Nexus, which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has unveiled plans to modernise Howdon and Meadow Well stations.
The two stations will be made brighter and cleaner with completely new finishes in a project during spring 2011.
The stations, used by 1.3 million passengers a year, are the first suburban ‘halts’ to be modernised by Nexus. It is investing £385m in the Metro: all change programme to modernise the system over the next 11 years.
Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus, said: “These stations give a clear sign of how we want to improve the passenger experience through the Metro: all change programme.
“Both stations will be made much brighter and feel safer thanks to completely new surface finishes, lighting, information displays, audio systems, CCTV and ticket machines.
“We have taken Haymarket station as a blueprint to update the whole Metro travel experience.”
Work will start in mid-February on both stations and is expected to take four months. The stations will be close on late evenings and a handful of weekends as a result
The project forms part of the comprehensive modernisation of the whole line between Byker and Tynemouth over the next 18 months, including the rebuilding of North Shields station and modernisation of other stations along the route later in 2011.
Nexus is investing more than £22m in the line, which will be closed for 23 days in spring 2011 to allow for the renewal of tracks, power lines, bridges, embankments, drainage and technology.
Howdon station will be reclad in new, tough vitreous enamel panels with flush lighting, which will completely cover structural metalwork now on show.
The white interiors will be substantially brighter than at present, with ceiling panels for the first time. All CCTV, passenger displays and audio systems will be replaced.
Meadow Well, an open-plan station, will see a similar approach, with panelling replaced and lighting improved.
At both stations a new compound platform surface will be spread throughout, giving a level, slip-resistant finish in place of existing concrete.
The stations will also have new ticket machines, accepting notes and credit/debit cards alongside coins, as well as new ‘smart’ ticket vending.
The stations have been designed by Newcastle firm Sadler Brown Architecture, with consultant engineer Arup – the team responsible for the award-winning rebuilding of Haymarket station and the refurbishment of Sunderland station platforms.
Design features from Haymarket have been used, including the use of contrasting black and white vitreous enamel, and panelling in a ‘letterbox’ shape.