First new Metro train arrives in North East ahead of public use
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The first of 46 trains set to enter the network will be introduced to schedules in the Autumn following a period of testing and driver training with more new trains expected to arrive in the region over the course of the year.
Stadler, the company tasked with building the new fleet of trains, delivered the new train to the Gosforth Metro Depot in the early hours of Tuesday morning after a locomotive had towed it across mainland Europe and into the UK via the Channel Tunnel.
Nexus has claimed these new trains will come with a comfortable, new, air conditioned, open plan layout, sleekly modelled interior which will transform the customer experience, while setting new standards for accessibility and energy efficiency.
Managing Director of Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “It was a proud moment for us to welcome the first new Stadler train to North East England today. The £362m programme is now entering a significant phase.
“To see that train arriving at our Gosforth depot was a moment of history for the Tyne and Wear Metro. Everyone is excited to get the testing and driver training process underway, so that we can put the new train into service on the network.
“Our customers, employees, specialist user groups and trade unions helped to design the new trains as part of a far-reaching consultation exercise that received 23,000 responses. We are getting a bespoke design from Stadler, with a sleek modern appearance inside and out.
USB charging points, seating plans, new standback zones, handholds and security features including more than 40 CCTV cameras are all built around customer comfort and safety.
It hasn't been an easy start for the new fleet of trains with one already being vandalised with graffiti before even reaching the North East. A Nexus spokesperson said:
"This kind of pointless vandalism is sadly part of modern life, and will be cleaned off.
"Railway companies report and keep a record of all the damage done to trains.”