A significant milestone has been reached in the new train fleet for the Tyne and Wear Metro with the very first bodyshell having been completed at Stadler’s factory in Switzerland. One of 46 new trains being built by Stadler as part of a £362 million deal to completely renew the fleet now that the first bodyshell has been completed it paves the way for the seats and other internal features to be installed.
The trains are being built by Stadler in Switzerland and will be delivered by rail to the northeast starting in late 2022 with the first due to enter service during 2023. Deliveries are due to continue through until 2024. The release of images of the constructions gives the public the first chance to see the Metro trains on the assembly line as well as their iconic yellow livery.
Adrian Wetter, Project Manager from Stadler, said: ““Completing the first bodyshell is a highly symbolic landmark in the manufacturing process, and an outward sign that the vehicles are really beginning to take shape, after a period of design and preparation. With the first now ready and painted in the Tyne and Wear Metro colours, we look forward to seeing this stage in full swing, with lots more produced over the months ahead.”
The carbodies are made by welding, using welding robots, sandblasting and then the application of anti-corrison protection, before finally they are painted. This stage is very labour intensive with teams of people deployed to build the trains being tailormade to suit the characteristics of the network and the client’s requirements. They are made from aluminium which has excellent anti-corrosive properties to make sure the vehicles achieve their life expectancy.
Following completion of the carbodies they move on to the next stage which is known as final assembly. This sees the fitting of main components that make up the train, including the bogies, equipment cases, piping, wiring, flooring, windows, seats and other internal fixtures.
Michael Richardson, Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement programme at Nexus, commented: ““We are at a significant moment in the production of the new Metro train fleet, and it is really exciting to see the first train on the Stadler production line taking shape in its iconic yellow livery. This is the first of 46 new Metro trains we have on order. The bodyshell paves the way for the train to be fitted out with the seats, information screens and all of the many other interior items that people fed back on during the extensive public consultation process that we carried out. The first train will be delivered by Stadler at the end of 2022 and it will enter passenger service from 2023. We are at the business end of an exciting project that is going to transform the Tyne and Wear Metro for many decades to come.”