Nexus to Upgrade Electrification Equipment for Newcastle Metro

Nexus has contracted Furrer+Frey to renew Newcastle Metro’s electrification equipment to support its transformation into a modern and reliable railway.

Alongside the arrival of the metro’s new fleet, this investment is expected to result in fewer delays and less maintenance thanks to the installation of new overhead lines.

Metro Overhead Lines
New metro rolling stock under Furrer+Frey overhead equipment in Switzerland

Throughout the five-year contract, one hundred single-track kilometres of infrastructure from the 1970s and early 80s will be upgraded.

Furrer+Frey will survey and design the overhead system and will provide the associated manuals and materials.

Nexus’ own engineers will then install the equipment with training from Furrer+Frey in order to maintain well-paid, skilled jobs in the North East.

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.”

For this project, Furrer+Frey have created a ‘FL200-light system’ by adapting infrastructure used in the Swiss mountains. The adaptations include making it lightweight for the metro network and converting it to 1,500V DC power.

Renewal works are scheduled to start later this year.

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.”

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