Metro night working - what our neighbours need to know
Nexus is responsible for Metro’s infrastructure. Sometimes it is necessary to carry out work to ensure Metro can continue to carry over 40 million passengers a year. During this time we appreciate this may cause some disruption to our neighbours and we thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Our engineering teams work extensively on the network every night, carrying out inspections, patrols and maintenance works and clearing litter while passenger trains do not operate. Metro is one of the UK’s busiest railways and needs looking after, so some noise and disturbance for our neighbours is to be expected.
For security reasons we no longer list all the works taking place at night, however, we will continue to provide updates on any large-scale engineering projects that will be taking place across the Metro network – those involving the use of heavy or particularly noisy machinery. These works will be such things as:
• Landscaping/vegetation works (strimmers, chainsaws, etc)
• Track renewal (ballast, tamping, etc)
• Station cleaning (jet washing)
• Major projects (Depot works, etc)
Our information covers all parts of the Metro network on Tyneside, and stations only between Pelaw and South Hylton. The tracks between Pelaw and South Hylton are owned and maintained by Network Rail and we do not provide information on this.
You can keep up to date by:
- Regularly checking this page for updates
- Calling the Customer Relations on 0191 20 20 747 (9.00am-5.00pm)
- Receive weekly email night working updates by contacting Customer Relations
Why work during the night?
Many of the complex maintenance tasks can’t be carried out safely while Metro trains are in service and the overhead lines are live. As a result, most of the work can only be carried out safely between midnight and 4.30am.
Types of work:
Landscaping and tree works
Level crossing repairs
|Overhead line maintenance|
Station platform and bridge repairs
|Track ballast tamping|
Track and embankment cleaning
- Track renewal
The Metro tracks see thousands of trains pass over them every day - this causes wear and tear and eventually the rails need replacing. Track renewal usually involves power tools and heavy machinery to lift rails and concrete sleepers, so will be amongst the noisiest work.
- Track ballast tamping
This involves making sure that the bed of stones supporting the Metro tracks is in good order and perfectly level. A large and slow-moving railway vehicle known as a tamper carries out this work, and may have to move back and forth across a single section for periods of up to an hour. Click here to watch a video of Metro track tamping.
- Station cleaning
All our stations are jet-washed every four weeks to keep them clean and odour-free; because of the amount of water used this can only be done at night when there are no passengers about, and requires use of a generator to power the hoses.
- Track and embankment cleaning
Staff walk every part of our track on Tyneside at regular intervals removing light rubbish and dealing with any vegetation causing an obstruction. At times larger specialist machines are used to cut back bushes and scrub.
- Weed spraying
It is important to keep the Metro track areas free of weeds - a programme of weed spaying is carried out every year in the late spring and eearly summer. The spray is contained well within the confines of the Metro track and the level of noise from this work is minimal.
- Landscaping and tree works
Keeping the Metro lines clear of overhanging foliage and trees involves the use of chainsaws and mechanical hedge cutting equipment. This is mostly done in daytime during line closures but at times, and in emergencies, tree surgeons can work at all hours.
- Station platform and bridge repairs
Metro bridge works involve structural repairs. Work to station platforms vary from station to station but one common type of work is to repair damage to the platforms and platform edges, done at night using power tools.
- Graffiti removal
Nexus has a team working round the clock dedicated to removing graffiti from the trackside. Their work involves the use of high pressure washers and generators.
- Level crossing repairs
There are five level crossings on the Metro infrastructure and major repairs at these crossings involve replacing the rails and the road surface, using power tools and sometimes heavy machinery.
- Overhead line maintenance
The overhead power lines supply the electricity Metro trains need to run. These cables need to be kept free of any obstructions and renewed from time to time. Special platforms are used so workers can access these cables. The work itself is not very noisy, but involves a special train moving up the line and people working at height, from which noise may travel further.
- Cable maintenance
There are thousands of kilometres of cables running about the Metro network, now mostly fibre-optic. These run alongside the track and drive Metro's signalling system, ticket machines and passenger information systems - replacing this cabling is essential and can involve heavy machinery to dig new trenches, as well as power tools to cut and lay cables themselves.