More than 1,000 metro workers will benefit from a new £8 million maintenance and skills centre that is being built by Nexus.
The Tyne and Wear Metro operator has already started work on the facility and expects construction to be completed in spring 2019.
Featuring a 70m stretch of dual track, a driver training simulator and a station mockup, the “state of the art” three-storey centre will deliver a wide range of infrastructure and operations training to staff.
There will also be space at the new training centre to stable a small number of Metro trains and maintain them outside of the main fleet depot in Newcastle.
The skills centre will be built in South Shields within the existing Metro sidings between Mile End Road and Salem Street, on the site of the town’s original railway station, which was closed when the metro was built in the early 1980s.
Nexus managing director Tobyn Hughes said that the centre will deliver a step change in the quality of the training for staff, contractors and industry partners.
He added: “This will be a state-of-the art training centre that will be vastly superior to the training facilities we have at the moment. This will be of huge benefit to our workforce and for the long term future of the Tyne and Wear Metro system.”
The project is being funded through a £7 million grant from the government’s Local Growth Fund Deal and a £1.4m contribution by Nexus.