The first samples of the seats that are to be installed in the new Tyne and Wear Metro train fleet have arrived in the region.
These include the linear-style seats and the extra tip seats that will feature on board all of the new Metro carriages, complete with the seat coverings which incorporate the iconic Metro ‘M’ log.
The first new Metro train is set to arrive for testing in next year and enter service in 2023.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has the samples of the new seats stored alongside the life-sized Metro cab mock-up and hopes to put them both on public display in a series of roadshows next year.
Stadler, the Swiss train builder, has officially begun the manufacturing process ahead of assembly at its factories at the end of the year. The new Metro seats are being made by a UK based firm called Transcal.
The interior design of the new fleet was finalised in June 2021 following the most far-reaching public consultations the rail industry has ever seen.
Nexus received an unprecedented 23,000 responses from customers, employees and specialist user groups.
The completed design – with its new open-plan and linear seating layout – meets rail industry standards for safety and accessibility and is aimed at transforming the journey experience. This has been achieved alongside an attractive look and feel true to Metro’s iconic brand heritage.
The final interior design of the new trains will include an open-plan layout based on linear seating with stand-back areas at each door to aid circulation and create more room for passengers at busy times. The number of seats rises from 104 to 116 through the introduction of 12 tip seats in each train.
Stadler is building 46 new Metro trains for Nexus, which will be delivered up to 2024. They will be responsible for servicing and maintaining these trains for 35 years, underscoring their commitment to the regional economy.
The new trains, which will be 15 times more reliable and will cut energy consumption by 30%, will have modern features including improved internet connectivity, charging points, air conditioning and a step-change in accessibility.
Among new features will be an automatic sliding step at every door of the new trains, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage or bicycles.
Stadler is also in the process of building a new £70m Metro depot at Gosforth as part of the new fleet project.
Find out more at www.nexus.org.uk/newmetrotrains