Metro line between two borough stations closing

Wallsend Metro station.

Wallsend Metro station.

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METRO services between two major stops in the borough will be suspended for almost a month from this weekend for further modernisation work.

Nexus, which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear system, said the work will involve a 23-day line closure between Wallsend and Tynemouth.

Six kilometres of track will be replaced from Saturday until Monday, September 3.

The line closure will commence from the end of timetabled services on Friday.

A replacement bus service between Wallsend and Tynemouth will be in operation.

The work forms part of the £385m Metro: all change modernisation programme, the largest series of capital projects on the system since it opened more than 30 years-ago.

Nexus carried out a similar line closure in North Tyneside in April last year.

The closure has been planned while schools are on holiday, commuter numbers are lower than the rest of the year, and after the Olympic football tournament held at St James’ Park in Newcastle.

This closure will also see the renewal of embankments, bridges, signals and the communications technology.

Nexus director general Bernard Garner said: “This major line closure is absolutely vital for our £385m Metro all change modernisation programme.

“These are some of the largest scale workings on the network since it was constructed in the mid 1970s.

“The work is vital to secure the future of this section of Metro line and provide big improvements to the passenger experience. We are once again focussed on North Tyneside, but in years to come other parts of the network will also undergo major programmes of modernisation.”

Nexus director of rail and infrastructure Ken Mackay added: “We need to have a major line closure to deliver these works in the safest, most cost effective and least disruptive way possible.

“We know this will cause inconvenience, but the work cannot be done safely without closing lines. I would like to thank the public for their patience while we carry out this work, which will secure Metro’s future for many years to come.”

New smart ticket machines have now been installed at most stations in North Tyneside, and the refurbishment of Howdon and Meadow Well stations is complete, while building work on the new North Shields station will be completed this summer.

The work dovetails with the completion of the conservation and restoration work which has been carried out at Tynemouth Station, which is a listed building.