New Tyne and Wear Metro Trains Complete Crush Laden Testing

Crush laden testing checks have been successfully completed on a Stadler Class 555 metro train ahead of the first vehicle entering customer service on Tyne and Wear Metro.

The new Class 555 Metro trains at the Stadler factory in Switzerland
The new Class 555 Metro trains at the Stadler factory in Switzerland

Nexus, the owner and operator of Tyne and Wear Metro, ordered 46 metro trains from Stadler at an approximate cost of 360m GBP.

These are being manufactured in Switzerland, and the first of the new trains was delivered to Nexus’ Gosforth Metro depot in March.

These checks are part of the testing and commissioning phase of the project, which will review nearly every component on the new model.

Roughly 90,000 individual tests will take place across everything from seats and windscreen wipers through to brakes, CCTV, doors, wheels and power supply.

For the crush laden testing, almost 40 tonnes of ballast were used to replicate the weight of a full carriage on the test train, which was then put through its paces on a series of overnight runs across the 77km-long network.

Michael Richardson, Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement Programme at Nexus, said:

“Crush load testing is a critical part of getting the first new Metro trains ready for our customers.

“We checked how it performed under braking and on the curves when its full capacity was replicated. I’ m pleased to say all the crush laden tests went well and the new train performed as exactly we expected it to.

“Testing the new Metro fleet is a really detailed process. We’re leaving no stone unturned as we get the first train ready to welcome customers next year.”

The full new fleet will also need to complete 37,000km as part of the fault-free running phase of the project.

This is to ensure that the trains work safely and seamlessly with Metro’s 60 stations and 77 kilometres of track when they replace Nexus’ current 40-year-old fleet.

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