Stadler – who have been awarded the contract to deliver the £362m Tyne and Wear Metro train fleet and new depot – have taken the first step towards taking control of maintenance of the current fleet with their new management team moving in to the current Gosforth Depot, led by Managing Director for Stadler Rail Service UK, Rob Baxter.
Stadler will be taking control of maintaining the current – officially known as the legacy – fleet of trains within the next few months and this move of staff into the depot is part of this smooth transition.
Metro Development Director, Neil Blagburn, said: “Stadler are now mobilising their team at the Metro depot. This is a significant moment in the Fleet Replacement Programme, which will culminate with the arrival of the much-needed new Metro trains and a £70m state-of-the-art depot. This will transform the Tyne and Wear Metro and secure its future for many generations to come. As part of the suite of contracts we entered into, Stadler will take over the maintenance of the current Metro train fleet and will soon start building the new maintenance facility on the existing site, a complex process which will take four years to complete.”
Five other people have been recruited to work solely on the Nexus contract alongside the existing Metro depot workforce, who are due to transfer to be employed by Stadler via TUPE in August.
Rob Baxter will actually be based in Liverpool and will be responsible for maintenance and mobilisation activities in Liverpool and Newcastle and once all new Stadler trains are in operation in East Anglia, Glasgow and Wales, he will head up contracts in those areas.
Other senior members of staff will be Paul Patrick (who currently works for Nexus) as Engineering Director, Neil Heaton as Senior Fleet Introduction Advisor, Roland Thomas is depot construction Contract Manager, Michael Steiner as Transition Manager and Steve Moore will be Planner. All five will be based in Newcastle.
Rob Baxter commented: “Within a few months, Stadler will assume responsibility for servicing and maintaining the legacy fleet used for Tyne and Wear Metro services, ahead of the arrival of the new trains in a few years. The new team will be critical to the success of this project, and it’s pleasing to have a group of such talented individuals in place.”
The £362m contract will see 42 new trains introduced on the Tyne and Wear Metro network by 2023 alongside the redevelopment of Gosforth Depot to house them. Stadler will also maintain the trains for 35 years.