The 46 new trains are being built by Swiss train manufacturer Stadler for Nexus who own and operate Metro, with production now starting on the bogies.
Production will see 276 bogies made with six for each new Metro train at Stadler’s factory which is based in Valencia.
The final assembly process is ongoing at the Swiss factory and involves fitting the main vehicle components, such as seats, windows and flooring.
The first new train will see its bogies attached to the bodyshell at the factory over the next couple of months and is set to arrive in the North East of England to undergo testing by the end of 2022 with the new fleet of trains marking a new era in comfort and reliability for Metro customers.
Claudius Oblasser, Project Manager for Stadler, said:
“Despite the challenges posed by currently geopolitical events and their implications for global supply chains, Stadler is very pleased to be on the cusp of bogie production. Once these bogies are ready, all the fundamental components will have been built, and while much remains to be done before the trains are complete, I believe this stage demonstrates that real progress is being made, ahead of the rigorous programme of testing, set to kick off this summer.”
Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement Programme at Nexus, Michael Richardson, said:
“It’s great to see that yet another big milestone has been achieved in the production of the new Metro train fleet.
“This latest phase will involve the production of the bogies – structures with the train wheels attached, so it’s a very important part of the overall build process that Stadler is undertaking at the moment.
“We are looking forward to seeing the new trains take shape over the coming months, and it will be exciting to see the first one arrive here in the region at the end of this year for testing and training ahead of going into full service in 2023.
“The new Metro trains are going to transform the network for our customers and for our staff. The Stadler trains will be more reliable, more modern and more energy efficient. They will deliver a step-change in quality and comfort.”
The 46 new Metro trains being built by Stadler for Nexus will see ongoing delivery up to 2024.
February 2020 saw a contract signed which involves a new maintenance plant which is being built at the moment and also a 35-year maintenance programme which demonstrates Stadler’s ongoing commitment to the North East
Stadler has pledged to support the regional economy, utilising as many Tyne and Wear based companies as possible within the project. Local suppliers are being used for materials and services needed for the rebuilding of the depot, the manufacturing of the new trains and the ongoing service and maintenance of current trains.
Not only will the new Metro fleet be 15 times more reliable, they will also see a reduction of 30% in energy usage alongside modern features such as charging points and air conditioning. The new trains will also include an automatic sliding step at each door making travel easier for the 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as those with push-chairs, luggage or bicycles.