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A new temporary Metro Depot in North Tyneside has welcomed its first train ahead of it becoming fully operational at the end of the month.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has successfully ran a test train into the new maintenance workshop, which is located at Howdon.
The former landfill site has been transformed into a new temporary home for Metro - and its now almost ready to open.
Howdon depot will be used for the cleaning and preparation of up to a quarter of the current Metro fleet while the main Metro depot at Gosforth in Newcastle is completely rebuilt at a cost of £70m.

(Permalink) Gosforth Depot Howdon Depot Tyne and Wear Metro

The Tyne and Wear Metro and the man who masterminded its creation have scooped a special public transport industry award. The Global Light Rail Awards last night recognised the overwhelming success of the Metro system as it celebrates its 40th anniversary year, along with the work of the pioneering civil engineer who made it become a reality. The Judges' Special Award was jointly presented to Metros operator, Nexus, and to Professor Tony Ridley, the former Director General who led the Metro project in its early years, paving the way for a system that revolutionised local public transport.
Prof Ridley, a respected civil engineer from Sunderland, headed up the Tyne and Wear PTE from 1968 to 1975. He was part of a team of visionary planners who devised the Metro network. He oversaw the planning process, the award of funding, and the first year of construction work in 1974.
(Permalink) Nexus Tyne and Wear Metro


Callerton Parkway: Having just left Newcastle Airport, this Tyne and Wear Metro train reaches its first stop in a matter of moments, crossing Callerton Lane on the level at the western approach to the station. Callerton Parkway opened as part of the extension to Newcastle Airport in 1991. Besides the station car park for Metro customers here, there are long-term parking facilities and hotel accommodation for Airport passengers.
Andrew Wilson 11/09/2011


South Hylton: Tyne and Wear Metro train at the South Hylton terminus on 18 November.
Bill Roberton 18/11/2007


Tynemouth: View towards Newcastle over the disused bays at the 1882 NER station at Tynemouth in July 1981 with signage relating to Tyne and Wear PTE Metro services in the foreground.
Colin Alexander 25/07/1981

The Tyne and Wear Metro has secured further financial support from the Government to sustain its essential services through to March while Covid-19 restrictions continue across North East England.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has allocated £8.5m for Metro, which will last to January 18, and a similar such amount to get through to March 31, the end of the current financial year, if it is needed.
(Permalink) COVID-19 Tyne and Wear Metro

Stadler is now responsible for servicing and maintaining the old Tyne and Wear Metro fleet in Newcastle upon Tyne and has become the employer of 120 Nexus employees as it prepares the new fleet of 42 new trains that are scheduled to enter commercial operation from 2023.
(Permalink) Stadler Tyne and Wear Metro

A vibrant yellow colour scheme for Metro's £362m new train fleet can be revealed for the first time today, as Nexus launches a major public consultation on its interior design.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has chosen a modern and eye-catching yellow paint job with black and pale grey along the train sides, following input from passengers and employees.
The new colour scheme is a nod to the Metro's iconic yellow PTE livery when the system first opened 40 years ago.
The new Metro fleet, which is being built by the Swiss train manufacturer, Stadler, is set to enter service in 2023, transforming the experience for passengers and boosting reliability.
(Permalink) Nexus Stadler Tyne and Wear Metro

Community leaders have hailed the importance of the Tyne and Wear Metro on its 40th anniversary.
Bosses at all five local authorities have praised the social and economic impact of Metro over four decades of operations, during which time the network has carried 1.5 billion passengers.
And they looked ahead to a bright future for the service, with funding in place for a state-of-the-art new train fleet, which is set to arrive 2023, and a £70m new depot.
Leader of Gateshead Council and Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, Cllr Martin Gannon, said: 'Im absolutely delighted to wish the Metro a happy birthday.
'This is a celebration of 40 years of transformational service for all of the people of Tyne and Wear.
'I can remember when the Metro opened in Gateshead with the visit of Her Majesty the Queen.
'The Metro has made a huge economic and social contribution for the people of Gateshead over 40 years, and there are many more successful years to come.'
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A new virtual tour of the Tyne and Wear Metro depot has been produced to mark its 40th anniversary.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, commissioned the video tour after plans to hold a public open day were scrapped due to Coronavirus restrictions.
The virtual tour, which is in the format of a 20-minute film which can be viewed online, gives people an in-depth look around Metros main maintenance depot at Gosforth, in Newcastle, ahead of its £70m rebuild.
The Tyne and Wear Metro celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday, 11 August.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: A virtual depot tour is a great way to mark the 40th anniversary of Metro at a time when were unable to welcome visitors for an open day.
Its a fascinating insight into how we look after the ageing Metro train fleet, showcasing the passion, skill and dedication of our workforce.
We had planned to allow the public in to have a look around the depot as part of an open day but the coronavirus pandemic meant the event had to be cancelled.
The next best thing was to commission a virtual tour, which gives people access all areas at the depot.
This is the last chance to look around the Metro depot building, which dates back to 1923, before demolition gets underway to make way for the new £70m depot on the same Gosforth site, which will be home to our new train fleet.
The virtual tour allows people to see the running sheds, where trains are stored, and the main lifting shop, where the bulk of the daily maintenance work is carried out before trains are sent into service.
Viewers get the chance to see how a Metro trains wheels are made ready for service, and how other essential components allow the trains to draw high voltage power from overhead lines, and how the Metro carriages are coupled together.
There is even a chance to see the outside test areas where the all-important brake tests are carried out on the Metro trains.
Other elements include a look at the state-of-the-art vehicles that Nexus uses for looking after overhead lines, and how staff keep Metros 220 ticket machines in working order.
(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro

