The project involves designing, building and constructing the trains, as well as maintaining them for 35 years and building a new depot on the existing site at Gosforth. The winner of the contract will also be responsible for maintaining the existing fleet and ensuring a smooth transition to the new fleet.
Tender documents will be ready by the end of the summer. Nexus plans to hold supply chain events later this year to enable short-listed bidders to meet local suppliers which could be involved in the construction and maintenance of both the trains and the depot.
Nexus plans to award the contract in late 2019 and requires the first trains to be delivered by the end of 2021.
Nexus has produced a detailed specification for the new trains following consultation with more the 3000 passengers in 2016 and 2017, and subsequent engagement with train builders to refine the specifications.
Nexus says it is looking for a step change in train availability and performance, improved passenger flow, and reduced dwell times at stations through an efficient seating layout, wide doors and recesses, and wide aisles. Space needs to be provided for luggage as the metro serves the airport. The trains will have air-conditioning and good digital connectivity.
“Our investment in new trains will transform passengers’ experience,” says Mr Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Nexus. “We are looking for a long-term partner we will work with to provide an excellent metro for decades to come.”