posted on 21st Sep 2023 10:25
Tens of thousands of detailed tests are taking place to get the new Tyne and Wear Metro train fleet ready for customer service. The testing process is to ensure that the new trains work safely and seamlessly with Metro’s 60 stations and 77 km of track. Stadler is working with Metro operator, Nexus, on this latest phase of the programme, testing and commissioning, which covers nearly every single component on the trains.
It’s in the early hours of the morning the teams are out there carrying out scores of different tests in what is the biggest project on Metro since the system was built in the late 1970s. A total of 90,000 individual tests are required, with checks on everything, from seats and windscreen wipers, to more big-ticket items like brakes, CCTV, doors, wheels, and power supply. All of the on-board information systems need to be checked and be working correctly, along with the emergency settings and fail-safe systems. Power consumption, ride quality, and performance reliability are all being scrutinised thoroughly.
There are 19,000 hours of training time, with the first few trains completing 37,000 km of running. There are 22,000 standards and clauses to comply with and 480 staff to train up.
The testing process has been ongoing since the first three Stadler-built 555s arrived in North East England in March. This started with some basic functionality testing within the depot and first trains started to be tested on Nexus network in May 2023. The first five new trains will each need to complete 10,000 km of fault free running before they are ready for handover. The fleet will enter service in phases and the aim is to have all the new trains in service in 2025.