South Tyneside's Metro line to become fully dual track as part of major investment
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Operator Nexus has unveiled plans to dual three sections between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations.
The sections are located between Pelaw and Hebburn (800 metres), Hebburn and Jarrow (1.4km) and Jarrow and Bede (600 metres).
Nexus says the move – which will see a little-used freight line upgraded and electrified so both Metro and freight trains can share the route – will remove the stoppages caused by drivers having to wait for permission to proceed, freeing up more space in the timetable and making it easier to expand the service and add new stops and routes.
Work will start in September next year.
Coun Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “Metro Flow will be truly transformational for people using the service every day to get to work, education or leisure destinations across the region.
“It will offer improved journey times across the entire Metro system so I’m sure this will encourage more people to consider public transport as a clean, safe and reliable way to travel.”
The move comes after Nexus secured £95million from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund, which has also allowed it to order an extra four new trains, bringing the total new fleet to 46.
Swiss train builder Stadler officially began manufacturing the new trams ahead of assembly at its factories at the end of the year. Scores of components are being supplied by North East firms.
The first new train will arrive next year 2022 and enter passenger service in mid-2023.
Director of Finance and Resources at Nexus, John Fenwick, said: “I’m delighted to confirm that we have been able to order four extra new Metro trains on top of the 42 which are already on order, and that Stadler has now started the manufacturing process.
"Securing the funding to order these additional trains is the culmination of an enormous amount of work in successfully making the case for the Metro Flow project, which is a key tenet of our recovery plan as we emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Find out more at www.nexus.org.uk/newmetrotrains