Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, secured UK government grant funding of £337m towards the projected £362m cost of designing and building a new Metro train fleet of 42 4-car electric multiple units, and the rebuilding of Gosforth train maintenance depot (Newcastle).
The Tyne and Wear Metro is a system running around Newcastle and the surrounding area, and on to Sunderland. It runs on a mixture of purpose-built subterranean infrastructure, previously disused heavy rail lines, and existing heavy rail lines. It uses 1500V DC overhead, the only railway in the UK to do so, is standard gauge, but with a smaller body profile. Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, secured UK government grant funding of £337m towards the projected £362m cost of designing and building a new Metro train fleet of 42 4-car electric multiple units, and the rebuilding of Gosforth train maintenance depot (Newcastle). It sought bidders to design, build and maintain a fleet and maintenance facilities to serve the Metro for 35 years, as well as maintain the existing fleet during the interim period, prior to the new trains’ introduction. The bidders were challenged with offering trains which will operate efficiently and robustly, supplying a step change in Metro availability and performance, with a bright modern appearance. Nexus wanted trains which improve passenger flow and dwell times at stations through improved seating layouts, wider doors and stand-back areas, wide aisles, and a layout to encourage flow of passengers through the vehicle.
Our client's challenge
Downer and CRRC are world leaders in rolling stock building and asset management, providing a complete solution from concept design, through whole life, to disposal.
However, bidding for a specialist fleet into the UK requires specialist advice and assistance. Downer-CRRC sought UK rail sector expertise to inform, support, and challenge during the development of their bid. They required an in-depth understanding of risks and how to mitigate them. They required an experienced, independent view of how to sell their strengths when compared to their competitors.
IPEX provided a local bid director to lead all Newcastle-based activities, including client meetings, design reviews, supplier engagement, community engagement, and the team development of a compelling bid response.
The response utilised the combined creativity and experience of a blend of client and consultancy support, across a multi-disciplinary team including environmental, infrastructure, programme and project management, human resources and rolling stock. IPEX provided a core team of experienced rolling stock engineers. The team developed the maintenance solution for the exisiting fleet and the transition period across the introduction of the new fleet and the rebuilding of the existing depot. They also provided critique, guidance, and client meeting support for new train design, liaising across multiple international teams and disciplines. In addition, IPEX provided a highly experienced shadow evaluation panel, flexing to meet peaks and troughs in bid development. The shadow evaluation team analysed all outputs from the bid development team enabling them to be honed to provide the best possible score in the evaluation.
The value to the client
The provision of an experienced bid director, familiar with local authorities and wider stakeholder management, ensured the bid team formed quickly into one cohesive team, focused on ‘win themes’. This enabled the client to build a strong reputation increasing credibility and confidence in understanding the aims of the competition, in the eyes of the procuring authority.
IPEX’s ability to offer a large and flexible shadow review team for short intervals delivered high quality insights across a broad range of deliverables in a very short space of time, minimising the lag in bid development.
IPEX’s rolling stock engineering team provided accurate interpretation of the client’s aims, matching them with optimal solutions and providing critical feedback to inform other bid sub-teams. The team provided valuable interpretation of requirements to help shape a solution that would be both compliant and compelling.