A night shift with Metro’s orange army of maintenance workers

Photo of Metro workers in the city centre tunnel between Monument and Haymarket
11 November 2020

Keeping the Metro system in tip top condition is all in a night’s work for the Nexus maintenance teams.

A typical night shift will include scores of vital jobs across the 77km network, all while the rest of us are fast asleep.

One such task is the maintenance of Metro’s iconic city centre tunnels, deep beneath the streets of Newcastle.

Nexus teams are carrying out drainage works in the tunnels to prevent water ingress damaging sensitive track and signalling equipment. 

Nexus Chief Operating Officer, Martin Kearney, joined a recent night shift to meet the frontline staff who work right through the night across the Metro’s infrastructure.

The whistle stop tour took in escalator maintenance at Monument, a walk across the QEII bridge, and tunnel drainage works in the central area between Haymarket and Monument.

Head of Maintenance Delivery, Steve Shiel, said: “We are carrying out drainage works in the city centre tunnels underneath Newcastle. This is vital manual work to clear the trackside gutters. 

“Some of the issues that can occur through poor drainage are track circuit failures when water pools under the track base. It is work that ultimately helps to prevent service disruption.

“Our civils and structures team undertake an annual programme throughout the tunnel areas in the city centre in order to keep on top of this issue and improve asset reliability.”


Watch Metro tunnel drainage works at 2am.

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