Tyne and Wear Metro operator, Nexus has successfully completed its first test run of its new Stadler model as it prepares to enter service by the end of the year.
The testing forms part of the £362 million new Metro fleet programme which first went into production in 2021.
The test took place on the line between South Gosforth and Monkseaton, marking the first time the train had run on the mainline. The Class 555 Metro train is the first of 46 Nexus has on order with driver training due to happen before entering service later this year.
Major projects director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: “We’re really pleased to say that our new Metro train has completed its first test run out on the network and performed really well.
“This is a considerable period of detailed testing to get the trains ready for our customers. Further test runs will be taking place over the coming weeks and months.”
Three new trains have been delivered to the North East light railway network so far, with more intended to arrive later this year, with a target to have all 46 in service by the end of 2025.
The Class 555 train is a unique design for Metro having been designed in consultation with various groups.
On the consultative approach, Massarella added: “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.
“These trains will have to go through a phase of rigorous testing on our network, and all our drivers will need to undertake a period of train handling experience during the implementation phase of the project.”
Among the new features will be an automatic sliding step at every door to enable seamless boarding, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage or bicycles.
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