Metro line re-opens Wallsend-Tynemouth

3 September 2012

Metro services have resumed in full between Wallsend and Tynemouth after a 23 day Major Line Closure.

Nexus, which owns, manages and is modernising the Tyne and Wear Metro, has completed the work on time and train services resumed on Monday 3 September.

And the newly refurbished North Shields Metro station has fully opened its doors to passengers for the first time after two years of re-building work.

These multi-million pound projects form part of the £385m Metro: all change modernisation programme, which involves the largest series of capital projects on the Metro system since it opened more than 30 years-ago.

The major line closure between Wallsend and Tynemouth has allowed Nexus to replace six kilometres of track along with the modernisation of Metro infrastructure including embankments, bridges, signals and communications technology.

The work was planned while schools are on holiday, commuter numbers are lower than the rest of the year, and after the Olympics, which saw part of the football tournament held at St James Park in Newcastle.

Some weekend closures during September and October will still be required to carry out further modernisation works between Wallsend and Monkseaton.

The new-look North Shields station is now fully open although passengers will notice some final snagging jobs being carried out over the next few weeks.

Director General of Nexus, Bernard Garner, said: “I’m pleased to say that we’ve got the work done on time and the line between Wallsend and Tynemouth is now back up and running.

“We have also fully opened North Shields station, which has undergone a major rebuilding programme and really has been transformed.

“I’d like to thank the public for their patience while the Metro line has been closed. It has meant a period of disruption for commuters in North Tyneside and I apologise for that.

“The Metro all change modernisation programme is extremely important for securing Metro’s long term future. There will need to be line closures but the long term gain is a vastly improved Metro system for many years to come.”

Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, Ken Mackay, added: “We have spent the last 23 days replacing six kilometres of track and work on other infrastructure like bridges and overhead lines.

“We could not have done this work safely without a major line closure. There has been an enormous amount of work, right around the clock. Our Thanks go to people living near Metro lines who experienced disruption.”

Meanwhile, new smart ticket machines have now been installed at most stations in North Tyneside, and the refurbishment of Howdon and Meadow Well Metro stations is complete.

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.