Unreliable Tyne and Wear Metro Trains
Metro boss admits unreliable Tyne and Weworst-performing’worst performing rail fleets in the world’. Tobyn Hughes told city councillors that the network’s ageing trains are increasingly prone to failures.
Tyne and Wear Metro bosses have admitted that the service is “one of the worst-performing rail fleets in the world”. Nexus managing director Tobyn Hughes told Newcastle councillors on Wednesday night that the region’s trains were so prone to failures because of their age and some design features.
He said that the Metro fleet had done its job “extremely well” but is now beyond its 40-year lifespan and is increasingly unreliable.
Nexus reports that there are an average of two faults per day across its rail network that lead to delays of more than four minutes, which is the figure Mr Hughes was referring to in judging Metro among the world’s most unreliable in terms of train faults.
However, Nexus says the network does not perform so poorly in terms of punctuality. According to most recent figures, Metro’s current punctuality rate is 82% of trains arriving within three minutes later or 30 seconds earlier than scheduled – better than Northern Rail’s 80%.
Mr Hughes’ comments come as controversy surrounds the bidding process to build a new Metro fleet.
Conservative Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has been embroiled in a row with Labour leader in Tyne and Wear over rumours that Hitachi, which has a base in Newton Aycliffe, could miss out on the £500m contract.
Mr Hughes reiterated at Wednesday’s full council meeting that he could not comment on the bidding process, which also involves Spanish firm CAF and Swiss manufacturer Stadler, due to commercial confidentiality.
However, in response to calls for the procurement process to be halted, he said there would be “absolutely no legal basis” for such a step. He added that doing so would cost millions and delay the much-needed replacement of the existing fleet.