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Old August 1st, 2017, 12:20 PM   #5701
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Metro funding row could see North East leaders REJECT funding for new fleet

Courtesy of the Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...d-see-13413060
Metro funding row could see North East leaders REJECT funding for new fleet
By Sean Seddon 1 August 2017



Proposals for a £435m overhaul of the Metro could be in jeopardy if council leaders and government cannot agree a funding deal.

Department for Transport officials are currently weighing up how to fund a new fleet to replace the 40-year-old trains currently in use. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has publicly accepted the need for an overhaul of the system but the two sides could be miles apart on the details of the funding deal.

An argument has opened up about how the replacement fleet of trains should be financed, with the government considering three different models. One of the options is a private finance initiative (PFI) deal, which would see a company or consortium pay for the work up front and require councils to pay them back with interest over several years. But in a letter sent to transport minister Chris Grayling and seen by The Chronicle, all seven North East council leaders have signalled they would be ready to reject such a deal because they don’t think it represents good value for money.

Whilst the department have not made public their preferred option, council leaders increasingly fear they will be offered the PFI model, lining up a potentially protracted row. They claim it would mean new trains wouldn’t arrive until mid-2023, busting the original 2020 deadline, and would “cost at least £5m more” to implement. Council bosses also fear it would tie the region into a “complex and inflexible” contract for as long as 35 years, which could throw into doubt ambitions to extend the Metro network. They are also angry that PFI-style deals were deemed unsatisfactory for other rail projects, such as HS2 and London’s Crossrail, but could be offered to the North East.

The letter states: “North East passengers would be likely to find it hard to understand why public investment in a new Metro fleet is not possible while other regions and train systems do merit direct support, particularly in the context of Government’s commitment to economic re-balancing across the country.” Instead, the councils and Nexus believe the work could be paid for through a combination of “locally earned fare income” and the government’s grant to the region being sustained at 2016/17 levels.

Read more and see video @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...d-see-13413060
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Old August 1st, 2017, 10:22 PM   #5702
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I have used the bus replacement service for 2 days and have some observations.

Twice i have heard staff telling passengers that pop card holders have to validate at a station before boarding the bus. For the people working at the DWP on Benton Park Road this means crossing the road and walking down to the metro station to then have to walk back which may result in a missed bus.

Why can't we have pop validators on the buses?

Also on Monday when i was traveling into town the metro driver made no mention at all that the train was terminating at Four Lane Ends. I got off the train but the Metro full pf people just sat there while other passengers going towards the coast boarded.

I went upstairs and got on the bus however none of the other passengers joined me. What happened to them i do not know. I hope they did not end up going back to Benton.

Also why can't they align the busses with the metros arriving or departing? Twice in 2 days i have seen a bus pull away from South Gosforth as people walked up the bank. All the Nexus staff said to the disgruntled passengers was well they have a schedule to stick to.
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 12:27 PM   #5703
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See the latest work on Killingworth Road after the Victorian-era Metro bridge is removed

From today's Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...-road-13418050
See the latest work on Killingworth Road after the Victorian-era Metro bridge is removed
Tom Eden 2 August 2017


The latest work on Killingworth Road after the Victorian-era Metro bridge is removed (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

The Metro bridge over Killingworth Road has now been removed as part of the major month-long upgrade in Gosforth.

The Victorian-era bridge was lifted off its concrete pillars - which will soon be demolished - and the iron structure will be donated to the Stephenson Railway Museum in North Tyneside. As part of £20m modernisation programme, the bridge is to be replaced with a steel upgrade, while Killingworth Road is simultaneously widened towards the Haddricks Mill roundabout.

Huw Lewis, customer services director at Nexus, said: “We’ve made a great start to what is a big engineering challenge for Metro. This is the first time we have replaced an entire bridge on Metro’s infrastructure. The old Killingworth Road bridge has been carefully removed from its abutments and the space is now clear for the new bridge to be installed later this month. I’m grateful to the public for the patience while the line is closed. This scheme wouldn’t have been possible without closing the Metro line.”

The bridge deck was removed in the early hours of Tuesday using a specialist wheeled rig to lift the deck clear of the bridge’s abutments and then move it up Killingworth Road and into the nearby site compound. The new bridge deck will be moved into place and secured later this month.

In addition to the bridge replacement, Nexus will also undertake essential maintenance of steel work at Northumberland Park Metro station. The Metro line will be closed between South Gosforth and Four Lane Ends until August 11.

Read more and see video @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...-road-13418050

Cc Regional ROAD NETWORK - Coast Road, Great North Road, A69, A19, Central Motorway, etc
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 04:55 PM   #5704
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Killingworth Road update - bridge removal 1 August 2017

Courtesy of the Newcastle City Council You Tube Channel @ https://www.youtube.com/user/NewcastleCCUK
Killingworth Road update - bridge removal 1 August 2017

Published on 1 Aug 2017

Big day on site at Killingworth Road as contractors Story carefully remove the Victorian parapet so it can be donated to the Stephenson Railway Museum. The teams work through the night to remove the 100 year old bridge.


https://youtu.be/CFbypw3xsCM
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Old August 9th, 2017, 11:59 AM   #5705
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Monument Metro Station - Snax Express

First time I'd noticed this new business in Monument Metro Station, so unsure how long it has been there? - photographed 8th August 2017.

