Nexus, which owns, manages and is modernising Metro, is investing in new escalators at two of its busiest Metro stations in Newcastle city centre.
Monument and Central Metro stations are both set to undergo escalator replacement work over the next 12 months. A total of eight new escalators are being installed with the work scheduled for completion in March 2013.
The work forms part of the £385m Metro all change modernisation programme which will see the network transformed over the next 11 years, including new-look trains and refurbished stations.
The work will be carried out in phases, planned so that Central will always at least have one escalator in operation and one in each direction available for both lines that run through Monument station. Both stations also have passenger lifts to the platform level.
Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, Ken Mackay, said: “New escalators are a vital part of our modernisation programme.
“Most of these escalators have been in continuous service for 30 years, with approximately 92 million revolutions in that time, so it’s no wonder they are feeling the strain.
“The new escalators will be a lot smoother and much more energy efficient, lowering the Metro system’s overall carbon footprint.”
The £385m Metro all change programme will see a whole host of modernisation projects during 2012.
The new generation of ticket machines are currently being installed, with almost half of the network now completed. The new ticket machines, 225 in total, which accept bank notes and credit and debit card payments, are going in at all 60 Metro stations.
Work will be ongoing to fit 13 key Metro stations with electronic ticket gates similar to those used on the London Underground system. New passenger lifts will also be fitted at Heworth Interchange in Gateshead and Four Lane Ends Interchange in North Tyneside in the next year.