Metro’s £362m new train fleet have been revealed to be bright yellow, as Nexus launches a major public consultation on its interior design.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, is said to have chosen the modern design following input from passengers and employees.
The new colour scheme honours the Metro’s iconic yellow PTE livery from when the system first came into operation 40 years ago.
The new 42 Metro trains are being built by Swiss train manufacturer Stadler and are set to enter service in 2023.
Stadler will be responsible for servicing and upholding these trains for 35 years, highlighting their commitment to the regional economy.
The trains, which will be 15 times more reliable and will cut emergency consumption by 30%, will have modern features such as charging points, air condition and step-change in accessibility.
Other features include handholds, wheelchair and cycle spaces and information displays.
A website and a serious of online events, formed as part of the Metro Futures programme which is supported by Newcastle University’s Open Lab team, has been launched to allow passengers to see the virtual model of the train and voice their opinion on the train’s interior features.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “The colour scheme is built round Metro’s strong brand heritage and refers back to the original ‘PTE’ Metro livery, while taking the system into the future. It has been refined through feedback from passengers and the technical input of the people who work on Metro, in cleaning, maintenance, marketing and accessibility roles.
“We have made sure our passengers have had a major role in the design of Metro’s new fleet from the start, and that continues today as we ask them what to help with all those crucial little details of the carriage interiors.
“We had hoped to take a mock-up cross section of a carriage around the five local authority areas, but pandemic restrictions make this impossible. Instead we will be creating a VR-supported experience at the Rail Academy where we can invite key passenger groups in a covid-secure way. This will be led by Nexus supported by Newcastle University’s Open Lab team.”
Rob Baxter, UK managing director for Stadler Rail Service UK, added: “The unveiling of the livery for the new Tyne and Wear Metro trains is an early, yet significant landmark in the process to deliver the new fleet. We applaud Nexus for involving passengers in the design, which both acknowledges its heritage and embraces its future.”