Nexus has officially signed a contract with the Swiss train builder Stadler to produce the new train fleet for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

Stadler has been chosen by Nexus after an 18-month global search for the best manufacturing partner for 42 new trains to be delivered up to 2024, transforming performance and passenger experience on Metro.

The new trains will cut Metro’s high voltage power consumption by 30% while providing 15 times better reliability than the current fleet.  Metro’s 36 million passengers will benefit from modern features including wifi, charging points, air conditioning and a step-change in accessibility.

Among new features will be an automatic sliding step at every door of the new trains, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage or bicycles.

Stadler will supply Nexus with 42 new trains, build a new Metro maintenance depot and carry out 35 years of maintenance for the new fleet.

The order, comprising  trains, depot and maintenance, is worth around 700 million pounds sterling. This success in the north-east of England sees Stadler win its third major METRO contract in Great Britain. Passengers on all underground trains in the UK outside London – in Liverpool, Glasgow and now Newcastle upon Tyne – will soon be travelling on Stadler trains.

The transport authority, Nexus, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, has signed the legally binding contract with Stadler for the delivery of 42 METRO trains, including an option for more trains. A ten-day objection period, which started on 28 January 2020, the day that the contract was awarded, has now run its course. No competitor has appealed against Nexus’s decision to award the contract. The Tyne and Wear Metro serves Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Sunderland in Tyne and Wear in the north-east of England.

Commercial operations are scheduled to begin in 2023. In 2024 the new METRO trains will completely replace the existing fleet. The contract for the supply of the vehicles, the construction of a new depot and the maintenance of the trains for 35 years is worth around 700 million pounds sterling. Stadler will also work with local suppliers from the North East of England to produce the new trains.

Ansgar Brockmeyer, sales director at Stadler, said: ‘The contract with Nexus represents an important milestone for Stadler in Great Britain. After Glasgow and Liverpool, this is the third metro operator to opt for a Stadler vehicle. We look forward to working with Nexus and our suppliers in the North East of England.’

Director General of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: ‘We have secured the best train builder in the world to make the new Metro fleet. It’s an historic moment in the proud 40 year history of the Tyne and Wear Metro service.

‘I am delighted that has now been made official with the signing of the contract with Stadler. The hard work now starts in making our new train fleet become a reality. It heralds a very exciting future for Metro, its passengers, and its workforce.

‘We asked for the best trains for the best price, transforming the passenger experience and delivering huge energy savings. Stadler has delivered on all fronts, and we look forward to working with them and the extensive UK supply chain which will support them over the coming years.’