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Nine replacement bus services running as Metro problems continue

More buses have been put on ahead of rush hour as disruption continues on the Tyne and Wear Metro.

The trains are currently not running between Heworth and Gateshead.

A map of where the replacement buses are running to and from Credit: Nexus/Tyne and Wear Metro

Plans released for new Metro trains

The future of the Metro? What new trains could look like in the next 20 years Credit: NECA

The NECA (North East Combined Authority) and Nexus have set out what they are calling 'their vision' for transport in the region over the next 20 years.

‘Our Journey’ sets out a wish list for a new Metro fleet and improvements to the network.

It will be discussed at a meeting later this month in more detail (July)

Replacing the Metro trains and electrifying the line though could cost upwards of £500 million.

Some of the main aims of the vision over the next 20 years are:

  • Replace outdated Pacer trains and deliver an essential new fleet for the Tyne and Wear Metro
  • Create a regional express network, with high quality, faster trains and more routes electrified
  • Open new local stations on current lines, re-open key disused lines, consider more Park and Ride stations.
  • Upgrade freight-only sections to passenger use and build new routes
  • Devolve greater control to the region, so local rail and Metro can be managed together to deliver a higher standard for stations,information and customer service
  • Work with rail industry partners to address overcrowding and improve cycle access ontrains

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Walkergate Metro refurbishment complete

A major refurbishment at Walkergate Metro station in Newcastle has been completed. The project, by Nexus, includes the station's first passenger lift.

The improvements also include double height hand rails, anti-slip surfacing, new seating and lighting.

The work has been carried out as part of an 11 year Government-funded project totalling £389m.

“Improving accessibility is at the heart of our Metro station refurbishment programme.

“The station has been given a much brighter, more modern feel, in line with other station renewal projects on the Metro system.”

“Walkergate Metro station runs along the route of the former Newcastle to North Shields railway, which this year marked its 175th anniversary."

– Director of Finance and Resources for Nexus, John Fenwick

"Leaves on the line" solution for Metro trains

Trees to be chopped along Tyne and Wear Metro lines Credit: Nexus

Nexus, which manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has announced plans to chop down trees and cut back vegetation alongside its railway lines, in oder to prevent services being held up by "leaves on the line".

What they describe as "incidents of low rail adhesion" became a serious problem last autumn, resulting in a massive slow-down in Metro rail services.

Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, Raymond Johnstone:

"We have earmarked an extra £100,000 to tackle trackside vegetation well ahead of next autumn. The work will take place throughout the year across 60km of track."

“This will hopefully prevent a repeat of the issues we had with rail adhesion during October and November of last year. These delays were a huge frustration for Nexus and for Metro customers and we have responded to ensure that we don’t see a repeat of the problem in 2014."

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Tyne and Wear Metro operator fined £500,000

The company that operates the Metro system has been fined half a million pounds Credit: ITV News

The owner of the Tyne and Wear Metro, Nexus, has fined the company which operates it half a million pounds for missing several key targets.

DB Reggio has been slapped with the penalty because it failed to reach standards set by Nexus for punctuality and reliability during 2013.

A spokesman for DB Regio has promised improvements during 2014, and promises that passenger fares will not rise as a result of the fine.

Metro line closes from this morning until September

Metro line from Wallsend to Tynemouth suspended Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

From this morning, the Metro service from Tynemouth to Wallsend will be closed in both directions.

The service is being suspended to allow 6 kilometres of track to be replaced and improvements to be made to embankments, bridges and signalling systems.

The work is part of a £385m modernisation programme being carried out by Nexus, which runs the Tyne and Wear Metro system.

The line between the two stations will re-open on Monday 3rd September.

Metro service to be suspended between Tynemouth and Wallsend

Metro line between Tynemouth and Wallsend to be suspended until 3rd September Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The line will be closed in both directions for 23 days, starting from tomorrow morning (Saturday).

A section of track is being replaced, as part of a £385m improvement programme across the Tyne and Wear Metro system.

The line between Tynemouth and Wallsned will re-open on Monday, 3rd September.