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19.09.19

Plans for new £362m North East metro train fleet

A £362m train fleet for the Tyne and Wear Metro was ordered yesterday by public transport body Nexus.

A company for the designing and building of the fleet hasn’t been officially decided but there are three in the running – Hitachi Rail, Stadler and CAF.

Although claims emerged that Hitachi Rail have missed out on the opportunity, Nexus itself issued a response saying it will be in the new year when a decision is made, after “detailed and thorough evaluation.”

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen had been vocally against awarding the contract to an overseas company, as opposed to Durham-based Hitachi.

The coveted contract will design, build and maintain a metro fleet that will serve Tyne and Wear Metro for 35 years. On top of this they will be in charge of maintenance facilities as well as a new depot constructed at the existing site in Gosforth, Newcastle.

In a press release yesterday (September 18), Nexus said: “Our detailed specification takes account of consultation with more than 3,000 Metro passengers in 2016 and 2017, followed by market engagement with train builders to refine the plans.

“The three shortlisted bidders are challenged to design trains which will operate efficiently and robustly, supplying a step change in Metro availability and performance, with a bright, modern appearance.”

With a promise of air conditioning, increased capacity and digital features including wi-fi and charging points, the new fleet is highly anticipated by metro users in the North East.

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