Tyne and Wear Metro Expansion

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by dmel, 1 Sep 2019.

  1. dmel

    dmel New Member

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    Hello,

    I am in no way shape or form in the know about railway stuff but I am slightly interested in the light railway of my city, newcastle.

    I was wondering if anyone else who knows a lot more than I do knows if these plans (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-36840798 ) are still being considered by Nexus and if they will actually go ahead.

    Any info is appreciated :)
     
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  3. MetroCar4058

    MetroCar4058 Member

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    They’re all being worked on at the minute by Nexus, however the main focus of that department at the minute is the introduction of the new trains. I doubt there will be any major announcements or developments publicly for at least 2-3 years.

    There are some works planned in the Transforming Cities tranche 2 funding bid, namely the doubling of track between Pelaw - Bede. There is also a funding bid for the reintroduction of services on the Ashington line.
     
  4. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    I'll see a porcine aerobatics team long before I see any of these expansion ideas come to fruition.
     
  5. DH1Commuter

    DH1Commuter Member

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    OK, my predictions:
    1) Ashington/Blyth - likely to happen, Northumberland Council supportive and HMG have been encouraging. Existing freight lines in operation. However, likely heavy rail, not part of Metro.
    2) Belmont via Leamside Line - alignment intact, and would be a valuable extension to Metro (a P+R site at Belmont would act as rail-head for a large area and the A1 in rush-hour is hideous). Washington, Penshaw and East Gateshead would also be served and I suspect ridership would be large. However, would need support from Newcastle, Gateshead, sunderland and Durham councils and would not be cheap. Maybe, if central govt fancied throwing a lump of cash at the NE as some kind of compensation for HS2 getting nowhere near us.
    3) Chester-Le-Street - no chance. ECML is not going to see metro trains, ever.
    4) Metrocentre - I could see this - already served by heavy rail and Blaydon/Dunston en route have seen a lot of housing growth and the line runs fairly close to the Team Valley area o employment. Shared tracks, like the line to Sunderland, perhaps.
    5) West End - no chance. Tunnels and stuff to serve a poor area. too expensive.
    6) Cobalt - a possible, as existing line in place.
    7) Ponteland extension - no, unless major house-building. Too expensive for too little gain.

    So, one I think a near-cert but heavy rail, two I think a good case for light rail and have a chance but the cost would be enormous and I'm not that hopeful, two no hope and two marginal possibilities.
     
  6. PTR 444

    PTR 444 Member

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    Visited Newcastle and its metro for the first time today. I think the current network serves the city very well, however I do find that the yellow line looping over itself at Monument station can get confusing, especially when travelling from the north Tyne coast. I wonder if there would be any merit in truncating the yellow line so it only runs South Shields - Tynemouth, while the section beyond is replaced with a new St James - Tynemouth - Newcastle Airport service utilising the currently vacant chord between Longbenton and Regent Centre
     
  7. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    Walk before you can run would be my advice to Nexus. I imagine it would be echoed by commuters across Tyne and Wear.

    If they could give us real time train information (tho even the static timetable app is broken at the moment) that would be lovely or just fix the passenger information boards before they get any ideas of expanding anywhere.
     
  8. Paul_10

    Paul_10 Member

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    I very highly doubt there will be any extension to the Metro just for the simple fact for probably cost reasons, only 42(?) single length Metrocars are being ordered which would be 84 if they were 2 car so 6 less than what we got now and its fair to say, the fleet does get rather stretched during peak times as it is, nevermind having further extensions which requires more diagrams!

    I do like the colbalt line idea though, should gurantee decent usage around there and costs should not be that much compared to other ideas.
     
  9. ModernRailways

    ModernRailways Established Member

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    I believe the inspectors have been given this and are testing it.
     
