Metro_logo.jpg (8373 bytes) 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.

Metro mapThe revised Metro system map shows the extension and the South Hylton line

This was the first time in the UK that both light rail and heavy rail had run over the same infrastructure since 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 and later in service.

Click on the image for a bigger picture - all pictures are courtesy of Chris Ward unless otherwise credited.

Pelaw Metro Junction The view from Nexus infrastructure looking towards Network Rail's new Pelaw Metro Jcn

East Boldon

Unit 4084 rolls into East Boldon station heading for Sunderland on a driver training run
In the snow 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
St. Peters Looking towards Sunderland from St Peter's station

Approaching Park Lane

Metro unit 4069 approaches Park Lane station, Sunderland heading for South Hylton

Wear bridge

The view looking towards Monkwearmouth from the bridge over the River Wear......

Wear bridge

...........and looking the other way towards Sunderland Tunnel
Pallion Unit 4023 approaching Pallion Station which looks more like a building site - which of course it was in January 2002

South Hylton

The view from South Hylton platform  looking back towards Sunderland
South Hylton again 4038 waits at South Hylton for a run back to Pelaw

South Hylton

A spot of shunting at South Hylton as two units couple up for the return to South Gosforth depot

South Hylton

Unit 4008 sits at the new terminus of South Hylton in March 2002


QE2 bridge

In December 2002 a twin Metro set passes over the River Tyne on the Queen Elizabeth Bridge on its way into Newcastle


5 years later Unit 4060 at South Hylton on 14th August 2007


In August 2014 set No:4033 arrives at East Boldon with a service to South Hylton


Heavy rail - In August 2014 class 66 No: 66749 heads south through East Boldon with a coal train


Unit 4055 at the terminus at South Hylton in August 2014


Elsewhere on the system 4075 arrives at South Gosforth in August 2014


4026 arrives at Pelaw



Back to main index