consultation yet staged into a new train design. Over 23,000 customer responses have helped to shape the design.”

Image credit: Nexus

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