CAF, Hitachi Rail and Stadler will go through to the next round of the tendering process following evaluation of the initial tenders. Two other bidders - Bombardier and a joint venture of Downer EDI Rail and CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles - decided not to bid.

The winning bidder will be announced in January 2020 and Nexus expects the first trains to arrive in late 2021, enabling the phased withdrawal of the existing fleet to begin. All 42 trains will be in service by 2024.

The winning bidder will maintain the fleet at a new depot on the site of the current facility at Gosforth in Newcastle. The British government is contributing £337m towards the £362m procurement.