Tyne and Wear Metro passengers have been warned to expect travel disruption during a series of line closures from now until Easter, under a £38m modernisation programme. 

Metro operator Nexus has confirmed plans to shut down various sections of the rail network over the coming months, as it carries out works in preparation for the introduction of its new fleet of trains.

The works will include closing the busy central section of the network, between Heworth and South Gosforth, for four full days over Easter weekend – coinciding with home matches for both Newcastle United and Sunderland.

Fans travelling to the home fixture against Manchester City at St James’ Park on January 13 will also be unable to get trains between South Gosforth and Haymarket.

There will also be no Metro services running to Newcastle International Airport for nine days straight from February 17 to 25, with bus replacement services due to run from Regent Centre instead.

Nexus apologised for the inconvenience the closures will cause, but said the works were needed to safeguard the Metro’s long-term future by installing new tracks and overhead lines.

The planned closures are as follows: 

  • 5-8 January: Completion of final tracks outside new Gosforth Metro Depot. No line closures are planned but Nexus said there would be some impact on early and late services.
  • 13-14 January: Buses replace trains from South Gosforth to Haymarket for track renewal, lineside estate works and signalling work at the depot.
  • 20-21 January: Buses replace trains from Airport to South Gosforth for track renewal.
  • 27 January: Buses replace trains Pelaw to South Shields for track renewal.
  • 10-11 February: Buses replace trains South Gosforth to Wallsend for lineside estate and signalling maintenance works.
  • 17-25 February: Buses replace trains from Airport to Regent Centre during nine-day major line closure for overhead line and track renewal and lineside estate works.
  • 16-17 March: Buses replace trains from Heworth to South Gosforth for track junction renewal in the Metro tunnels under Newcastle city centre.
  • 29 March-1 April (Easter weekend): Buses replace trains Heworth to South Gosforth, in a four-day major line closure to complete the track junction renewal in the Metro tunnels under Newcastle city centre.

Metro infrastructure director, Stuart Clarke, said: “A wide range of major projects are being packed into the first three months of the new year as we continue to invest in the modernisation of Metro’s infrastructure.

 “In the year to March 2024 we will have invested a total of £38m on the renewal of track, overhead lines, stations, and other key areas of the Metro system to ensure its long-term future as we countdown to the first new Metro train entering service.

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“The Metro asset renewal programme stretches all the way back to 2010. A vast amount of projects have been completed since then, and we hope to be able to do more renewal works over the spring and summer of 2024.

“There is no good time to close a large sections of the Metro system and I apologise in advance for the inconvenience this will cause customers.

 “We will ensure there are good replacement bus services running when the Metro lines are shut. We advise customers to plan their journeys in advance before travelling on those dates when there are line closures in place.”