German firm Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Regio UK has been selected to operate the Tyne and Wear Metro in Newcastle in North East England for seven years.

Under the deal beginning in April 2010, the company will operate nearly 5.8 million train kilometres every year as well as maintaining and upgrading all 90 Metrocars serving the Metro line.

The 74km, 60-station Metro covers an area of nearly 400 square kilometres serving Newcastle, Sunderland and the surrounding districts and carries nearly 40 million passengers annually.

The contract with Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, will have a two-year extension option and is expected to be finalised in mid-January 2010.