As part of their 40th anniversary celebrations, Tyne and Wear Metro is today launching a new online game to test the knowledge of Metro users.
The easy-to-play game, called Station Master, features questions about Metro stations, nearby attractions, and some of the 40 year history.
Players will be shown a random selection of 20 multi-choice questions per game, and throughout the game will get tips and information about Metro and places to visit.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis said: Were delighted to launch this new game as part of our anniversary celebrations. Its a bit of fun for all ages and now that families can travel to more places and attractions we hope our game adds a little extra to your familiar Metro journey.
Metro has been part of everyday life in Tyne and Wear for 40 years, providing a vital service to many and part of a great day out for others. The game really does highlight the areas that the network covers, and the fantastic range of attractions within easy reach of our stations.
Nexus partnered with Digital Catapult North East at Sunderland Software City to source a local company with a creative and original idea to inform and entertain passengers and Metro fans. Newcastle based digital agency Venture Stream were appointed to deliver the project in early 2020.
Chris Ogle from Venture Stream said: 'We were thrilled to have been given the opportunity to partner with Nexus. It was great to work with an iconic local brand, and one which we were already very familiar with, half of our employees use Metro regularly. Station Master celebrates the forty year history of the Tyne & Wear Metro, and we hope that those returning to travel after lockdown will enjoy their journey a little more thanks to this fun game.'
Anna Malley, Project Manager at Sunderland Software City, said: Its been a pleasure working with Nexus and Venture Stream to explore how technology can be used to engage more residents with their local history, culture, and Metro.
When Nexus approached us, they were looking for new ways to use technology to help passengers learn more about different Metro stations and destinations. We invited local companies from the tech and digital industries to pitch potential solutions, which led to the development of the game by Venture Stream. Were excited to be able to play the game!'
The game is free to use and players can play as many times as they like. It can be accessed via the Nexus website from anywhere.
Play now at www.nexus.org.uk/metro/station-master

(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro

The government has stepped in to provide £8.5 million of financial support to keep services running on the Tyne and Wear Metro while passenger numbers continue to recover. The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed the funding which is in addition to an initial £8.6 million of emergency support that was announced on 1 May.
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Exciting plans to build a new £8.8m ferry landing at North Shields Fish Quay have moved a step closer after the Government announced that funding was being made available.
The Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed yesterday that it was allocating £47m to the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) from its Get Building Fund for 18 major projects to boost the local economy.
The creation of a new Shields Ferry landing in the North Shields Fish Quay regeneration area was included in the announcement.
Nexus, the public body which owns and operates the cross-Tyne ferry service, will draw up a detailed business case to the LEP, for submission in September.
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Tyne and Wear Metro's new train depot at Howdon is close to completion. Set to officially open this summer, the former landfill site has been transformed. New tracks and overhead lines are in place and a new maintenance shed has been built and fitted out along with new facilities for staff.
(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro

The 40th anniversary of the Tyne and Wear Metro is being celebrated with a special train livery to mark the occasion. Metrocar 4001, one of the original prototypes in use since Metro opened to the public in 1980, will bear the unique external livery throughout the summer, ahead of Metros 40th birthday on Tuesday 11 August 2020.
(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro

Swiss firm Stadler has won a £362m contract to build a new fleet of trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

It had been up against Spanish firm CAF and Japanese company Hitachi, which was ruled out last year despite having a manufacturing plant in County Durham.

