Tyne & Wear Metro new Stadler train bodyshell (2)

UK: The first aluminium bodyshell for the Tyne & Wear Metro’s new fleet of custom-designed trainsets been completed at Stadler’s St Margrethen factory in Switzerland, and is now ready for fitting out.

‘Completing the first bodyshell is a highly symbolic landmark in the manufacturing process, and an outward sign that the vehicles are really beginning to take shape, after a period of design and preparation’, said Stadler’s Project Manager Adrian Wetter on December 1.

‘With the first now ready and painted in the Tyne & Wear Metro colours, we look forward to seeing this stage in full swing, with lots more produced over the months ahead.’

Tyne & Wear Metro new Stadler train bodyshell (1)

The contract signed by transport authority Nexus and Stadler in 2020 covered 42 five-car articulated 1·5 kV DC trainsets and 35 years of maintenance by the manufacturer, and a further four trainsets were ordered this year.

The trainsets are scheduled to be delivered between late 2022 and 2024, with the first to enter passenger service in mid-2023.

Nexus said they would be 15 times more reliable and cut energy consumption by 30% compared to the existing fleet of 89 articulated two-section trainsets dating from the early 1980s.

Tyne & Wear Metro Stadler train impression

The new trains will have charging points and air-conditioning, and will offer a ‘step-change in accessibility’ with an automatic sliding step at every door.