Metro offers artists 'audience of millions' with chance to decorate new fleet of trains

Metro system bosses are calling for North East artists to help decorate its new £362million train fleet.

By Tom Patterson
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 1:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 1:03 pm
Metro call to artists
Metro call to artists

Nexus, which owns and operates the transport system, is looking for four artists to create large-scale new works for the interiors of 46 new trains, due to enter service from next year.

The company says the the commissions, funded by Arts Council England, will be a world first time on a transport system

Nexus is calling for established artists to put themselves forward for the opportunity – with four getting the chance to put their work in front of 35 million customers who travel on Metro each year.

The finished works will be displayed on each new train’s end walls, facing into the seating areas.

Huw Lewis, customer services director at Nexus, said: “We believe this is the first time in the world a commission has been launched for large-scale permanent art within a new train, and it builds on our long and proud heritage bringing inspiration to local people’s journeys.

“The design of our new trains has been shaped by our customers and one key theme was that they wanted to see the end walls brought to life and, with project funding from Arts Council England, we are able to achieve that.”

Jane Tarr, Northern of Arts Council England said “I’m delighted that we are supporting Nexus to commission artists to create permanent artworks for Metro trains.

“This is a great opportunity for artists to produce exciting work reflecting the heritage and diversity of the region which will be enjoyed by millions of passengers a year.”

Train builder Stadler will apply reproductions of the finished works to the cab walls during the manufacturing of the new Metro trains.

Artists are invited to submit applications to Nexus before February 28.

For further details, go to New Metro train artwork - call for artists |

A final four artists will be selected to create works by the summer, with the first train arriving at the end of this year, and the fleet entering service from summer 2023.

Stadler is building 46 new Metro trains for Nexus, which will be delivered up to 2024.