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Shortlisted bidders revealed for £360m Tyne and Wear rolling stock deal

Nexus, which runs the Tyne and Wear Metro, has announced a shortlist of bidders in the running for the £360m contract to build and maintain the network’s new rolling stock.

Nexus has now begun detailed negotiations with all bidders, with a preferred supplier to be announced by the end of the year. The first of the 42-train fleet is scheduled to be in service by the end of 2021.

The five shortlisted bidders include four well-known train manufacturers in the country – Bombardier, CAF, Hitachi and Stadler – as well as a new player, Downer EDI Rail Pty Ltd (a joint venture between Australia-based Downer EDI Rail and China-based CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles).

Nexus has already secured £337m towards the overall £362m cost of designing and building the new fleet. This and the ongoing maintenance over 35 years brings the contract up to around £500m.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “The Tyne and Wear Metro has been an essential part of the public transport network in the north east for 40 years. That is why the government is committed to investing nearly £340m to upgrade the fleet and secure its future for decades to come.

“We are committed to the Northern Powerhouse and northern investment. In the five years up to 2020, we will have spent £13bn improving and modernising transport in the region – a record level of investment.”

Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Nexus, argued that the investment in new trains will “transform passengers’ experience.”

Nexus is seeking trains that will improve digital connectivity and that can boost passenger flow and dwell times at stations through improved seating layouts and wider doors and stand-back areas.

CAF is proposing the state-of-the-art Civity platform, equipped with latest safety, performance and comfort technology. Richard Garner, its UK director, commented: “We are delighted to be invited to tender for the Tyne and Wear Metro contract.

“CAF's Civity platform is ideally placed to meet the high-performance requirements of the 42 two-car trains, offering much improved reliability while delivering improved comfort and convenience for passengers.”

Richard Hunter, UK managing director, Bombardier Transportation said: "We are delighted to have been shortlisted to design, build and maintain the new fleet for the Tyne & Wear Metro. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the passenger experience on the system, and is a very exciting prospect for Bombardier.”

Philip Meikle, transport strategy director at Nexus, will be speaking at TransCityRail North on 4 October to discuss rail investment in the north of England. Don’t miss your chance to attend: visit the website here.

Top image: Phil Thirkell


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