Tyne and Wear Metro is getting station platforms ready for the new Metro train fleet and its revolutionary sliding step at each door.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, is carrying out platform compliance work at 40 out of its 60 stations as part of a £2 million programme. This involves tracks being adjusted so that the new Metro trains will fit smoothly into station platforms.
Tracks are being either lowered or heightened to ensure that they are at the correct gauge for the new rolling stock, which is set to arrive in 2023.
Works have already taken place at Bede station on the South Shields line and at Hadrian Road in North Tyneside. The focus over the next three weekends will be on the line between Airport and Wansbeck Road. The track will be lowered at five locations using an excavator, while track needs to be raised at seven locations using a track tamping machine.
Major projects director at Nexus, Cathy Massarella, said: “This is a vital project to ensure that our stations are ready for the new Metro trains. This is all part of the half billion pounds Nexus is investing to transform Metro before 2025.
“We need to adjust the height of the tracks at 40 of our stations so that the when the new trains roll into service in 2023 they interface perfectly with station platforms.
“Works are being carried out at weekends or are being fitted in alongside other modernisation projects over the next two years in order to keep the disruption to a minimum.
“The new trains will have a sliding step to making boarding easy, all but eliminating the gap between train and platform edge, but we still need to ensure the we are ready for the transition to the new fleet.”