The Anonymous Widower

Protests After Claim That Hitachi Has Lost T&W Contract

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Railnews.

This is the introductory paragraphs.

There have been protests in north east England after a report claimed that Hitachi has been ruled out of the three-way contest to build a £500 million fleet for Tyne & Wear Metro.

The other contenders are CAF and Stadler, and the source of the claims says ‘insiders’ at Nexus have been told that Hitachi will be ‘overlooked’.

It should be noted that the two other bidders have orders for similar trains in the pipeline.


In TfL Awards Contract For New DLR Fleet To Replace 30-year-old Trains , I wrote about how CAF had been awarded the contract for new trains for the Docklands Light Railway.

I also said this about the possibility of CAF being awarded the contract for the new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

In Bombardier Transportation Consortium Preferred Bidder In $4.5B Cairo Monorail, I indicated that as the trains on the Tyne and Wear Metro and the trains on the Docklands Light Railway, are of a similar height and width, it might be possible to use the same same car bodies on both trains.

So now that CAF have got the first order for the Docklands Light Railway, they must be in prime position to obtain the Tyne and Wear Metro order!

A second order would fit well with the first and could probably be built substantially in their South Wales factory.


Stadler seem to be targeting the North, with new Class 777 trains for Merseyrail and Class 399 tram-trains for Sheffield and bids in for tram-trains and and new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

Their trains are both quirky, accessible and quality and built to fit niche markets like a glove.

Only Stadler would produce a replacement for a diesel multiple unit fleet with a bi-mode Class 755 train, with the engine in the middle, that is rumoured to be capable of running at 125 mph.

Note the full step-free access between train and platform, which is also a feature of the Merseyrail trains.

Does the Tyre and Wear Metro want to have access like this? It’s already got it with the existing trains, as this picture at South Shields station shows.

Stadler’s engineering in this area, would fit their philosophy

I first thought that Stadler would propose a version of their Class 399 tram-trains. for the Tyne and Wear Metro and wrote Comparing Stadler Citylink Metro Vehicles With Tyne And Wear Metro’s Class 994 Trains.

This was my conclusion.

I am led to the conclusion, that a version of the Stadler Citylink Metro Vehicle similar to those of the South Waes Metro, could be developed for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

My specification would include.

  • Length of two current Class 994 trains, which would be around 111 metres.
  • Walk through design with longitudinal seating.
  • Level access between platform and train at all stations.
  • A well-designed cab with large windows at each end.
  • Ability to use overhead electrification at any voltage between 750 and 1500 VDC.
  • Ability to use overhead electrification at 25 KVAC.
  • Pantographs would handle all voltages.
  • A second pantograph might be provided for reasons of reliable operation.
  • Ability to use onboard battery power.
  • Regenerative braking would use the batteries on the vehicle.


  1. Many of these features are already in service in Germany, Spain or Sheffield.
  2. The train would be designed, so that no unnecessary platform lengthening is required.
  3. As in Cardiff, the specification would allow street-running in the future.
  4. Could battery range be sufficient to allow new routes to be developed without electrification?

I also feel that the specification should allow the new trains to work on the current network, whilst the current trains are still running.

But since I wrote that comparison in June 2018, Merseyrail’s new trains have started to be delivered and Liverpudlians have started to do what they do best; imagine!

The Tyne and Wear Metro has similar ambitions to expand the network and would a version of the Class 777 train fit those ambitions better?


I wouldn’t be surprised if Hitachi misses out, as the experience of the Docklands Light Railway or Merseyrail fed into the expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro could be the clincher of the deal.

They would also be the first UK customer for the Hitachi trains.


September 22, 2019 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , ,


  1. Good morning on the 24th of the month.
    It’s 6 PM on September 24 in Japan.
    Let me write my impressions again.

    Hitachi lost money in bidding for cross rails and tubes.
    Anglia (Abellio) and Westmidland (Abellio) also failed to receive orders.
    London and other local governments don’t value hitachi.
    HDS has not done well on commuter trains like AT -100 and AT -200 (Class 385).

    We should hurry to win in scotland where the renewal of the car is delayed.
    The president of Hitachi Europe resigned.
    There was also a lot of bullish talk from Hitachi’s chairman.
    I am very concerned about the number of negative ingredients.

    Comment by Yy Hiro | September 24, 2019 | Reply

    • I think Hitachi have a problem as they make the bodies in Japan. This means they can’t match the production rates of Bombardier, CAF and Siemens, who produce bodies close to final assembly. Talgo are now setting up a factory in Scotland and they will be building bodies there.
      I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bombardier and CAF being able to price trains well below Hitachi.
      Of the four new suburban train fleets in the UK, the Bombardier Class 710 trains on a line near me, are a class apart! They are high-capacity local trains, but the ride is one of the best. I also think they have a battery option. Bombardier seem to have thought out how you design and build a train. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve been talking to the production engineers at the Toyota factory, that is a few miles away!
      I also think that Hitachi could have got a big order at Anglia for the expresses, the local bi-modes and the suburban electrics, but their trains aren’t the right size and they haven’t got a short bi-mode. Stadler and Bombardier were able to adjust standard products to fit.

      To make it worse for Hitachi, the Stadler trains are superb with step-free access between platform and train. The latest Rail Magazine also says that Greater Anglia may convert some of the bi-modes to battery electric, which I think will have the same performance.

      Comment by AnonW | September 24, 2019 | Reply

  2. It’s a correction. Excuse me.


    Comment by Yy Hiro | September 24, 2019 | Reply

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