The Metro line between Pelaw and South Shields has re-opened following the completion of the £104 million Metro Flow project.
The first Metro trains were operated along the line, which has been closed for 13 weeks to allow for Metro’s biggest ever improvement scheme, from the scheduled start of timetabled services this morning (14 December).
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, thanked customers for their patience during the closure, which was extended by ten days to complete overhead line and signal works.
Major Projects Director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: “I am pleased to say that the Metro line between Pelaw and South Shields is now back up and running following the completion of the £104 million Metro Flow works.
“I want to thank our customers for their patience during the closure, which we had to extend for ten days while we completed overhead line works and signal testing.
“We got the line handed back to us from our contractor at the weekend and we then needed two days for drivers to be familiarised with the new track and signalling layouts.
“Metro Flow has involved converting a freight line for Metro trains, which will ultimately help us to improve reliability across the system.”
The Metro Flow project was delivered through a line closure between Pelaw and South Shields planned to last 12 weeks and re-open on 4 December – the longest and biggest single project Nexus has undertaken on the original Metro network since it was completed in 1984.
A 4.6km stretch of Metro track has been replaced and completely new overhead line and signalling installed to remove three sections of single-track between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations.
Metro Flow will improve reliability across the whole network by removing these ‘pinch points’ which delay trains, as well as allowing Nexus to increase the frequency of Metro services in the future.
Nexus secured £95 million from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund to deliver Metro Flow, with the work carried out by railway engineering specialists Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd.
Image credit: Nexus