NEXUS ANNOUNCES MAJOR ENGINEERING PROGRAMME FOR METRO
Nexus, which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, today announced details of major engineering works over the next six months.
The work is part of the Metro: all change modernisation programme, which will see Nexus invest £385m into the light rail system over the next 11 years.
Nexus will spend £38m this year alone in projects to replace and upgrade equipment and infrastructure without which Metro could not run.
And it is warning passengers that increased disruption is inevitable, but Nexus and Metro operator DB Regio Tyne and Wear will do all they can to minimise inconvenience.
Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus, said: “Metro is vital to the economic and social life of the region, and in return for short-term inconvenience we will be securing and modernising the system to last for decades to come.”
“The engineering works over the next six months are a main part of the Metro: all change programme, and build on projects like the modernisation of Haymarket and Sunderland stations.”
Ken Mackay, Nexus Director of Rail and Infrastructure, added: “In the years ahead, passengers must expect greater disruption than they have been used to. This will mostly be at weekends, though in a few cases work on weekdays is planned. When we do need to close a line a frequent replacement bus service will always run.
“We do as much work as possible at night without affecting the train service, but we are now planning the biggest renewal projects Metro has ever seen, and these cannot be done without sometimes closing lines.
“By closing lines for short concentrated periods we can pack in lots of work which would otherwise cause months of sporadic disruption.”
Projects announced over the next six months include a comprehensive renewal of the line between Tynemouth and Byker, including tracks and embankments, bridges, cabling and overhead lines.
This section will be closed for 23 days (three working weeks) in spring 2011, with the exact date still to be finalised. This is one of two similar ‘blockades’ of the same line planned in the next 18 months.
There will also be weekend closures of the line ahead of the main works, and building projects on stations in the area.
Nexus is already in talks with local schools, councils and health providers about the plans to minimise the impact.
Other projects include:
- October 17 – Sunday morning suspension of Metro between Heworth and Hebburn and Heworth and Brockley Whins for track maintenance at a key junction.
- October 24 – Sunday morning suspension of Metro between South Gosforth and Four Lane Ends for track maintenance at a key junction.
- October 31 – Sunday morning suspension of Metro between Tynemouth and Wallsend for track renewal.
- November 6/7 – Weekend suspension of Metro between Benton and North Shields to renew road and foot bridges in Monkseaton and Cullercoats.
- November 13/14 until December 4/5 – Suspension of Metro on four full weekends from South Shields to Pelaw to replace 9km of signal cable and ducting. Trains will run as normal during the week.
In all cases a frequent replacement bus service will operate to all affected stations.
Nexus will suspend all engineering projects in the busy Christmas shopping and party period, but work will start again in the New Year.
Projects planned in early 2011 include the replacement of signal cables in the Gosforth area, the building of a new footbridge with lifts at Benton, and the comprehensive modernisation works between Tynemouth and Byker.