Since 2010 more than £300m has been invested in modernising the Tyne and Wear Metro and that is just the start with a new fleet of trains set to arrive from 2021 plus a new bid for more funding is now being prepared to continue to invest in the network. The £300m milestone was reached over the past few weeks with the replacement of two aging bridges which saw two three day service closures.
The £300m has so far been spent on updating Metro’s infrastructure with not only bridges but also tracks, stations and trains enjoying investment. Although a new fleet of trains is currently being procured it has been necessary to invest in the current fleet of trains dating from the 1980s to keep the service running whilst we all wait for these new vehicles.
John Fenwick, Director of Finance and Resources, said: “One of my first priorities when I joined Nexus almost eleven years ago was to attract the funding necessary to renew Metro’s ageing infrastructure. Having managed to invest £300 million since then is incredible. The assets we’ve replaced range from this bridge in North Tyneside to track and overhead line throughout the network, not to mention the introduction of key communications systems as well as our programme of station refurbishment. And the job isn’t complete. After securing £337 million from central government for a new fleet of Metrocars we are currently developing a bid for additional funding to continue investing in and improving Metro through to 2025.”
It is planned that investment in infrastructure will continue over the next two years and currently Nexus are in discussions with the DfT about the need to extend the modernisation programme beyond 2021.