Advice for fans ahead of Man Utd game.
Nexus is carrying out a four day major line closure in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland over the Easter weekend to allow for multi-million pound power line replacement.
The line closure is taking place between Gateshead Stadium, Hebburn and Brockley Whins stations from Friday 29 March, Good Friday, until Monday 1 April, Easter Monday.
Fans travelling to Sunderland’s home game with Manchester United on Saturday, 30 March are being given the following advice:
Fans travelling within the city of Sunderland, including Boldon/Cleadon, should leave a little extra time for the journey as there will be a reduced frequency with four trains per hour between Brockley Whins and South Hylton.
Fans travelling from the Newcastle, South Shields and Jarrow areas, or further afield, are advised by Nexus to make alternative arrangements rather than use a combination of Metro and replacement bus services.
Ken Mackay, Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, said: “Replacing 30-year-old power lines is vital to ensure Metro’s future for many years to come. The long Easter bank holiday allows us to do the job in one go without disrupting the very busy weekday service.
“Metro will be running with only a slightly reduced frequency through Sunderland, but if fans are coming from further away, such as South Shields and Newcastle, we advise them to use alternative transport where possible to avoid a longer journey and over-crowding replacement buses.”
A frequent replacement bus service, 900, will be in operation calling at or near all Metro stations. There will also be a local Metro service between South Shields and Jarrow and South Hylton and Brockley Whins throughout the weekend.
Metro services to all other destinations will be running as normal during the closure, and the Northern Rail train service between Newcastle and Sunderland will continue to operate over the Easter weekend.
The latest piece of modernisation work will for the first time in 30 years see a major section of Metro’s overhead high voltage power lines replaced along a six kilometre stretch of track.
The overhead line is vital for supplying the electricity that powers Metro trains, so the work cannot be done safely without closing the line for four days.
It forms part of the £385m Metro all change modernisation programme, which is seeing the system transformed in an 11 year programme that includes new-look stations, refurbished trains and miles of new cable and track.
Nexus has already invested more than £150m modernising Metro since April 2010, with the programme including major infrastructure works, new smart ticket systems and the refurbishment of trains and stations.
The Metro: all change modernisation programme is the largest series of capital projects on the Metro system since it opened more than 30 years ago, and is vital to ensure the system continues to run reliably for decades to come.