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Fri June 18 2021

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Buckingham wins £55m tram upgrade contract

17 May Buckingham Group Contracting has won a £55m contract to increase capacity on the Tyne & Wear Metro.

Buckingham’s contract is part of a wider £100m track dualling scheme, the Metro Flow project, which will see an existing freight line upgraded and electrified in South Tyneside.

Three sections of single track on the Metro network totalling three kilometres will be dualled between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations, creating capacity for an extra 24,000 Metro passenger journeys every day.

Martin Kearney, chief operating officer at Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Metro, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the Buckingham Group to deliver this exciting £100m scheme that will vastly improve Metro services for our customers. It will involve the conversion of an existing heavy rail line, bringing it into dual use so that Metros can run alongside freight services, which is similar to the operations we have on the Sunderland line.

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“This will increase the frequency of Metro services system-wide from twelve minutes to ten minutes outside of the central areas. For our passengers this means more regular services, and faster journey times. This project also gives us the scope to examine future opportunities to expand the network to other areas that are currently not served by Metro.”

Rob Harwood, rail contracts director at Buckingham, said: “Having recently completed the construction of the Howdon depot for Nexus in 2020, we are now able to continue working with Nexus and involving the supply chain in the region on this exciting project. We will also work with the local community to minimise any inconvenience and involve local schools and colleges in the educational benefits from a significant project in their area. The first phase will be detailed design this year and then mobilise for the construction phase early next year.”

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