New class 555s undergo rigorous testing across the network

New 555s undergo rigorous testing across the network

Nexus are well into testing the new class 555 trains ready for their introduction next year. Recently, traction power testing has taken place across the Tyne and Wear network following a wide range of other tests since the arrival of the first unit in March.

The most recent tests have taken place on the gradient between Haymarket and Jesmond and the curved sections around Tynemouth and Manors. Heavy weights, in the form of 39 tonnes of sandbags and in some cases dragging one of the old metro cars, have been implemented to test the power of the new £362 million fleet.

Nexus performed around 90000 tests on the Swiss built class 555s. The units tested on passed with flying colours meaning the first train is on track to be in passenger service by next year.

Michael Richardson, Head of Fleet and depot replacement for Nexus said: “Our rigorous testing programme continues to go well, and one of the most recent runs saw a focus on the new train’s traction power.

“We had to check that the new train was capable of hauling one of the old ones, especially in areas of the Metro network where there are curves and gradients. This is essential given that the fleet transition period will see both new and old trains in service on the network at the same time.

“The test train was loaded with 39 tonnes of sand packages to simulate a full customer loading and then put through its paces towing one of the old two carriage sets, which, I am pleased to say, it managed comfortably and performed as expected.”

He also went on to say: “The team also tested that at fully laden new train is capable of hauling another one of the new trains. The power output is really impressive. It weighs 98 tonnes and then laden with 39 tonnes of extra weight it was still able to pull an old Metro car set, which with two carriages coupled together weighs 80 tonnes.

“Testing the new Metro fleet is a really detailed process. We are going through around 90,000 different checks and are leaving no stone unturned as we get the first train ready to welcome customers next year. 

“The Stadler trains are going to be transformative, and we are really excited to get them into service. They have been shaped by customers, employees, trade unions and specialist user groups. We believe this to have been the most far-reaching consultation yet staged into a new train design. Over 23,000 customer responses have helped to shape the design.”

It seems that the class 555 fleet will be phased in by the end of next year and they will hopefully be an improvement to the old stock that is still currently in use.

Image credit – Nexus

Source – Nexus

Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Lewis


Hello my name is lewis and I am the editor of LWrail train magazine. I manage the LWrail social media, YouTube channel and write most of the stories on this website.

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