All Tyne and Wear Metro services through central Newcastle and Gateshead will be suspended between Monday 15th and Sunday 28th February to allow for the replacement of the overhead wires. No trains will run between Heworth and Regent Centre/Four Lane Ends throughout the work which is part of a £30 million programme of overhead renewals across the network.
The work is needed as the wires are in need of replacement ahead of the introduction of the new trains from 2023. It has been decided to close the route for two weeks to stop months of weekend closures. The section being replaced is 5.5km long and will see 18,000 metres of wire replaced.
Cathy Massarella, Nexus Major Projects Director, said: “We are investing £30m in Metro’s overhead lines. This is a once in a generation piece of modernisation work. It will mean we can deliver a high-quality Metro service for many years to come and it gets our network ready for the introduction of the new trains.As part of this renewal programme we have to carry out a two-week major line closure on the busiest lines that run through the heart of Newcastle and Gateshead. There is no good time to shut such a big chunk of the network, and this modernisation work can only be undertaken effectively during an extended closure period. I apologise to our customers in advance for the inconvenience this will cause. Overhead wires are critical for the Metro system to operate. They are where the trains draw their high voltage power from. The power lines in our central area are ageing. They face the most wear and tear on a daily basis and they need to be replaced as soon as practically possible, which is why this work is booked in for February. We will ensure there is a fast and reliable replacement bus service running when the Metro line is shut. We advise passengers to plan their journeys in advance before travelling.”
Replacement buses will be in operation throughout this period and extra trains will run from Four Lane Ends to St James via Whitley Bay to give people living in North Tyneside an alternative route into Newcastle City Centre.
During the works trains will run:
Airport to Regent Centre
St James to Four Lane Ends
Heworth to South Shields
Heworth to South Hylton
Stations at South Gosforth, Ilford Road, West Jesmond, Jesmond, Haymarket, Monument (north/south only, east/west will remain open), Central Station, Gateshead, Gateshead Stadium and Felling will be closed throughout this period.
Normal services are due to resume from the start of service on Monday 1st March.