Nexus, which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, is to carry out another major phase of comprehensive modernisation work in North Tyneside this summer.
This huge programme of work will mean a Major Line Closure of 23 days between Wallsend and Tynemouth from Saturday August 11 to Monday September 3, plus a series of weekend line closures in July.
A high frequency replacement bus service will ensure passengers see as little inconvenience as possible when the Metro line is closed.
The work forms part of the £385m Metro: all change modernisation programme, the largest series of capital projects on the system since it opened more than 30 years-ago.
The closure has been planned while schools are on holiday, commuter numbers are lower than the rest of the year, and after the Olympics, which will see part of the football tournament held at St James Park in Newcastle.
Nexus has also planned weekend closures to avoid major summer events including the Mouth of the Tyne Festival at Tynemouth, in order to reduce the impact on local residents and business.
This Major Line Closure will allow Nexus to modernise Metro infrastructure, including the replacement of tracks and renewal of embankments, bridges, signals and communications technology.
Director General of Nexus, Bernard Garner, said: “These works are vital to secure the future of this section of Metro line and provide big improvements to the passenger experience.
“We have stepped up our modernisation programme this year and Metro passengers will increasingly start to notice the difference. The amount of modernisation work we are now delivering on Metro is much larger than at any time since the system was first build in the 1970s.
“Our works this summer are once again focussed on North Tyneside, but in years to come other parts of the network will also undergo major programmes of modernisation.”
Ken Mackay, Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus said: “To deliver these works in the safest, most cost effective and least disruptive way possible we need to have a Major Line Closure, similar to the one in March and April last year.
“We know this will cause inconvenience, but the work cannot be done safely without closing lines. I would like to thank the public for their patience while we carry out this vital modernisation work, which will secure Metro’s future for many years to come.”
Details of work which will affect passengers:
• A Major Line Closure of 23 days between Wallsend and Tynemouth from Saturday August 11 to Monday September 3.
• Two weekend closures of the Metro line between Wallsend and Monkeston (July 7-8) and then Wallsend and Tynemouth (July 21-22)
• Night time working along all sections of the line which may involve some noise during the track replacement works.
• Two further weekend closures on 8-9 September and 22-23 September following the Major Line Closure.
• Ongoing redevelopment work at North Shields Metro station.
New smart ticket machines have now been installed at most stations in North Tyneside, and the refurbishment of Howdon and Meadow Well stations is complete, while building work on the new North Shields station will be completed this summer.
This work dovetails with the completion of the conservation and restoration work which has been carried out at Tynemouth Station, which is a listed building.
More than 7,000 passengers a day use the line between Tynemouth and Byker. Most of the route was first used as a railway in 1838, making it one of the oldest dedicated commuter railway lines in the world.