Turbo Power Systems is the latest north east firm to be taken on by Stadler as part of the project to build, supply and maintain a new £362m train fleet for the Tyne and Wear Metro. The appointment is yet another example of Stadler’s commitment to the regional economy and an illustration of its pledge to use local suppliers, wherever possible.
Turbo Power Systems has won the contract to supply Stadler with electric converters, highly specialised electrical equipment for the new Metro trains. These devices, which are an essential component of the train’s traction, act as the interface between the pantograph and the power converters. They have an essential safety function for the propulsion system.
The north-east based firm designs and manufactures cutting-edge power conversion systems for industry, including transport and energy. All of their products are made at their facility in Gateshead. Stadler, the Swiss train builder, will supply 42 new trains for Metro, along with a new £70m maintenance depot.
The first trains are set to enter service from 2023.
Adrian Wetter, Stadler project manager, commented: “Stadler has pledged to support the regional economy and involve as many north east or UK-based companies in the new trains’ project as possible. 90 per cent of all contracts related to the building of the new depot has already gone to UK suppliers, many of which are north east-based. We are very pleased to award this highly significant contract for electric converters to Turbo Power Systems, which is a leading player in the region.”
The new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro being manufactured by Stadler will be more reliable, cut energy and include modern features, such as charging points and air-conditioning.An automatic sliding step at every door of the new trains will dramatically improve accessibility, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with pushchairs, luggage or bicycles.
Carlos Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Turbo Power Systems (TPS), added: “We are absolutely delighted to have partnered with Stadler to deliver one of our innovative power conversion systems for their trains. TPS has a proven track record in supplying energy conversion solutions, both locally and internationally, and we are proud to share our expertise with Stadler in such a relevant project for the Northeast region.
“Our team developed a great relationship with Nexus, who supported and engaged us with Stadler during this entire process to guarantee the best of the Northeast supply chain is involved in this project. We are unconditionally committed with both, Stadler and Nexus, to deliver reliable and efficient products and services that will benefit the passengers and support the growth of our region.”
Director of Finance and Resources at Nexus, John Fenwick, concluded: “The Metro fleet project is providing our region with vital economic stimulus in these challenging times.
“Stadler is committed to using local suppliers where possible and this helps to secure jobs and drive inward investment as they get ready to start building our new trains later this summer.
“I’m delighted to see that Turbo Power Systems in Gateshead have secured the contract to supply specialist components for the new trains. The electrical equipment is a critical part of the train power system to allow the trains to safely use the energy supplied by the overhead line. It’s a significant order and we are looking forward to working with them on the project.
“The new Metro trains will be state of the art and will deliver a step-change in quality, comfort and reliability for our customers. Each train will be 15 times more reliable and will cut energy consumption by 30% as well as having modern features including charging points, air conditioning and a vastly improved levels of accessibility.
“We are looking forward to the production line starting to roll this August and the first new units entering service from 2023. We will keep our customers update throughout the manufacturing process.”
Stadler has pledged to support the regional economy and involve as many Tyne and Wear-based companies in the project as it can. It is keen to use local suppliers for materials and services required for the depot re-build, the manufacturing of the new trains and the ongoing service and maintenance of the trains on the patch.
The Swiss railbuilder is building a total of 42 new Metro trains for Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro. They are also building a state of the art new Metro depot at Gosforth in Newcastle and will maintain the new fleet as part of the contract, which was announced in January 2020 after a competitive tendering process.
Find out more about the new Tyne and Wear Metro fleet at www.nexus.org.uk/newmetrotrains
Photo credit: Stadler