The Tyne and Wear Metro’s first new train has arrived in North East England after Stadler successfully delivered it from their factory in Switzerland – heralding a landmark moment for the £362 million programme.
The Stadler Class 555 Metro train, the first of 46 that Nexus has on order, will undergo a period of testing and driver training before entering customer service in the autumn.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said it was a proud moment for the network, its customers, and its workforce. More new trains will arrive in the region later this year.
Stadler delivered the new train to the Gosforth Metro Depot in the early hours of Tuesday morning after a locomotive had towed it across mainland Europe and into the UK via the Channel Tunnel.
The new Metro fleet will offer a comfortable, new, air conditioned, open plan layout, sleekly modelled interior, transforming the customer experience, while setting new standards for accessibility and energy efficiency.
Managing Director of Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “It was a proud moment for us to welcome the first new Stadler train to North East England today. The £362 million programme is now entering a significant phase.
“To see that train arriving at our Gosforth depot was a moment of history for the Tyne and Wear Metro. Everyone is excited to get the testing and driver training process underway, so that we can put the new train into service on the network.
“The Stadler trains have all the latest modern technology. They’re a world away from our current fleet, and they promise to be transformative for customers and for our workforce.
“Our customers, employees, specialist user groups and trade unions helped to design the new trains as part of a far-reaching consultation exercise that received 23,000 responses. We are getting a bespoke design from Stadler, with a sleek modern appearance inside and out.
“This is the first of 46 new trains we have ordered from Stadler. The new trains will be arriving over the next couple of years, and they will be phased into service on the network.”
Adrian Wetter, project manager at Stadler, added: “The arrival of the first train in Newcastle is a massive milestone, bringing the project to manufacture and supply 46 new trains one step closer to fruition.
These trains are technologically sophisticated, designed for passenger comfort and will dramatically improve the travel experience. “We are pleased to continue working with Nexus on the next stage, which is a comprehensive programme of testing to ensure that the trains meet industry safety standards before they are entered into commercial service.”
The Class 555 Stadler train is a bespoke design for Metro. In the months ahead it will undergo rigorous testing to ensure that it interfaces correctly with signalling systems and other Metro infrastructure. Metro drivers will also start a process of training at the controls of the new train.
Image credit: Nexus