Tyne and Wear Metro’s busiest lines through the centres of Newcastle and Gateshead will be closed for two consecutive weeks next month due to a major programme of modernisation work.
Overhead power lines will be replaced as part of a £30 million programme of wire renewals across the network as Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, prepares for the introduction of a new train fleet in 2025.
The major line closure will mean that there are no Metro services between Heworth and Regent Centre / Four Lane Ends for 14 days – Monday 15 February to Sunday 28 February. Services will resume as normal on Monday 1 March.
Major projects director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: “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.
“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.
“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.”
A total of 18,000 metres of contact and catenary wire will be replaced over a 5.5km section of line. The work is being packed into a two-week period to avoid months of weekend closures, and because the power lines in Metro’s busy central area are in urgent need of modernisation.
Sections of overhead line in Metro’s central area tunnels deep beneath Newcastle city centre will be replaced during this project.
Ten Metro stations will be closed during the works: South Gosforth, Ilford Road , West Jesmond, Jesmond, Haymarket, Monument north/south platforms only, Central Station , Gateshead, Gateshead Stadium and Felling. Metro trains will still be running in other areas, including: Airport-Regent Centre; St James-Four Lane Ends (Monument east/west remains open); Heworth-South Shields; Heworth-South Hylton.