Swiss company is awarded £300m contract to build new Metro trains
Nexus have chosen Stadler, a Swiss contractor, to build new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro, as part of a £300m contract.
Th contract with Stadler to build new trains and a depot as part of a £362m investment, which also includes construction led by Nexus of a satellite depot at Howdon, North Tyneside, and wider project costs and contingencies.
The Department for Transport is providing £337m to Nexus towards the programme to build new trains which will features wifi, charging points, air conditioning and an automatic sliding step at every door.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “The DfT’s £337m investment heralds a new era for the Tyne and Wear Metro, providing passengers with greener, more reliable, and more comfortable journeys.
Councillor Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council and chair of the Joint Transport Committee for North East England, said the new trains were designed with passenger feedback in mind. and that supply chains in the North East will benefit from the scheme.
He said: “The trains will be built and brought into service by exploiting manufacturing excellence in new supply chains here in North East England and across the UK. They will be maintained and operated by the proud workers who make Metro happen.”
Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Nexus, said: “Our passengers expect the best in the world when they travel, and that is what they will get from our new trains.
“Stadler has delivered on all fronts, and we look forward to working with our new partner and the extensive UK supply chain which will support them not just to build new trains but maintain them over the next 35 years.”
However, Tees Valley’s Conservative mayor Ben Houchen has slammed Nexus for not awarding the contract to Hitachi, based in Newton Aycliffe.
He said: “This is an absolutely disgraceful decision from Nexus.
“Instead, the Labour run Tyne and Wear Councils sat back, did absolutely nothing and denied everything.
“They have made excuse after excuse as to why they wouldn’t work with a local, world-renowned company right on their doorstep.
“The result of this is not only Hitachi missing out on a significant contract that would have seen trains for the North-East, built in the North-East, but it has resulted in 250 hard-working, highly skilled local people losing their jobs.”