Metro service between Pelaw and South Shields reopens after completion of Metro Flow project
The stretch of track had been temporarily closed due to work on the £104 million Metro Flow project to dual the existing line, which operators Nexus say will enable a greater flow of services and improve reliability.
The 12 week improvement project was originally due to finish on December 4, but instead had been delayed for a further 10 days while engineers completed final tests on the upgraded section of the network, including overhead line and signal works.
Work was finished at the weekend before drivers spent Monday and Tuesday familiarising themselves with new track and signal layouts.
And finally the service resumed on Wednesday morning, with the news coming as a welcome relief, both to passengers who have been having to use replacement bus services for the duration of of the project and also Christmas shoppers.
Nexus said in a message to all passengers posted on social media said: "Thank you for your patience during this extended major closure.”
Cathy Massarella, major projects director at Nexus, said: “I am pleased to say that the Metro line between Pelaw and South Shields is now back up and running following the completion of the £104 million Metro Flow works.
“I want to thank our customers for their patience during the closure, which we had to extend for ten days while we completed overhead line works and signal testing.
“We got the line handed back to us from our contractor at the weekend and we then needed two days for drivers to be familiarised with the new track and signalling layouts.
“Metro Flow has involved converting a freight line for Metro trains, which will ultimately help us to improve reliability across the system.”
According to Nexus, the Metro Flow project has been the longest and biggest single scheme undertaken by the operator on the original Metro network since it was completed in 1984.
This has seen a 4.6km stretch of track replaced and new overhead line and signalling installed to remove three ‘pinch points’ sections of single-track between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations with the aim of improving reliability and frequency of services.