A GOVERNMENT minister was given a trip on a Metro train to see first hand a £385m modernisation programme.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin travelled from Newcastle Airport in one of the newly refurbished Metros.
He was then shown the new smart ticket machines and automatic ticket gates currently being installed at 13 stations on the Tyne and Wear system.
Nexus director general Bernard Garner said: “The transport secretary got to see the good progress we are making with our £385m modernisation programme.”
The department for transport has already awarded Nexus £93m for renewing and upgrading the Tyne and Wear Metro over the next three years.
This will result in around 60 new jobs becoming available, as well as sustaining hundreds more among engineering and transport contractors.
This is the largest renewal project the Metro has seen since its opening in 1980.
It has already seen Nexus replace 18 kilometres of track and trackbeds and refurbish ten stations, as well as replace lifts and escalators, renovate 20 trains and introduce 225 new ticket machines.