Monday morning misery for Metro users as leaves on the line and failed train cause delays

Leaves on the Metro line has caused delays to services today.
Leaves on the Metro line has caused delays to services today.

Metro passengers are facing delays this morning due to a failed train and leaves on the tracks.

Nexus, the operator of the Tyne and Wear Metro service, has said that there are delays to trains running between Gateshead Stadium and South Shields and South Hylton due to an earlier failed train.

The train broke down at 7.10am at Gateshead and led to a 25 minute delay that has had a knock-on effect across the whole system.

Trains are also being affected by low rail adhesion, which happens as a result of leaf fall in the autumn months.

When leaves fall on to the line, particularly in damp or wet weather, the rolling action of passing wheels compresses them, causing a greasy mulch to cover the top of the rail.

This adds time to journeys as the trains pull away more slowly due to the wheels slipping on the rails.

A Nexus spokesman said: “The major problem we had this morning was a train failure at Gateshead.

"This held up services towards South Shields and Sunderland while repairs were carried out so that the broken train could be taken back to the depot.

“We have also had some issues with low rail adhesion.

"This adds to journey times.

"It is caused by autumnal weather conditions that make the rails more slippery, and the result is that trains are not able to pull away as quickly, thus adding to journey times.

"It is an issue all railway operators in the UK have to face at this time of year.

"We have teams out treating the Metro tracks with a special gel in order to minimise this issue as much as possible.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

A bus replacement service is still in operation between South Shields and Chichester Metro stations while works are carried out as part of the development of the transport interchange in South Shields.