Nexus says it has begun detailed negotiations with all five bidders with the aim of selecting a preferred supplier by the end of 2019.

The shortlist comprises:

Bombardier Transportation UK
Downer EDI Rail, a joint venture between Downer EDI Rail and CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles
Hitachi Rail Europe, and
Stadler Bussnang

Delivery of the fleet will take place between 2022 and 2024.

In November 2017 the British government announced it would contribute £337m towards the replacement of Tyne &Wear Metro’s fleet of 84 two-car trains, which were built by Metro-Cammell in 1975-81. The trains refurbished by Wabtec between 2010 and 2015 at a cost of £30m with the aim of extending their service life until 2025.