Latest Rail News


Nexus starts track replacement as part of shrunken programme

The owner and manager of the Tyne & Wear Metro, Nexus, is set to start track replacement works on its lines in North Tyneside this year as part of a £350m modernisation programme.

The company will replace a total of 8.7km of track and track beds which are more than 50 years old on Metro’s North Tyneside coastal loop.

Director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, described the work as “the next major piece of track replacement work” in the multi-million pound programme.

The bulk of the work will be carried out during two 15-day major line closures in the spring and then in the summer, with further repairs carried out over weekends and during track access hours at night.

Metro lines will be shut between Tynemouth and Shiremoor as part of the first of these major closures from 19 March to 2 April, at which point 3.8km of track will be replaced between Monkseaton and Cullercoats.

This will be followed by an undefined closure between 23 July and 6 August, which will see 3.7km of track replaced between Monkseaton and Northumberland Park.

“The work is absolutely vital so that we can modernise key sections of Metro infrastructure,” Johnstone added.

“During each closure we’ll be working round the clock but we will do all we can to keep the disruption to a minimum. “When the lines are closed customers will be provided with a frequent replacement bus service in the affected area.”

The work follows on from similar track replacement efforts in 2011, 2012 and 2013, when Nexus replaced track between Wallsend and Tynemouth and Haymarket and South Gosforth.

The Department for Transport and Nexus agreed on the11-year £350m funding programme for Metro modernisation in February 2010, with £100m of that subject to future commitments being met.

In June last year, Nexus established it would invest £40m in modernisation works over the next 12 months to replace track, refurbish trains and install a new rail traffic management system.

But the department, having promised to invest £153m in the Metro over the next five years, wrote to Nexus after the Spending Review to say this would be reduced to £120m.

Cllr Nick Forbes, the North East Combined Authority’s lead member for transport, said that this £33m cut meant Nexus would have to focus on the most urgent renewals projects to tracks, overhead lines and signals, and cut back on other ambitions to improve the network.

He added that a number of planned upgrades will have to be shelved, including accessibility upgrades to some stations.

(Top image c. Nigel Thompson)


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

Rail industry Focus

View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >