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Changes Planned For Tyne And Wear Metro In 2013

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More Changes For 2013 Planned

Nearly three years ago Tyneside�s Metro system was awarded a much-needed cash boost to upgrade trains, tracks and stations. Over the next year the system will face even bigger changes, as new ticket machines and barriers go up. With the face of the 30-year-old system changing for most trains and stations it�s set to be an even busier 12 months.

Some �152.5m has gone into the system with more than that still to come. As project planners gear up for another year of vital but somewhat disruptive railway work, we look at where the cash has gone so far, and what is to come next.

Three years into system revamp

The �385m Metro: all change modernisation programme is near the end of its third year, by which it will have delivered the following:

♦ 10 Stations refurbished or underway

♦ 18.5km of track renewed or refurbished

♦ 18km of new cable ducting installed

♦ 17 bridges repaired

♦ 225 new ticket machines installed

♦ 13 gatelines at key stations

♦ 3 bridges removed completely and replaced with embankment

♦ 8 escalators replaced

♦ 4 lifts replaced

♦ 5 sets of points renewed or refurbished

♦ 1 new Metrocar wash installed

♦ 1 Wheel lathe installed at Metro depot

♦ 1.2km of earthwork embankments repaired

Stations refurbishments at, Wallsend, Walkergate, including a lift being put in for the first time, South Gosforth, Ilford Road, West Jesmond, Percy Main and Hadrian Road. This completes the run of nine stations from Chillingham Road to Tynemouth. New escalators will also go in at Monument, Gateshead and Regent Centre.

The last 10 stations out of 60 will get new machines in the next three months. By December 2013 some 35 trains will have been refurbished, or just under 40% of the programme. There is also bridge replacement at Carville Road, Wallsend, plus associated works to complete track works between Byker and Tynemouth, with point motor replacement at various locations from February to April. Overhead line replacement will take place from Hebburn to Gateshead Stadium in April

Immensely proud of the modernisation

Transport authority chairman David Wood says the coming year will be a dramatic one for the Metro. The Newcastle councillor said: �I am immensely proud of what has been achieved through the modernisation of Metro so far. �The Integrated Transport Authority, with myself as chair, fought hard to win funding from the last Labour Government and to ensure that the coalition continue to maintain that commitment. �Understandably, passengers have had to experience some disruption while multi-million pound projects are delivered around them, but new smart ticket machines, new lifts and escalators, and growing numbers of refurbished trains and stations are proof that any disruption will have been worth it to make sure Metro is still going strong decades from now.

�Most of the �385m modernisation is actually behind the scenes and passenger may not notice new track and technology but it is the key to a reliable and convenient service. Some of the wider benefits the ITA and partners have brought the region are also hidden from view but could not be more vital right now � investment in the region�s engineering and construction industries, sustaining and creating hundreds of jobs.�

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