Work starts to ramp up on £100m Metro Flow project in South Tyneside

Metro trains
23 May 2022

A £100m track dualling scheme that will increase service frequency, reduce journey times, and improve reliability on the Tyne and Wear Metro is starting to ramp up ahead of a planned major line closure later this year. 

The Metro Flow project will see an existing freight line upgraded and electrified in South Tyneside, making it capable of carrying Metro services, boosting the capacity for an extra 24,000 customer journeys every day.

Works have started on the installation of the new overhead line to run on the new Metro lines when they are completed.

The major works which will see three single sections of line dualled in during a three month major line closure between Pelaw and South Shields which runs from Monday 12 September through to Thursday December 5.

When the line is closed an enhanced replacement bus service will be provided in the affected area, providing customers with a frequent bus service. 

A total of £95m has been secured from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund, allowing Metro operator Nexus to deliver the scheme, which will cost £103m in total.

Three sections of single track will be dualled between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations, with the most intensive period of track works taking place between September and December during a 12 week major line closure. 

Head of Metro Flow, Tom Hardwick, said: “This month marks a step change it the delivery of the Metro Flow project, which will transform Metro by allowing Nexus to increase the service frequency systemwide. 

“Customers and our Neighbours will start to see the delivery of the first of the new overhead line masts which will be installed in the trial holes currently being dug on site. 

“While the majority of the works will be completed during two weekend closers at the end of June and beginning of July followed by a 12 week major line closure in September, the team will be working every night when trains are not running in order  to minimise disruption to our customers as much as possible.” 

Benefits of the Metro Flow project include:

• Increasing the frequency of Metro trains to one every 10 minutes outside central areas
• Deliver capacity for an extra 24,000 passengers a day
• Improve reliability and allow quicker recovery from major disruptions
• Better support for major events including the Great North Run, Sunderland International Airshow, stadium concerts, and major sporting events
• Unlock the door to the expansion of the Metro system

The funding for the Metro Flow project also allows Nexus to buy four more new trains on top of the 42 which have already been ordered.

Metro Flow allows three sections of single track on the Metro network totalling three kilometres to be dualled between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations.

There are three single-track sections on the Metro network, where trains must use the same line in both directions.

The sections of line are located between Pelaw and Hebburn (800 metres), Hebburn and Jarrow (1.4km) and Jarrow and Bede (600 metres).

The Metro Flow project will be carried out by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, who won a £55m tender for the construction stage of the project.
 

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Project Manager Tom Hardwick

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