Tyne and Wear Metro owner and operator Nexus has placed an order for four new Metro trains with Swiss train builder Stadler.
In February 2020, Stadler secured a contract from Nexus for the delivery and maintenance of 42 metro trains.
The additional order will bring the total ordered trains to 46 and will be delivered under a $497.91m (£362m) programme aimed at improving the journey experience for Metro commuters.
Stadler already commenced the manufacturing procedure ahead of assembly at its factories at the end of this year.
The Swiss train builder has procured related components from companies in the UK and mainland Europe.
Nexus will receive the first new train in 2022, which will become operational in mid-2023.
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Nexus placed the additional order after securing $130.67m (£95m) from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund for the Metro Flow programme.
This funding will help Nexus to increase service frequency and lower journey duration by dualling three sections of track between Pelaw and South Shields.
The Metro Flow project will begin on site in September next year.
Stadler will also offer maintenance services for these trains for 35 years, with the completion of the delivery of all the trains expected by 2024.
These trains will feature improved internet connectivity, charging points, air conditioning, as well as better accessibility, with an automatic sliding step at every door.
They will also be designed to reduce energy consumption by 30%.
As part of the project, Stadler is involved in the construction of a new $96.28m (£70m) Metro depot at Gosforth.
The Metro Flow project will be executed by Buckingham Group Contracting, who secured a $75.65m (£55m) tender for the project’s construction phase.