Tyne & Wear Metro - Major Line Closure (15th Feb - 1st March)

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jkkne

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The Tyne & Wear Metro is to close the literal heart of its network for 2 weeks for to replace 18,000m of over head line wire.

The line will be closed between Heworth-Four Lane Ends/Regent Centre.

They only announced this fairly recently so I wonder if common sense has prevailed and doing this work in a lockdown creates less disruption. We'll see fewer future closures of the network from power failures (which seems to occur at Jesmond and around Gateshead Stadium a lot from the top of my head)



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317 forever

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I understood this was due for later this year, potentially the summer holidays but with no date firmed up. I am relieved it is happening now while few people need the Metro for commuting and before the more favourable times of year for short breaks.
 

cosmo

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Makes sense they would do this now while traffic is largely down on "normal", by summer there might be more demand and thus more disruption.
 

DH1Commuter

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Good plan to get it out of the way. I think one of those weeks is school half-term also.
 

py_megapixel

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Are these works actually anything to do with the new rolling stock (i.e. is there any reason the Stadlers couldn't run on the old equipment), or is this line
Nexus needs to replace essential overhead power lines as part of a £30m programme of wire renewals across the network. It will get the network ready for the introduction of a new train fleet, which will transform the customer experience by 2025.
just them trying to shoehorn some self-congratulation about the rolling stock replacement into an otherwise unrelated press release?
 

ModernRailways

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Are these works actually anything to do with the new rolling stock (i.e. is there any reason the Stadlers couldn't run on the old equipment), or is this line

just them trying to shoehorn some self-congratulation about the rolling stock replacement into an otherwise unrelated press release?
It's just for the press release. The OHLE needed upgrading regardless of any new stock coming in
 

swt_passenger

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I doubt there’s really much of a correlation between the age of the contact wire and random failures either. Pantographs will still drag it down, tensioners fail, stuff will get blown into it.

Just trying to spin a routine preventive maintenance task into something more important...
 

hacman

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I doubt there’s really much of a correlation between the age of the contact wire and random failures either. Pantographs will still drag it down, tensioners fail, stuff will get blown into it.

Just trying to spin a routine preventive maintenance task into something more important...

The age of the contact wire does have an effect, as it suffers damage and wear over the years. A big part of the renewal work is the replacement of fasteners and fixings too.

This stuff, like anything, has a finite useful lifetime before it starts to degrade and fail - and there comes a point where it has to be replaced to avoid it becoming a substantial issue.
 

DanNCL

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At least with the overhead wires they're replacing them at the point they need replacing rather than waiting til 10 years after that point, which is what they've done with the train fleet and are no doubt regretting.

Can't be good having the busiest section of the network shut for two weeks, but I guess if there was such a thing as a "good" time to do it this month would be it whilst we're all still in lockdown.
 

hacman

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At least with the overhead wires they're replacing them at the point they need replacing rather than waiting til 10 years after that point, which is what they've done with the train fleet and are no doubt regretting.

Can't be good having the busiest section of the network shut for two weeks, but I guess if there was such a thing as a "good" time to do it this month would be it whilst we're all still in lockdown.

To be honest, a large part of it is down to the rate at which central government drip-feed any kind of funding for larger capital projects -though it certainly doesn't help that Nexus spent a good few years engaging in fantasies about the "Project Orpheus" tram and guided bus proposals when instead proposing modest extensions and upgrades to the existing network and better integrating it with the National Rail services in the region would have been far more likely to actually get off the ground.

Another unfortunate reality is that we've now completed our exit from the EU, and with that lost a potential source of funding for projects.
 

rg177

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Notably a fairly large cohort of casual staff have been taken on for this and other future works, so there should be a decent staff presence in the city centre at bus stops and stations alike, as well as the likes of Four Lane Ends, Regent Centre & South Gosforth.

The exception I *believe* will be Jesmond station, which will be closed.
 

chiltern trev

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It's just for the press release. The OHLE needed upgrading regardless of any new stock coming in

You say "upgrading".