Stadler will also be responsible for the maintenance of the 42-train fleet for up to 35 years, and will construct a new maintenance depot.

Metro operator Nexus said new trains would be running by 2024 at the latest.
(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro


St James: A Metro 4-car unit stands at the St James terminus in Newcastle city centre on 10 December 2017 ready to depart to South Shields. Informed travellers would change at the first station on its journey, Monument, which will also be its 28th stop, albeit on a different platform at a lower level and around an hour later. The train’s anti-clockwise journey round the North Tyneside loop takes it though North Shields which is only about 1500m as the crow flies from its destination which it is due to reach after a further 63 minutes have elapsed.
Malcolm Chattwood 10/12/2017


Tynemouth: A Metro service for South Shields leaving Tynemouth station on 12 June 2013.
Veronica Clibbery 12/06/2013


Monkseaton: A Tyne & Wear Metro train for St James arrives at Monkseaton station in July 2004.
John Furnevel 10/07/2004

The Japanese train builder Hitachi has failed to win an order to supply 54 new trains for the Tyne and Wear metro.
The company was up against Spanish firm CAF and Swiss train manufacturer Stadler for the £500m contract.
Hitachi, which has a plant in County Durham, said it could not comment for legal reasons. Metro operator Nexus said it could not comment.
(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro

Tyne & Wear Transport Executive Nexus has shortlisted five organisations to design, build and maintain a new fleet of trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

A preferred bidder will be named at the end of next year.
(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro

Nexus wants to renationalise the Tyne and Wear Metro operating contact for two years, as part of a 'long-term strategy to develop the system'.

Nexus is seeking endorsement from Leaders of the North East Combined Authority to manage Metro operations directly for two years from April 2017, once the current contract has expired.

Although Nexus has the contractual right to extend the current contract for a further two years, it said it 'did not wish to exercise this option'.

It is instead proposing to manage train operations and stations directly until 2019, allowing it to prepare for significant changes that will come with investment in a new train fleet. [From Richard Buckby]
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Queen Elizabeth II Bridge: A Tyne & Wear Metro unit about to leave the bridge over the River Tyne heading for Newcastle Central on the afternoon of 8 May 2013.
David Pesterfield 08/05/2013


Tynemouth: A Metro service arrives at platform 2 of a refurbished Tynemouth station in May 2013.
Colin Alexander 31/05/2013


North Shields: Refurbished and re-liveried T&W Metro set 4075 calls at North Shields on 12 June.
Veronica Clibbery 12/06/2013

Nexus has awarded TXM Rail a four-year renewal and upgrade framework contract for the Tyne and Wear Metro.

TXM Rail, a division of TXM Plant, will provide permanent way, associated signalling and electrification and civils work with design works in support of a £389 million renewal of the network.

TXM Rail will open a depot in Newcastle upon Tyne to deliver the framework.

The director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: We are now half way through our £389 million modernisation programme. [From Richard Buckby]
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Monkseaton: A Tyne & Wear Metro train for St James arrives at Monkseaton station in July 2004.
John Furnevel 10/07/2004


Newcastle Airport: Metro unit 4027 in North Eastern Railway livery at Newcastle Airport on 23 October.
John Yellowlees 23/10/2013


Tynemouth: An outer circle Tyne & Wear Metro service arrives at Tynemouth on 27 September.
Bill Roberton 27/09/2008

Passenger journeys on light rail systems around the UK have risen by 5.6 per cent in the past year.
Almost 240 million passenger journeys were made last year, with Docklands Light Railway, Tyne and Wear Metro, and Manchester Metrolink recording the biggest increases.
Passenger satisfaction levels were at 90 per cent. [From Richard Buckby]
(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro


Heron Quays: Docklands Light Railway Unit 31 leaves Heron Quays station on 28 July 2014.
Bill Roberton 28/07/2014


Derker: A Metrolink tram calls at Derker on a Rochdale to East Didsbury service on 31 July 2013.
John McIntyre 31/07/2013


South Gosforth: A Tyne & Wear Metro train calls at a leafy South Gosforth station on 14 May 2010 with an afternoon service to South Hylton.
Bruce McCartney 14/05/2010

