Metro gets state-of-the-art simulator to prepare drivers for new trains

For details, call the Nexus Media Office at 07939545628. For after hours inquiries, call 07767 837 795. To learn more about Nexus, visit

A state-of-the-art simulator will provide subway drivers with a fully immersive training experience as they count down to the arrival of new trains.

The life-size replica of the new subway cab has been installed at the Nexus Learning Center in South Shields. It uses CGI to deliver a realistic and interactive train dive experience.

The simulator, which has been supplied by Stadler, will be used for essential training and familiarization before the first new Tube train arrives in North East England at the end of the year.

Nexus, the public body that owns and runs Metro, said the multimillion-pound technology heralds the start of a new era for Metro’s driver training programme.

The metro network and 60 stations were programmed, appearing on high-resolution screens in front of the driver, as if looking through the actual windshield.

All weather conditions and potential situations, from snow and high winds to cows on the line, can be thrown at the driver at the push of a button.

Nexus Fleet and Depot Replacement Program Manager Michael Richardson said: “The new simulator will be essential in preparing our drivers for their new subway trains. It’s a really exciting time for them to be able to use this amazing new technology.

“This really marks the start of a new era in how we can train our metro drivers and it will be used for many years to come. We are grateful to Stadler for providing us with driver training assistance so fantastic and immersive. We’ve never had anything like it before.

“The simulator allows drivers to prepare for the change, as the new trains are much more high-tech than the current fleet. This is an opportunity to get used to all the functions and features of the new trains before drivers have the chance to actually drive them in 2023.

“The new Metro fleet will transform the Tyne and Wear Metro for customers and staff, delivering a step change in quality, comfort and reliability.

“We are months away from a really exciting moment when we see the first new train arriving in the region. By implementing a simulator, we ensure that we are ready to make a smooth transition to this new modern metro fleet. »

Marc Robson, Regional Fleet Manager at Stadler, added: “We are delighted to have delivered this highly sophisticated equipment to Nexus. It will be instrumental in the success of the metro driver training program, allowing drivers to familiarize themselves with the new trains we are currently building and supporting a smooth transition from the old to the new fleet.

“The simulator is another example of our focus on innovation, design technology, efficiency and precision, qualities that Stadler is proud of and that characterize our broad portfolio of rail products and services.”

Craig Pearson is one of 174 conductors employed by Nexus who will be one of the first to drive the new trains. Craig, who is one of the Metro Futures project’s specialist conductors, has been instrumental in helping his colleagues prepare for the new trains.

He said: “The new simulator is amazing. It already gives us a real idea of ​​what the new trains are capable of and, at this stage of the project, helps us in our preparations for the arrival of the first train in November.

“The level of detail is fantastic and each route is easily identifiable. It’s better than the expectations we had for it. It will be an integral part of our drivers’ conversion training between old and new fleets and will provide a great tool in the future, capable of replicating most, if not all real-life situations that might arise, in the comfort of the simulator. The first feedback from the pilots is very positive. »

The Nexus Learning and Development team will use the simulator to conduct a comprehensive program of training sessions for subway drivers to prepare them to drive the real Stadler trains.

The simulator allows drivers to learn how to use the advanced features of the new trains, including a train control management system – the “brain” of the train that allows the driver to interact with the train’s systems for performance optimal, and improve safety features.

Drivers can familiarize themselves with the new technical features of the cab, including all new control functions, gauges, switches and the main controller that are used while driving, as well as the new comfortable seating position and the functions of security and safety, including new CCTV technology.

The first new Metro train is undergoing final assembly and will arrive in North East England in November for testing and further training before entering customer service in mid-2023.

Stadler, the Swiss train builder, is supplying Nexus with 46 new trains for Metro, along with a new £70 million maintenance depot.

The new metro trains, which will be 15 times more reliable and reduce energy consumption by 30%, will be equipped with modern features such as charging stations, air conditioning and gradually improving accessibility. Among the new features, an automatic sliding step at each door of the new trains will facilitate the movement of Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with strollers, luggage or bicycles.

The metro driver simulator was made by a specialist simulator manufacturer called CORYS in Grenoble in the south-east of France. The company has been providing training and engineering simulators for over 30 years to the transportation, energy and process industries using engineering-grade modeling tools, virtual environments and room replicas and/or emulations control.

Find out more about the new metro fleet at