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Tyne & Wear Metrocar modernisation complete

(Image: courtesy of Nexus)

The GBP30m refurbishment of the Tyne & Wear Metro fleet has been completed by Wabtec Rail and operator DB Regio Tyne & Wear, five months ahead of schedule. A total of 86 cars have been modernised over a five-year period during a ‘three-quarter life’ extension programme designed to extend the car’s service life by ten years.

The Metrocars were transported by road in batches to Wabtec Rail’s facility in Doncaster where they have been stripped to their frames and then built back up again, with key improvements including improved accessibility, new passenger alarm systems, upgraded door control systems and energy-efficient lighting systems.

Cosmetic updates include the renewal of all interior and exterior fittings and the replacement of drivers’ seats. The refurbished trains have a new grey, black and yellow livery, replacing the ‘red, green or blue’ liveries dating back to the mid-1990s. Completion of each car was undertaken by DB Regio at the Metro’s South Gosforth depot.

The programme forms part of the GBP389m Metro: all change programme designed to modernise the Tyne & Wear Metro that serves over 38m passenger journeys each year.

Nexus Director of Rail and Infrastructure Raymond Johnstone said: “The refurbishment of the Metro fleet is a vital part our £389m modernisation programme. This will extend the service life of Metro trains into the 2020s.

“Our long term goal is to make a strong business case to Government for a brand new fleet of trains and that work is already underway.”