A petition calling for the extension of the Tyne and Wear Metro to Washington has been presented to Parliament.
The 1736-signature document is the fourth the Washington and Sunderland West Labour MP Sharon Hodgson has submitted on the issue.
She said she hoped it would encourage the government to act.
Metro operator Nexus has proposed adding a further 20 stations by 2030, though a full-scale feasibility study is needed.
(Permalink) East Boldon Leamside Line Pelaw South Hylton Sunderland Tyne and Wear Metro Washington


Pelaw: V3 67636 with empty stock from Heaton CS for the Durham Rail Tour of 13 October 1962. After crossing the King Edward Bridge and run east to reach Pelaw the train has turned south under the A184 road on the 'old main line'. This will take it through Washington and Leamside to reach Durham, the starting point for the railtour.
K A Gray 13/10/1962


Washington South Junction: 37078+37067 arriving off the Stanhope and Tyne route at Washington South Junction in the late 1970s with a train of iron ore empties from Consett. The train will reverse in Washington sidings before heading south to Redcar, which had replaced Tyne Dock as the ore import terminal from 1974 until final closure of the steelworks in 1980.
Ewan Crawford Collection //


Usworth: The site of Usworth station on the old main line through County Durham via Leamside in May 1992. View is north towards Pelaw Junction over the former A1290 level crossing.
John Furnevel 07/05/1992

A steam train display will mark the 175th anniversary of the Metro line - amongst the oldest in the world.
Next month marks 175 years since the opening of a line which still forms part of the modern day Tyne and Wear Metro system - the Newcastle and North Shields Railway.
And to celebrate the occasion on June 1, the Stephenson Railway Museum is due to run special steam trains from platforms at Percy Main as well as from the main museum, linking in with Metro services.
(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro


North Shields: Refurbished and re-liveried T&W Metro set 4075 calls at North Shields on 12 June.
Veronica Clibbery 12/06/2013


North Shields: The 1890 NER station at North Shields on 6 August 1980, just 5 days before the station was closed for refurbishment and electrification in connection with the Metro project. The new North Shields was reopened as part of the Tyne & Wear PTE Metro system on 14 November 1982. See image [[2271]]
Colin Alexander 06/08/1980


Tynemouth: The former Newcastle & North Shields Railway terminus at Tynemouth seen from the west in July 1981, showing the part of the trackbed and the old hotel building on the right. There was also a connecting branch that ran from here down to the pier.
Colin Alexander 25/07/1981

The reopening of Wearside's disused Leamside railway line has moved a step closer.
The North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has commissioned a study into the business case for reopening the line.
The move comes just weeks after the last ever meeting of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority heard about a Nexus plan to introduce a new circular Metro route, connecting Pelaw, Washington, South Hylton, Sunderland and East Boldon, by connecting the Leamside line and the former Sunderland to Durham rail line west of South Hylton.
(Permalink) East Boldon Leamside Line Pelaw South Hylton Sunderland Tyne and Wear Metro Washington


South Hylton: A Tyne and Wear Metro service shortly after arrival at South Hylton terminus in the summer of 2004. Prior to 1967 the line crossed the road in the background and continued on to join the Leamside line at Penshaw Junction.
John Furnevel 04/07/2004


Pelaw: V3 67636 with empty stock from Heaton CS for the Durham Rail Tour of 13 October 1962. After crossing the King Edward Bridge and run east to reach Pelaw the train has turned south under the A184 road on the 'old main line'. This will take it through Washington and Leamside to reach Durham, the starting point for the railtour.
K A Gray 13/10/1962


Usworth: The site of Usworth station on the old main line through County Durham via Leamside in May 1992. View is north towards Pelaw Junction over the former A1290 level crossing.
John Furnevel 07/05/1992

The Tyne and Wear Metro is celebrating its 30th birthday. The UK's first urban light rail network began operating on 11 August 1980, initially only between Haymarket and Tynemouth stations.

(Permalink) Tyne and Wear Metro


Middle Engine Lane Shed: Prototype Metro car 4002 receiving attention at the Metro test track at Middle Engine Lane, North Tyneside in 1977. This facility later became the Stephenson Railway Museum.
Colin Alexander //1977


Monkwearmouth: A Tyne & Wear Metro service, passes the closed station at Monkwearmouth in July 2004 on the northern approach to Sunderland. The 1848 station, originally built by the YN&B as a terminus, lost much of its importance in 1879 when the line crossed the River Wear to reach the centre of Sunderland. It closed in 1967 and is now an acclaimed museum.
John Furnevel 10/07/2004


Tynemouth: An outer circle Tyne & Wear Metro service arrives at Tynemouth on 27 September.
Bill Roberton 27/09/2008

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