So does the new wire have the same electrical capacity as the old wire?
Or do the new trains draw more power?
Or does upgrade mean a new for old type replacement which just happens to mean newer better parts (e.g. cvhaning light bulbs these days has recently been change a halogen for a LED)
Or genuinely a need to put in something better (and not just a like for like)?
 

willgreen

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Notably a fairly large cohort of casual staff have been taken on for this and other future works, so there should be a decent staff presence in the city centre at bus stops and stations alike, as well as the likes of Four Lane Ends, Regent Centre & South Gosforth.

The exception I *believe* will be Jesmond station, which will be closed.
Jesmond station closed? I'm confused!
 

Anvil1984

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Jesmond station closed? I'm confused!

I believe he is referring to it in the context of these works. The rest of the normally staffed stations will remain "open" i.e everything before the barriers (shops, ticket and cash machines) are accessible with staff available to help, Jesmond will have the station entrance shutters down and no staff around to help. Not a permanent closure
 

willgreen

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I believe he is referring to it in the context of these works. The rest of the normally staffed stations will remain "open" i.e everything before the barriers (shops, ticket and cash machines) are accessible with staff available to help, Jesmond will have the station entrance shutters down and no staff around to help. Not a permanent closure
That makes sense to be fair - there's basically nothing there since the Coolaboola closed.
 

jkkne

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I believe he is referring to it in the context of these works. The rest of the normally staffed stations will remain "open" i.e everything before the barriers (shops, ticket and cash machines) are accessible with staff available to help, Jesmond will have the station entrance shutters down and no staff around to help. Not a permanent closure

Is there any logic to keeping Central Station open or does it lack shutters?

Since you’re supposed to tap in pop cards on replacement journeys (tho in reality nobody does and bus drivers don’t check) I’m guessing Jesmond passengers travel for free? Much like half of metros others normal passengers
 

hacman

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You say "upgrading".

So does the new wire have the same electrical capacity as the old wire?
Or do the new trains draw more power?
Or does upgrade mean a new for old type replacement which just happens to mean newer better parts (e.g. cvhaning light bulbs these days has recently been change a halogen for a LED)
Or genuinely a need to put in something better (and not just a like for like)?

In the context of OHLE this can also refer to the wire having different tensioning characteristics, the tensioning hardware being different or re-worked, bonding/return equipment being of a different design, and many other aspects.

The new trains should actually draw less power overall, but it's not as simple as a total number - it's about the rate at which it is drawn and other things such as regenerative capabilities which the new stock has.

It's a substantial programme of work, so where some parts may be 100% like for like replacements, others maybe be almost completely different.
 

DanNCL

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Is there any logic to keeping Central Station open or does it lack shutters?
It'll presumably be so that the Metro ticket machines can still be accessed.

Central Station does have shutters, though the only time I've actually seen any of them closed is on Boxing Day when the exit into the National Rail station is closed but the Metro is still open.
 

jkkne

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It'll presumably be so that the Metro ticket machines can still be accessed.

Central Station does have shutters, though the only time I've actually seen any of them closed is on Boxing Day when the exit into the National Rail station is closed but the Metro is still open.

Afaik the drivers are selling tickets but if I had a Pop Card I'd have to walk all the way down the steps to the barrier, tap in and then walk back to the bus (which you can't do at Jesmond if it's shuttered).

They really need to find a better way!
 

DanNCL

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Afaik the drivers are selling tickets but if I had a Pop Card I'd have to walk all the way down the steps to the barrier, tap in and then walk back to the bus (which you can't do at Jesmond if it's shuttered).

They really need to find a better way!
The drivers selling tickets has never been a good solution, I know of many cases in the past where the replacement bus drivers have overcharged people for Metro tickets and Nexus have refused to refund the difference.

For touching in and out I don't think you can touch out at stations with barriers without being on the platform side of them, only touch in, so they've got an issue not just at Jesmond but also Haymarket, Monument, Central Station and Gateshead. They really need to sort it out.
 

2392

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Afaik the drivers are selling tickets but if I had a Pop Card I'd have to walk all the way down the steps to the barrier, tap in and then walk back to the bus (which you can't do at Jesmond if it's shuttered).

They really need to find a better way!
I have a pop card as I don't used the Metro/bus as much as I used to. But have had no issues per sa using it on the bus. I just tell the driver where I'm going he/she in turn types in the destination and I then tap my card on the ticket machine. So surely the same would apply with the metro replacement buses. Though you do get the occasion difficult character behind the wheel putting it politely.
 
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