It was of course the former One Stop News (26/04/2014):






Images hosted on http://GeordiePhotographs.fototime.com/Metro
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Old August 9th, 2017, 05:11 PM   #5706
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ellwood View Post
Courtesy of the Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...d-see-13413060
Metro funding row could see North East leaders REJECT funding for new fleet
By Sean Seddon 1 August 2017



Proposals for a £435m overhaul of the Metro could be in jeopardy if council leaders and government cannot agree a funding deal.

Department for Transport officials are currently weighing up how to fund a new fleet to replace the 40-year-old trains currently in use. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has publicly accepted the need for an overhaul of the system but the two sides could be miles apart on the details of the funding deal.

An argument has opened up about how the replacement fleet of trains should be financed, with the government considering three different models. One of the options is a private finance initiative (PFI) deal, which would see a company or consortium pay for the work up front and require councils to pay them back with interest over several years. But in a letter sent to transport minister Chris Grayling and seen by The Chronicle, all seven North East council leaders have signalled they would be ready to reject such a deal because they don’t think it represents good value for money.

Whilst the department have not made public their preferred option, council leaders increasingly fear they will be offered the PFI model, lining up a potentially protracted row. They claim it would mean new trains wouldn’t arrive until mid-2023, busting the original 2020 deadline, and would “cost at least £5m more” to implement. Council bosses also fear it would tie the region into a “complex and inflexible” contract for as long as 35 years, which could throw into doubt ambitions to extend the Metro network. They are also angry that PFI-style deals were deemed unsatisfactory for other rail projects, such as HS2 and London’s Crossrail, but could be offered to the North East.

The letter states: “North East passengers would be likely to find it hard to understand why public investment in a new Metro fleet is not possible while other regions and train systems do merit direct support, particularly in the context of Government’s commitment to economic re-balancing across the country.” Instead, the councils and Nexus believe the work could be paid for through a combination of “locally earned fare income” and the government’s grant to the region being sustained at 2016/17 levels.

Read more and see video @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...d-see-13413060
More arguing and political point: scoring by both sides, doesn't really benefit the passengers, who could have to wait 6 years for the new trains.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 07:34 PM   #5707
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ellwood View Post
First time I'd noticed this new business in Monument Metro Station, so unsure how long it has been there? - photographed 8th August 2017.

It was of course the former One Stop News (26/04/2014):






Images hosted on http://GeordiePhotographs.fototime.com/Metro
It opened last week. I forget which day.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 07:53 PM   #5708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mole View Post
It opened last week. I forget which day.
Thank heavens for that, I use Monument Station, perhaps once a month and was wondering if I had been wandering through there with my eye's shut.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 10:32 PM   #5709
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylett 67 View Post
More arguing and political point: scoring by both sides, doesn't really benefit the passengers, who could have to wait 6 years for the new trains.
A bad deal (such as PFI to "purchase" the new trains) is not in our interest - the ongoing costs are too painful especially compared to what Nexus could manage if the government just gave them access to a loan (at government rates) and used that to buy the stock outright and did maintenance themselves.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 09:39 AM   #5710
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A PFI deal invariably means higher fares.

Crossrail was funded by the taxpayer, as is HS2.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 10:03 AM   #5711
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3848827 View Post
A bad deal (such as PFI to "purchase" the new trains) is not in our interest - the ongoing costs are too painful especially compared to what Nexus could manage if the government just gave them access to a loan (at government rates) and used that to buy the stock outright and did maintenance themselves.
Is there a problem with the current fleet other then vanity?

40 years old is reasonable for a train, the interiors can be readily replaced and the chassis will run forever with maintenance.

The New York Subway is operating 60 year old trains and the London Underground 50 year old trains.

I would say the metro rolling stock have at least another decade left in them.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 06:00 PM   #5712
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Originally Posted by strandeed View Post
Is there a problem with the current fleet other then vanity?

40 years old is reasonable for a train, the interiors can be readily replaced and the chassis will run forever with maintenance.

The New York Subway is operating 60 year old trains and the London Underground 50 year old trains.

I would say the metro rolling stock have at least another decade left in them.
The problem lies in that the Metro trains were purpose built and there are no/not many "off the shelf" replacement parts. So each part needs to be custom ordered and made. As the trains are getting older more components are failing/dropping off and the engineers are finding it more difficult to keep the full fleet on the rails.

You can read a statement by the Metro Services Director, Chris Carson regarding this issue on post #5680 in this thread.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 06:14 PM   #5713
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strandeed View Post
Is there a problem with the current fleet other then vanity?

