Tyne & Wear Metro upgrade gives 30% energy use reduction

46 trainsets have been ordered for the North East England rapid transport network, offering a significantly improved passenger experience and drop in air quality impact. 

Nexus, the operator responsible for Tyne & Wear’s Metro rapid transit system, has begun testing its new vehicles that promise a more environmentally friendly transport network for those in Newcastle, Gateshead and surrounding areas. 

The first trainsets, produced by Swiss manufacturer Stadler, are set to come into service by the end of this year, with 46 on order in total and deliveries continuing through to 2024. In addition to improve accessibility via handrails and sliding steps at every door, the models also offer charge points and air conditioning. 

Despite this increase in moving parts, the new Class 555 Metro units are set to significantly reduce the power demands across the entire system, with 30% less energy use. While this may not directly impact local air quality, in real-terms the less electricity that needs to be generated the lower overall regional requirements become, helping bring down total consumption which is fundamentally tied to pollution levels at source. Overall, the more transport systems that operate with low energy demands the better their environmental and atmospheric impact. 

Already significant steps have been made to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the Tyne & Wear Metro. Between 2010 and 2014, there was a 12.75% reduction in this area, equating to 5,317 fewer tonnes of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, major milestones have also been passed by other parts of local transport infrastructure, with a new automated, barrier-less toll system on the Tyne Tunnel reported to have resulted in a 90% fall in carbon emissions. 

Earlier this year, policymakers in Newcastle and Gateshead laid out their vision for new Clean Air Zones. Find out more here.


Image: Markus Spiske





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