A major programme of modernisation work will close one of the Tyne and Wear Metro’s busiest lines between Newcastle and North Tyneside for five days next month.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, is replacing essential overhead power lines as part of an ongoing £30m programme of wire renewals to get the network ready for the new Metro train fleet.
The closure will also allow for track replacement, essential work on Metro bridges and embankments, and vegetation management.
The major line closure will mean no Metro services between St James and Tynemouth for five days, Monday 21-25 February. A frequent replacement bus service will run in the affected area.
Services will resume as normal from Saturday 26 February.
Major Projects Director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: “We are investing £30m in in Metro’s overhead lines as we get ready for the new trains arriving at the end of the year.
“The five-day closure allows us to replace a large section of wire between Newcastle and North Tyneside, and also carry out other essential modernisation including track and embankment work.
“There is no good time to close a large section of the network. Carrying out major work in half term break means we also avoid disrupting education for pupils who use Metro to get to school in the affected area.
“We will ensure there is a fast and reliable replacement bus service running when the Metro line is shut. We advise customers to plan their journeys in advance before travelling.”
The work is being packed into a five-day period to avoid months of weekend closures.
Sections of overhead line in Metro’s central area tunnels deep beneath Newcastle city centre between St James and Manors stations are part of the project.
A total of 12,000 metres of contact and catenary wire will be replaced over a 6km section of line.