40 years old is reasonable for a train, the interiors can be readily replaced and the chassis will run forever with maintenance.

The New York Subway is operating 60 year old trains and the London Underground 50 year old trains.

I would say the metro rolling stock have at least another decade left in them.
Serious problem, there are delays and cancelations every day, this isn't a case of 'We have old trains, we want new ones'.

As said the current Metro trains are purpose built, unlike the Subway and underground which are more or less 'off the shelf'. This make procuring parts difficult, mostly resulting in manufacturing new parts. Not only this but the undergrounds you mentioned have much more rolling stock, they are able to take trains out of service for longer as they have other trains ready to go. The Metro does not have this luxury, pretty much every train running has a schedule to stick too, and in recent weeks the schedule has had to be reduced because of the lack of rolling stock.

The Metro units were fully refurbished recently, from the interior to everything on the chassis, they are still failing, and this isn't to the result of lack of maintenance, it's just age has in the end got the better of them.

The current Metro cars do not have another decade left in them, they were not designed to. They are outlasting their designed lifespan, but they won't last much longer, it's going to be a struggle to keep these trains going for another 5 years or so until new ones arrive.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #5714
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddco View Post

You can read a statement by the Metro Services Director, Chris Carson regarding this issue on post #5680 in this thread.

Cheers
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:07 PM   #5715
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Originally Posted by bigchrisfgb View Post
The Metro units were fully refurbished recently, from the interior to everything on the chassis, they are still failing, and this isn't to the result of lack of maintenance, it's just age has in the end got the better of them.
There was not much done below the main body - just corrosion repaired which was of course in a far worse state than they expected.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 05:06 PM   #5716
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mole View Post
It opened last week. I forget which day.
I quite like the idea of businesses llike food outlets and newsagents on the Metro, and, in the case of Tynemouth, the old station buildings being used for shops, a restaurant and a fitness centre. It does seem those stations which are either in central Newcastle, or retained the old station buildings, now have several outlets based on the concourse, which makes them more welcoming and less stark than the original destaffed stations from the eighties.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 05:23 PM   #5717
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Happy 37th birthday Metro! Here's a look back at the key dates in the service's history

From today's Chronicle Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...worth-13465356
Happy 37th birthday Metro! Here's a look back at the key dates in the service's history
Chris Knight 11 August 2017



It is now 37 years since the Metro service which has become such a familiar sight on Tyneside was first rolled out.

The first Metro train left Tynemouth station at 5.27am on August 11, 1980, bound for Haymarket. Passengers back then paid a minimum price of eight pence for the privilege of riding on the service.

Over the years, Metro has undergone many changes, extensions, and refurbishments at the cost of millions of pounds. So to mark the occasion, we’ve decided to take a look back at key dates in the Metro’s history over the last five decades:

1973 Local politicians had devised a light rail solution to transport in Tyne and Wear and they won funding support from Government for the £280m project.

1974 The Construction of Metro began. Stations, tracks and bridges were all built over the following six years

Read more @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...worth-13465356

Of course tomorrow (Saturday) marks the closure of the track between South Gosforth and Shiremoor - courtesy of https://www.nexus.org.uk/metro/updates
Quote:
Phase two: Saturday 12 August - Saturday 2 September, no trains running in either direction between South Gosforth and Shiremoor. Replacement bus 900 will call at or close to all stations between South Gosforth and Shiremoor (turns at Regent Centre).
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Old August 12th, 2017, 04:02 PM   #5718
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I was at Tynemouth on the last day of British Rail services, then the next day to see the new Metro. Looked a lot more swish and modern than the tatty rail blue DMUs, and seemed to be the way forward. Only limitation was, until 1982, you had to go the long way round to Newcastle city centre.
One thing I always wondered, what became of the British Rail staff, whose jobs were no longer needed? I know the drivers transferred over, but did the station staff get some kind of redundancy deal as there was no longer any role for them when the Metro took over?
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Old August 18th, 2017, 02:12 PM   #5719
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Monkseaton Metro Station

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylett 67 View Post
I quite like the idea of businesses llike food outlets and newsagents on the Metro, and, in the case of Tynemouth, the old station buildings being used for shops, a restaurant and a fitness centre. It does seem those stations which are either in central Newcastle, or retained the old station buildings, now have several outlets based on the concourse, which makes them more welcoming and less stark than the original destaffed stations from the eighties.
Good example of commercial use of Monkseaton Metro Station, photographed 15th August 2017.










Images hosted on https://www.flickr.com/photos/steve-...57684998953461
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Old August 21st, 2017, 05:32 PM   #5720
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Calling all engineers.. Here's the latest from #KilliRoad

Courtesy of the Newcastle City Council You Tube Channel @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXjesfT-aQQ

Calling all engineers.. Here's the latest from #KilliRoad
Published on 21 Aug 2017

Calling all engineers.. Here's the latest from #KilliRoad #knowyourUdecks

Thanks to Story Construction and Tyne and Wear Metro

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXjesfT-aQQ
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