Metro Flow – a scheme which will see three single track sections in South Tyneside dualled – is starting to ramp up ahead of a major three month closure later this year. The £100 million project – partially funded by the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund – will see an existing freight line upgraded and electrified boosting the capacity for an extra 24,000 customer journeys every day.
Works have recently started on the installation of the new overhead to run on the new Metro lines when they are completed but the main works will take place later in the year. This will see the line between Pelaw and South Shields closed for three months from Monday 12th September until Thursday 5th December and will be preceded by two weekend closures.
Tom Hardwick, Head of Metro Flow, said: This month marks a step change it the delivery of the Metro Flow project, which will transform Metro by allowing Nexus to increase the service frequency systemwide. Customers and our Neighbours will start to see the delivery of the first of the new overhead line masts which will be installed in the trial holes currently being dug on site. While the majority of the works will be completed during two weekend closers at the end of June and beginning of July followed by a 12 week major line closure in September, the team will be working every night when trains are not running in order to minimise disruption to our customers as much as possible.”
In total 3km of track will be dualled between Pelaw and Bede. There are three sections to be worked on which are located Pelaw-Hebburn (800 metres), Hebburn-Jarrow (1.4km) and Jarrow-Bede (600 metres). The doubling of the track will allow 24,000 extra passengers a day to be carried on the Metro with trains able to run every 10 minutes on this section going forward.
The work will be undertaken by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, who won a £55 million tender for the construction stage of the project.