Tyne and Wear Metro drivers have been invited to step on-board a full-size replica of their new trains that are due to start arriving next year.
A detailed mock-up of the new Metro cab, which is fully fitted out, has been built to assist with workforce familiarisation – a key part of the design process for the new £362m Metro fleet.
The new Metro trains, which are being made by the Swiss train builder Stadler, are set to enter passenger service in 2023, delivering a step-change in quality and reliability for passengers. The mock-up boasts the full cab layout, a driver’s seat, a dashboard, and the exterior has the iconic yellow livery and destination displays.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, hopes to put the mock-up on public display once Covid-19 restrictions have eased.
Stadler brought the mock-up over from Germany, where it was constructed before being shipped to the UK and assembled on site in a workshop at the Metro depot at Gosforth in Newcastle.
What features will the new fleet of trains have?
The new trains, which will be 15 times more reliable and will cut energy consumption by 30%, will have modern features including charging points, air conditioning and a step-change in accessibility.
Among the 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.
When will they be in action?
Stadler is building a total of 42 new Metro trains for Nexus, which will be delivered up to 2024. They will be responsible for servicing and maintaining these trains for 35 years, underscoring their commitment to the regional economy.