Nexus is starting its most intense programmes of maintenance and modernisation for almost five years packed into a 14-day closure of a Metro line through the centre of Newcastle.
The work will allow the renewal of up to 16,000 metres of vital overhead power line to prepare the system for the arrival of a £362m new train fleet entering service from 2023.
The public body which runs Metro has also brought forward a package of further works on its busiest section to take advantage of the major line closure, which will take place while passenger numbers are lower during lockdown.
The entire programme, starting on Monday 15 February and lasting 14 days includes:
- Replacement of up to 18,000m of overhead power line dating to the early 1980s as part of a £30m renewal rolled out across the Metro system.
- Installation of escalator handrail sanitisers which use UV light to kill viruses and bacteria, plus maintenance works, at the busiest city centre stations including Haymarket, Monument, Central Station and Gateshead.
- Repairs to the platform edge at West Jesmond station
- Removal of vegetation that could interfere with power lines and track between Ilford road and South Gosforth.
- Changing lightbulbs at Gateshead Interchange
- Painting and maintenance work on the footbridge at South Gosforth
- Maintenance and resurfacing works at Felling footbridge
- Painting and grafitti removal at West Jesmond, Jesmond and Gateshead Stadium
- Signalling works between South Gosforth and Felling, renewing older cables and repainting signal posts
Major Projects Director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: “This two-week line closure will involve some of the most intensive maintenance and modernisation work on the network for five years.
“There is less than one week to go until this gets underway. There is no good time to shut such a big chunk of the network, and this work can only be undertaken effectively during an extended closure period. The current lockdown means that we are able to do the work while passenger numbers are low.
“The power lines in our central area are ageing. They face the most wear and tear on a daily basis, and they need to be replaced as soon as practically possible, which is why this work is booked in for next week.
“We will ensure there is a fast and reliable replacement bus service running when the Metro line is shut. We advise passengers to plan their journeys in advance before travelling of they need to make an essential journey.”
The major line closure will mean that there are no Metro services between Heworth and Regent Centre / Four Lane Ends for 14 days - Monday 15 February to Sunday 28 February.
Services will resume as normal on Monday 1 March.
Frequent replacement bus services will be provided during the closure, calling at or near stations on the affected routes.
Frequent replacement bus services, including express buses, will be provided during the closure, calling at or near stations on the affected route. All Metro tickets will be accepted on the buses, numbers 900 / 901 / X900 / X901.
There will be extra trains from Four Lane Ends via Whitley Bay to St James to provide people living in North Tyneside with an alternative route to Newcastle city centre.
Metro trains will still be running in other areas, including: Airport-Regent Centre; St James-Four Lane Ends (Monument east/west remains open); Heworth-South Shields; Heworth-South Hylton.
11 Metro stations will be closed during the works: Longbenton, South Gosforth, Ilford Road , West Jesmond, Jesmond, Haymarket, Monument north/south platforms only, Central Station , Gateshead, Gateshead Stadium and Felling.
Information and updates will also be on the Metro Twitter page @My_Metro and the Tyne and Wear Metro Facebook page.