A packed programme of modernisation work including track and overhead line renewal is to be carried out on the Tyne and Wear Metro in the first three months of the new year.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the works would bring the investment in Metro infrastructure to £38m in the year to the end of March 2024 – getting the network ready for the new Metro train fleet entering service.
A range of projects are taking place, including the completion of the new Gosforth Metro depot, the installation of 2.1km of new tracks, two new track junctions, 1.4Km of new overhead line and lineside estate works.
Metro’s modernisation programme is funded by the Government. By March a total of £446m will have been invested on the renewal of Metro infrastructure since work began in 2010, Nexus said.
The bulk of the works are being packed into weekends to keep the level of disruption to a minimum.
There will be three weekends where the Metro’s busy central area will be affected, and there will be a nine-day major line closure between South Gosforth and Airport.
Where lines are closed frequent replacement bus services will be provided and customers are advised to plan ahead and allow extra time to travel in the affected areas.
Metro Infrastructure Director, Stuart Clarke, said: “A wide range of major projects are being packed into the first three months of the new year as we continue to invest in the modernisation of Metro’s infrastructure.
“In the year to March 2024 we will have invested a total of £38m on the renewal of track, overhead lines, stations, and other key areas of the Metro system to ensure its long-term future as we countdown to the first new Metro train entering service.
“The Metro asset renewal programme stretches all the way back to 2010. A vast amount of projects have been completed since then, and we hope to be able to do more renewal works over the spring and summer of 2024.
“There is no good time to close a large sections of the Metro system and I apologise in advance for the inconvenience this will cause customers.
“We will ensure there are good replacement bus services running when the Metro lines are shut. We advise customers to plan their journeys in advance before travelling on those dates when there are line closures in place.”
The planned works on Metro, January to March 2024:
The planned closures are as follows:
- 5-8 January: Completion of final tracks outside new Gosforth Metro Depot. No line closures are planned but some impact on early and late services.
- 13-14 January: Buses replace trains South Gosforth-Haymarket for track renewal, lineside estate works and signalling work at the depot.
- 20-21 January: Buses replace trains Airport-South Gosforth for track renewal.
- 27 January: Buses replace trains Pelaw-South Shields for track renewal.
- 10-11 February: Buses replace trains South Gosforth-Wallsend for lineside estate and signalling maintenance works.
- 17-25 February: Buses replace trains Airport-Regent Centre. A nine-day major line closure for overhead line and track renewal and lineside estate works.
- 16-17 March: Buses replace trains Heworth-South Gosforth for track junction renewal in Metro tunnels under Newcastle city centre.
- 29 March-1 April (Easter weekend): Buses replace trains Heworth-South Gosforth. Four-day major line closure to complete the track junction renewal in Metro tunnels under Newcastle city centre.
For all the latest updates on Metro line closures go to Metro’s X page (formerly Twitter) @My_Metro or www.nexus.org.uk
Image credit: iStockphoto.com