The Sunderland Extension - 2002
In early 2002 the author was part of the team undertaking commissioning and testing on the Tyne and Wear (Nexus) Metro's new extension to Sunderland.
The route was over the existing Railtrack line between Newcastle and Sunderland (and beyond) which was newly electrified at 1500v DC for the Metro units. The line was also re-signalled and equipped with additional safety systems (the Metro's own Indusi train stop system and Railtrack's TPWS). A number the stations on the route were re-furbished and some new ones were also added. On top of this a completely new line was built from Sunderland to South Hylton on the south bank of the River Wear over the old trackbed.
This was the first time in the UK that both light rail and heavy rail had run over the same infrastructure as Class 158's and freight trains also used the route.
Here are a few pictures of the units undergoing testing and commissioning running on the new infrastructure.
Click on the image for a bigger picture - all pictures are courtesy of Chris Ward unless otherwise credited.
|The view from Nexus infrastructure looking towards Network Rail's new Pelaw Metro Jcn||Unit 4084 rolls into East Boldon station heading for Sunderland on a driver training run|
|Unit 4074 pictured in the snow near East Boldon in January 2002||Two Metro units pass between East Boldon and Seaburn|
|Unit 4065 at Seaburn in the snow in January 2002||Looking towards the original station at Monkwearmouth from the platform at St Peter's station|
|Looking towards Sunderland from St Peter's station||Metro unit 4069 approaches Park Lane station, Sunderland heading for South Hylton|
|The view looking towards Monkwearmouth from the bridge over the River Wear......||...........and looking the other way towards Sunderland Tunnel|
|Unit 4023 approaching Pallion Station which looks more like a building site - which of course it was in January 2002||The view from South Hylton platform looking back towards Sunderland|
|4038 waits at South Hylton for a run back to Pelaw||A spot of shunting at South Hylton as two units couple up for the return to South Gosforth depot|
|Unit 4008 sits at the new terminus of South Hylton in March 2002
|In December 2002 a twin Metro set passes over the River Tyne
the Queen Elizabeth Bridge on its way into Newcastle
|Unit 4060 at South Hylton on 14th
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