Described as the ‘first modern light rail system in the United Kingdom’ the Tyne and Wear Metro is an overground and underground light rapid transit serving Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, and the City of Sunderland. The network opened in stages from August 1980 and now serves a total of 60 stations, with two lines covering 77.5 km (48.2 mi) of track.
The system is currently owned and operated by the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive (branded as Nexus), thus is fully under public ownership and operation.
Since the Tyne and Wear Metro opened in 1980, it has operated using the same rolling stock. The fleet comprises a total of 87 (formerly 90, until March 2017) articulated units, known as Metrocars, which are numbered 4001–4090.
In January 2022 Stadler was awarded a contract to build and maintain 42 five-carriage with and all trains scheduled to be in passenger service by 2024.