Nexus Tyne and Wear Metro

Tyne and Wear Metro workers
Jan 2016
Dec 2021

VGC is supplying trades and labour resources to TXM as part of the Nexus Tyne and Wear Metro upgrade.

The VGC teams are replacing the sleepers and ballast as well as carrying out drainage renewal works. They are also refurbishing switches and crossings near to Tynemouth Station and installing overhead line bases, masts and equipment.

One challenging element of our role is providing the workforce for blockades, including foremen, machine controllers, plant and machine operatives and yard gangs. A blockade can last from 54 hours to 16 days. Typically over 100 skilled people a day are required to provide round-the-clock staffing for each blockade.

VGC’s strong links with Newcastle are invaluable on the project.

Dave Chubb and Anthony Iley
Supervisor Dave Chubb and labour manager Anthony Iley

Many of our staff and senior managers are from the Tyneside area – including managing director Laurence Mckidd. Our local knowledge – plus our extensive network of local skilled and experienced workers – means we can access the right people to meet client needs.

Client TXM appreciates our long-term involvement on the Nexus renewal programme – we have been involved since 2011. We work closely with their planners to anticipate where we will need workers. That helps us plan logistics, site inductions and health and safety inspections.

Our key influencers on the project are Steven Wallace and Paul Karimlar.

You Race, traffic marshall
Traffic marshal Yo Race is one of 12 new workers taken on by VGC after successful paid work experience in partnership with Newcastle College’s specialist rail academy. VGC is a key supporter of the Rail Academy’s annual awards.

The Tyne and Wear Metro

Originally opened in 1980, the Metro serves Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Sunderland. It carries 41 million passengers a year.

Paul Karimlar key influencer
Paul Karimlar, key influencer

Now that the Metro is over 30 years old, it is in need of significant upgrade and renewal so Nexus (Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive) is investing £385 million in new track and technology, better stations and refurbished trains.

The asset renewal scheme started in 2009 and will last until 2021. The current phase 2 programme to upgrade and renew assets, being undertaken by TXM, is expected to cost around £90 million.

Steven Wallace key influencer
Steven Wallace, key influencer

The programme involves a major overhaul of the railway from Tynemouth through Newcastle city centre to Gateshead. The modernisation work includes replacement of track and track beds and renewal of drainage, particularly in stations. Overhead power lines and signalling and communication systems are being upgraded. A total of 45 stations will be refurbished involving improving accessibility for passengers with disabilities, enhanced security, and better lighting and signage.