A new £2 million project is now underway to get platforms on the Tyne and Wear Metro network ready for the fleet of new trains which are due to be in service in 2023. With the new trains having a sliding step which will ensure that the gap between train and platform is almost non-existent it will be necessary to alter tracks at 40 locations and the work for this has already started.
Tracks are either being lowered or heightened at various locations with the work having already been completed at Bede and Hadrian Road. Work is now moving on to the line between the Airport and Wansbeck Road. The track will be lowered at five locations using an excavator, while track also needs to be raised at seven locations using a track tamping machine.
Cathy Masarella, Major Projects Director at Nexus, said: “This is a vital project to ensure that our stations are ready for the new Metro trains. This is all part of the half billion pounds Nexus is investing to transform Metro before 2025. We need to adjust the height of the tracks at 40 of our stations so that the when the new trains roll into service in 2023 they interface perfectly with station platforms. Works are being carried out at weekends or are being fitted in alongside other modernisation projects over the next two years in order to keep the disruption to a minimum. The new trains will have a sliding step to making boarding easy, all but eliminating the gap between train and platform edge, but we still need to ensure the we are ready for the transition to the new fleet.”
The fleet of 42 new trains will be built by Stadler with delivery expected to continue through until 2024.