UK: The first of the 46 Class 555 trainsets that Stadler is to supply for the Tyne & Wear Metro under a £362m fleet replacement programme was delivered to Gosforth depot in the early hours of February 28, having arrived from Switzerland by rail via the Channel Tunnel.

Following testing and driver training, it is expected to enter service in the autumn, with further deliveries enabling the new trains to replace the current fleet in 2025.


Metro operator Nexus said the custom-designed five-car 1·5 kV DC trainsets are ‘built around the needs of women and men, tall and short, old and very young alike’.

‘The Stadler trains have all the latest modern technology’, said Managing Director Martin Kearney. ‘They’re a world away from our current fleet, and they promise to be transformative for customers and for our workforce.’

Tyne & Wear Metro new Stadler train (3)

More than 23 000 people participated in consultation on the design, using virtual reality and digital engagement from Newcastle University’s OpenLab research team. This led to the inclusion of features including double grab poles, and branded seats with USB chargers.

Every door has an automatic sliding step supplied by Bode — Die Tur to provide easy access for passengers with wheelchairs, pushchairs, luggage or bicycles.


The air-conditioned interior includes four wheelchair bays and two multi-purpose areas for buggies, cycles and heavy luggage. There are 116 seats including 12 tip-up seats, with priority seating clearly marked and positioned opposite real-time digital information screens. There are audio information systems and next stop displays throughout the train, and easy to find assistance buttons.


The driving console features adaptive traction control and built-in rail sanding to cope with the autumn and winter conditions. There are more than 40 CCTV cameras, with monitors enabling drivers to view images from throughout the train and speak directly with customers.