Stadler is now officially in charge of the maintenance of the Tyne and Wear Metro fleet and Gosforth Depot. The 35 year maintenance contract – which initially encompasses the current fleet of trains before moving on to the new trains being built by the company – officially commenced from 0000 on Sunday 4th October and saw 120 Nexus staff transferred to Stadler via a TUPE agreement.
Martin Kearney, Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, said: “Stadler are one of the best train builders in the world and we are looking forward to them delivering a new and modern fleet of trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro. This is biggest project in the 40 year history of the Metro and we’re all very excited to see the new trains in service by 2023, and work starting on our new depot at Gosforth in the coming months. A key part of the £300m deal that we signed with Stadler involved our fleet maintenance team transferring over to them via a TUPE agreement. We’re extremely proud of the job that our depot workforce carries out right around the clock to keep the Metro trains running. They will now continue this excellent work for Stadler, looking after the current trains, helping us to introduce the new ones, and transitioning us to the new £70m depot. It’s a new beginning but we will continue to work hand in glove with our depot teams to ensure that our ongoing success and high standards are maintained.”
Stadler are now responsible for all train maintenance on the Tyne and Wear Metro, starting off with keeping the 40 year old train fleet on the tracks before the new trains – which are to be built by Stadler – are introduced from 2023. Maintenance will take place at the current Gosforth Depot before the new £70 million facility is built.
Rob Baxter, UK Managing Director for StadlerRail Service UK, said: “The transfer of 120 staff and service and maintenance of the Tyne and Wear Metro legacy fleet is a highly significant event in Stadler’s UK expansion, and I am delighted to welcome the new employees to our business. I am well aware of the critical role each and every one of them will play in our future success, and offer them a warm welcome to our organisation.”
The new fleet of trains are due to be introduced by 2023 and will feature many on-board enhancements including wi-fi. Consultation for the interiors is currently ongoing. While the 42 new trains will replace the existing fleet Nexus have recently confirmed that they intend to retain some of the old trains for heritage purposes with the remainder being scrapped. No details of how many will be retained or what will happen to them has been announced.