Take a look inside the first completed trains in the Tyne and Wear Metro's new £362m fleet

The new trains will come into service in 2023. Credit: Nexus

Tyne and Wear Metro passengers have been given an exciting new glimpse inside the network's new £362m train fleet.

The modern carriages should start arriving in the North East later this year, before being brought into service in 2023, and newly-released images show that the first of the long-awaited trains are now complete.

Pictures from the Stadler factory in Switzerland where the new Metros are being built offer the most detailed look yet at what passengers will experience on board, with two new trains now ready to roll off the production line.

They showcase the trains' London Tube-style linear seating, with each seat cushion decorated with a design based around the Metro's recognisable black and yellow 'M' logo.

The seating will be more akin to the London Underground to increase capacity on the trains. Credit: Nexus

Nexus bosses hope that the different style of seating will create extra space for passengers, making the Metro less crowded at peak times and make it easier for people to bring luggage on their journey.

The photos also take a look through a fully kitted-out carriage interior, including spaces marked up for bicycles and pushchairs.

There will also be more dedicated space for bicycles and prams. Credit: Nexus

The two finished trains are now due to be sent to a test track in the Czech Republic, where they will be put through their paces in a rigorous testing process that will also allow some Metro drivers to go and drive them for the first time.

Head of fleet and depot renewal at Nexus, Michael Richardson, said: "I'm delighted to say that the first couple of new Metro trains are complete and are about to roll off the production line over in Switzerland.

"Stadler will then need to put the trains through a testing phase which will take a few months.

"Once that is complete the first new Class 555 Metro train will be ready to be brought over to the UK, which will be a historic moment for the Tyne and Wear Metro and for our region.

"These new trains are going to deliver a step-change in quality for our customers when they start entering full service next summer."

Nexus bosses hope that the different style of seating will create extra space for passengers. Credit: Nexus

A total of 46 new trains are being built for the Metro, replacing the entirety of the current stock that has been in service since the network first opened more than 40 years ago.

The trains will gradually be delivered over the next few years and will boast a raft of modern features that will mark a dramatic upgrade from the current models.

They will feature air conditioning and heated floors, mobile phone charging points, wifi, information screens, and a retractable step at every door.

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