UK: Testing Begins on Tyne and Wear Metro Flow Project

All construction work is now complete on the Metro Flow project between Pelaw and South Shields, enabling contractors to being testing and commissioning ahead of the line’s re-opening.

This track dualling project has upgraded and electrified an existing freight line in South Tyneside, enabling it to carry metro services.

Tyne and Wear Metro Train
Tyne and Wear Metro Train

Nexus aims to open the route between Pelaw and South Shields on 12 December, following the completion of the main phase of work for the 104 million GBP Metro Flow project.

This opening is dependent on successful testing of overhead lines and signal systems to ensure Metro and freight trains can operate simultaneously on the new track.

Cathy Massarella, Major Projects Director at Nexus, said:

“Our contractors have completed all construction work in the £104m Metro Flow project and have moved on to the rigorous testing and commissioning we need before Metro and freight trains can use the new track, overhead line and signalling infrastructure.

“We aim to re-open the route between Pelaw and South Shields to Metro customers on 12 December, and our contractors led by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd are working round the clock to make that happen.”

Throughout the last 13 weeks, Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd and its sub-contractors have laid 4.6 kilometres of new rail, 8,450 new sleepers and 27,100 tonnes of new track ballast.

In addition, 138 new overhead line masts have been installed to allow Metro to share the tracks with heavy freight trains.

By creating a track where Metro and freight trains can share lines rather than operating on separate infrastructure, Nexus expects to improve the reliability and frequency of the Tyne and Wear Metro services.

This is because previous sections of single Metro track created traffic light problems and pinch points where drivers had to wait for oncoming trains to pass before they could proceed.

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