Furrer+Frey have been awarded a contract to renew Newcastle Metro electrification equipment by their public owners, Nexus.
The contract will support the Metro’s transformation into a modern and reliable railway – benefitting from state-of-the-art overhead lines from the Swiss firm.
Coupled with the arrival of a new fleet, the renewal investment will mean fewer delays, less maintenance, and a more reliable metro for passengers in the English cities of Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland.
The five-year contract will upgrade one hundred single track kilometres dating from the 1970s and early 80s.
Furrer+Frey will survey and design the overhead system, as well as provide manuals and materials for them.
The light rail operator’s own engineers will install the equipment with training from Furrer+Frey – maintaining well-paid, skilled jobs in the North East.
Furrer+Frey have created a ‘FL200-light system’ for Nexus, adapting a system used in the Swiss mountains to make it lightweight for a metro network and converting it to 1,500 volt DC power.
Renewals works are due to start later this year and will be done to minimise passenger disruption.
Furrer+Frey will service the contract out of a new UK headquarters and assembly facility near Nottingham.
Head of renewals at Nexus, Sarah McManus, said: “This contract is a core part of the multi-million-pound investment we are making to renew key parts of Metro’s infrastructure and deliver an affordable, reliable railway that’s ready for the next fifty years.
“This also marks an investment in our staff, developing our skills and expertise to keep maintenance affordable, in-house and in the North East.”
Noel Dolphin, head of UK projects at Furrer+Frey said: “We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with Nexus to boost the reliability and resilience of the Tyne and Wear Metro.
“We’ll be manufacturing Swiss-quality equipment in the UK, tailored to the Metro and installed by their skilled team with our training and support.
“We take a low-carbon approach by making the most of existing old structures and renewing the system for another 50 years of service.”
Photo credit: Furrer + Frey