Two sets of track point switches between Haymarket and Monument stations in central Newcastle have been replaced as part of the ongoing Metro: all change modernisation programme. The work took place over a single weekend and saw the 40 year old equipment replaced at the Prudhoe Street crossover.
The work saw the removal and restructure of walkways as well as lifting up entire track panels to replace the old sleepers. The old electro-hydraulic points machines were replaced by new more efficient electrically driven point motors. These are a more reliable and proven technology with less moving parts and components. They also don’t require hydraulic fluid which makes them both more environmentally friendly and easier to maintain.
As part of the Metro: all change modernisation programme a total of 32 sets of points are due to be replaced and so far work has been completed on 20.
Michael Ellison, Director of Rail for Nexus, said: “This was essential modernisation work in the Metro tunnels deep beneath Newcastle to replace one of the most important junctions on the network. This is a part of the Metro system that passengers never get to see. It was crucial work, part of our modernisation programme. The points machines in that tunnel were 40 years-old and they needed to be replaced. The tunnels are a challenging environment to work in but our teams have carried out the work with a minimal amount of disruption. I’m also delighted that Nexus was able to deliver this work in-house, using our own staff and equipment.”
The junction between Haymarket and Monument is a key section of the Metro with 450 train movements a day, showing just how crucial the replacement of these points was to the smooth operation.