September 21, 2018 @ 12:26 by Chloe Holmes
Nexus, the transport executive for Tyne and Wear, has announced the five bidders that have been shortlisted to design, build, and maintain its new fleet of Metro trains. The contract for the fleet is worth £500 million and the preferred bidder is set to be announced next year.
The five bidders are CAF, Bombardier Transportation UK, Hitachi Rail Europe, Stadler Bussnang, and a joint bid from Downer EDI Rail and CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles.
Delivery of the new trains is expected by the end of 2021, when they will replace the current rolling stock that has been in operation since 1980. As well as manufacturing the new fleet, the chosen bidder will be responsible for running the system’s Gosforth depot and managing the transition from the old stock to the new between 2022 and 2024.
Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Nexus, said: “Our investment in new trains will transform passengers’ experience of the Tyne and Wear Metro.
“We have issued an Invitation to Negotiate to five bidders who, between them, are building trains for many of the world’s biggest cities and rail networks. This marks an important milestone as we work with them to provide an excellent Metro for North East England for decades to come.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The Tyne and Wear Metro has been an essential part of the public transport network in the North East for 40 years. That is why the Government is committed to investing nearly £340 million to upgrade the fleet and secure its future for decades to come.
“We are committed to the Northern Powerhouse and northern investment. In the five years up to 2020, we will have spent £13 billion improving and modernising transport in the region – a record level of investment.”
The cost of the new stock project is expected to be £362 million and Nexus has secured £337 million of Government grant funding to cover most of it. The bidders have been issued with a specification that requires trains that operate robustly and efficiently, as well as being able to improve passenger flow. Around 3,000 passengers were also consulted in the writing of the specification.