  10. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    That’s good news, is this testing linked to the information screen failures that we’ve seen in the new style screens at Haymarket, Shields etc. Even the automated help point went down today
     
  11. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    I live a stone's throw from Cobalt and a line through there won't work. The only space to build a line is using the Waggonway which runs round the back of Cobalt and Silverlink. Which is fine except the Waggonway is not close to the office blocks and, in any case, it doesn't connect to Metro at either end without a lot of work; at the Shiremoor end the Waggonway crosses the Metro at 90 degrees on an overbridge, and it's not much different at the Percy Main end.

    Also I'd question usage; the Go 19 bus from Northumberland Park mostly carries fresh air and the Stagecoach 1 and 22 don't seem much busier. The Waggonway would see more use in it's current state as a cycle path.
     
  12. Paul_10

    Paul_10 Member

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    Admittedly what I said is mostly based on I would imagine quite alot of people would access the colbalt by public transport, the fact the line linking from around Percy main upto Northumberland Park would be quite short and I'm right in believing there is a line around Percy Main that could be used?
     
  13. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    I (also) live close to the Cobalt and can concur with the poor demand for the 19.

    There's certain popular flows but they're quite Newcastle-centric as the 309/X39 carry a fair few people.
     
  14. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    Does Cobalt have a shuttle bus to the park from the metro?

    It seems to work really well with Quorum, the 555 bus from four lane ends to Quorum is always extremely well loaded, wonder if Cobalt could benefit from a similar peak time arrangement
     
  15. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    The route that links the two is the 19 which does, or at least used to, have an increased peak frequency. Its simply that people don't use it in any great number.
     
  16. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I think it's all to do with location. From Newcastle City Centre, the X6/X30 peak-time expresses are much faster than taking a Metro all the way round to Northumberland Park and then changing for the 19 bus. Similarly, from the coast, taking the 309 will be quicker than a Metro/19 combination.

    Add to that, the fact that mixed-mode journeys in Tyne & Wear are expensive (Transfares are now just a rip-off) I suspect that most people just stick with the bus.
     
  17. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    There is a disused colliery waggonway from Shiremoor/Backworth to Percy Main which is now mostly a cycle track. Part of the trackbed at the Percy Main end became the Metro test track which, in turn, is now the Stevenson Railway Museum. It doesn't connect with the Metro line in Shiremoor, it crosses it at 90 degrees on an overbridge. At the Percy Main end it is similar. It is more useful as a cycle path than it would be as Metro.

    Yeah, pretty much. The 19 has a higher peak frequency from Northumberland Park to Silverlink but it's still only every 10-15 minutes. The bus from town is quicker and more convenient. From the coast it depends where you are- the 309 is good from Whitley Bay but it's two buses from Tynemouth/Cullercoats.
     
  18. Scott M

    Scott M Member

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    Regarding the Metrocentre, not sure if this would work as I believe that line is used as a semi-regular ECML diversion, so not sure if Network Rail would sign off on metro sharing it.

    Another often mentioned addition to the network is using the old track that links Tyne dock to Brockley Whins to form a S Shields - S’land service, however not sure if there would be enough demand for this as Stagecoach do the E1/E2/E6 stopping busses and Go North East do the number 20 (‘prince bishop’) semi-express bus, so that route is already well served.

    Agree with jkkne in any case - they need to walk before they can run. Granted the new rolling stock should go a long way to helping with that. I think the number of stock they order will give us a good clue as to whether they are planning any new routes.
     
  19. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    Speaking of expansion, does anyone know why the trains currently pull into South Shields at what looks about about 2mph? There’s a good 5 minute gap between the train being announced to it crawling around the corner and into Shields. Only thing I can think of is no buffers?
     
  20. Scott M

    Scott M Member

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    Believe it is low line speed due to the new junction having a tight curve.
     
  21. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I thought the amount of new stock is effectively only what they need for a one to one replacement...
     
  22. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    They will probably have options to order more of the same at a good price if they do so within a certain time after the original order.
     
  23. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Sure, but initially it’s only about the existing network.

