First of new Tyne and Wear Metro trains delayed until 2023

The first new fleet of Metro trains in 40 years is being built in Switzerland. Credit: Nexus

The first of the new Tyne and Wear Metro trains will not arrive in the North East until January 2023.

Metro operator Nexus said the delay is due to a "busy period" for pre-Christmas engineering works, which makes it more difficult for the train to get across Europe and the UK's rail networks.

It had been due to arrive in early December 2022.

The £326m fleet is being built in Switzerland by manufacturing giant Stadler, with the first one tested in the Czech Republic. The trains will be the first new vehicles on the Tyne and Wear Metro in 40 years.

Once introduced on the network, they will upgrade the Metro's decades-old stock.

The new carriages will include air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and phone charging points.

The new Metro train will be the first in 40 years, replacing stock from the 1980s. Credit: PA

Major projects director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: "The first of Metro's new trains is ready for delivery to Gosforth depot in January, ahead of a rigorous programme of testing on our system before it enters passenger service later next year. 

"This is an historic moment for the future of Metro which we know our customers are looking forward to seeing.

"The delivery must be planned carefully and has not been done before, with the new train arriving by rail across Europe and the UK before being transferred onto the Metro system and on to the Gosforth depot."

Nexus told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the hold-up is not expected to affect the time when the train will be brought into passenger service, which remains as autumn 2023.

It is hoped that all 46 of the new trains ordered will be in the UK by the end of 2024, though Nexus says this could be delayed until 2025.

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