As we mentioned at the weekend, the first of the new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro has left Switzerland for its new life in the northeast and its now been confirmed that it has arrived at Gosforth Depot. Delivery took place in the early hours of Tuesday 28th February after the train undertook the final leg of its journey from Tyne Yard to Pelaw and then onto Gosforth.
555 003 is the first of 46 new trains being built by Stadler in Switzerland. The trains will bring a new era of design for the Metro with air conditioning, an open plan layout and a sleekly modelled interior. They also set new standards for accessibility and energy efficiency.
Martin Kearney, Nexus Managing Director, said: “It was a proud moment for us to welcome the first new Stadler train to North East England today. The £362m 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.”
Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, commented: “I’m delighted to see the first train of our new modern Metro fleet arrive in the region – this is a monumental achievement and great news for public transport in the North East. The arrival of the first new train will be welcome news for passengers, many of whom played a key role in the consultation process, helping to design the very trains that will take the Metro forward into the future. In line with our region’s Transport Plan, the new trains will encourage even more people to make use of our Metro network for all types of journeys, including travel to work and education or for leisure purposes. I’m pleased to say this investment will hugely boost the accessibility of the network, with a sliding step at every door on the new trains which will help to make everyday travel so much easier for thousands of people with enhanced mobility needs and young families. Nexus is a public body working on behalf of local councils, and this project is another great example of how we successfully deliver major transport investment programmes in our region, to grow our economy and deliver on our carbon reduction targets. The North East can achieve great things when we work together. This is just the start of this exciting programme and I look forward to seeing further trains rolling into the North East in the coming months.”
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 unit will now undergo a period of testing and driver training ahead of a planned entry into service this autumn. It is expected that more of the trains – of which two are currently on test in the Czech Republic – will be delivered later this year. All 46 should be in service by the end of 2025.