Work on £104m Metro Flow project gets off to a ‘strong start’ on South Tyneside as new duelled track starts to take shape

Work looks to be well underway as new photographs have been released by Nexus showing the scale of the £104m Metro Flow project on South Tyneside.

The project will see three sections of single track dualled by refurbishing an existing freight line with 800 metres of line between Pelaw and Hebburn, 1.4km between Hebburn and Jarrow and 600 metres between Jarrow and Bede being upgraded.

The tracks and platforms at Jarrow and Hebburn Metro stations are also being lowered so that the dualled line can accommodate Metro and freight services.

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Three weeks into the three month project, the photographs show old sections of track being replaced between Pelaw and Hebburn.

A Nexus spokesperson said: “Metro Flow is a huge project for South Tyneside and it has got off to a strong start. A huge amount of work has already gone into replacing old sections of track, the track beds, ballast, and railway sleepers.”

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There are are three single-track sections on the Metro network where freight and Metro trains must use the same line in both directions, leading to hold-ups if there are even minor delays and making it harder to recover trains when incidents occur.

Nexus hope the development will help to alleviate these problems.

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Work taking place on duelling the track between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations. Photograph Nexus

The spokesperson added: “We are grateful for the patience of our customers while the line remains closed. Three pinch points are being eliminated by the dualling of an existing freight line, which will become part of our own infrastructure.

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“This gives us the scope to examine future opportunities to expand the network to other areas that are currently not served by the Metro.”

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A 12-week line closure is currently in place between Pelaw and South Shields up to December 3. During this time customers will “be provided with frequent replacement bus services”.

Metro stations being altered to fit with the new duelled track. Photograph: Nexus
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The planned closure will be the longest and biggest in the Metro’s 42-year history.

The Metro Flow project is being carried out by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd.

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Metro services will resume as normal on Sunday December 4.

Sleepers and new track being laid down. Photograph: Nexus
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Construction work has been taking place throughout the night to meet the December 4 deadline. Photograph: Nexus