    Has it ever been confirmed exactly what they’re aiming for, the numbers in the new rolling stock thread are all a bit confusing because of the way the existing articulated units are described as single cars... (The same sort of confusion as regularly occurs in DLR threads as well.)
     
  24. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Looking at the title of this thread I kind of assumed we were talking about, er, expansion? By having options on their order they have scope to extend the network or indeed increase the frequency/length on the existing lines in future without spending money now. So unless they have any immediate need for more, it's best only to order for one-to-one replacement rather than have to find more money to purchase and then to store surplus units.
     
  25. AutoKratz

    AutoKratz Member

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    With the current rolling stock there are 90 individual articulated Metrocars which are paired-up to make 45 trains.

    The new rolling stock would be single trains only and Nexus want 42 of them so it’s a net loss of 3 trains however there would be no change in service frequency.
     
  26. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Thanks. Presumably they hope they’ll get much higher utilisation with the new fleet. But it certainly does confirm there is no allowance for expansion in this order, which answers the question in post #17.
     
  27. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    Considering that the current stock was built for a smaller network (albeit running at a higher frequency than now) it's a bit disappointing that there's no allowance to increase frequencies or extend the network.
     
  28. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    If they ordered extra trains they would need to spend more money not only to buy them but possibly to expand the depot and certainly to keep them serviceable. As I've posted at least once above but everyone seems to have ignored, the way round this is to have options in the contract so more units of the same type can be ordered at a later date, at a good price and without having to go through the tendering process again and possibly end up with an incompatible design from a different supplier.
     
  29. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    Obviously. But you can't increase the peak time frequencies if you don't have additional rolling stock.

    As for dept capacity: they're going to have the 'temporary' depot in Howdon whilst the Gosforth depot is rebuilt - this could become permanent. And there is stabling capacity elsewhere on the network that is under-used.

    No, not ignored as that's fairly obvious. But it's not relevant to increasing peak frequencies as soon as the new fleet is in service.
     
  30. MetroCar4058

    MetroCar4058 Member

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    Yes but the government isn't offering Nexus a lot of money and they have had to fight very hard over a long period of time to have the government listen to this very good business case. At the end of the day, this will be funded by a major government grant (which hasn't been finalised yet so they could say no to the best and final offer and the subsequent business case) and some local contributions. There isn't a lot of money knocking around and your approach seems to think that there is more money to be taken, which I heavily doubt there is and wouldn't pass the DfT negotiators. Additionally, the new fleet will utilise the space within the trains much better, equivalent Metro units can carry ~800-1000 contrasted to the questionable ~600 we use as the Metrocars capacity thus answering some of your peak concerns.

    Furthering this, there aren't the paths for running even more trains during the peak. The signalling system is at its capacity for the most part with the 3 minute service which means pathing extra trains is not possible. Again, this would require major investment to provide more repeaters and signal blocks which would probably just slow things down.

    I believe there is an option, or it is open to negotiation for that depot to be retained in the long run. Unfortunately its not in the Traincrew Agreement for permanent duties beginning from say South Shields (yet) and they are negotiating at the minute about the new Howden starts. Unfortunately outstabling isn't liked because of people who come along and vandalise the trains, either by tagging them or much worse; this means security needs to be employed on site. Trains used to be stabled at Pelaw years ago and there were staff there keeping an eye on them.

    Yes but the new stock will (contractually) have I think over 5 times the KM per fault (I can't remember the exact amount but there is a huge difference between modern EMUs and the Metrocars) compared to the current cars. I agree with Edwin_M about options for more being ordered in the future.


    Also, heads up there is a new timetable 13th of October so watch this space.
     
  31. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    The 3-minute peak frequency through the core can't really be increased, though. What you can do, with more reliable trains, is put the peak extra diagrams that Nexus scrapped for reliability reasons back into the timetable. They were run under DB Regio using 86-88 Metrocars (the 4 unrefurbished units weren't intended to be used).
     

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