The Tyne and Wear Metro is considered the UK’s first modern light rail system. The railway is operated by DB Regio Tyne and Wear Ltd on behalf of Nexus (Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive). Carrying 40 million passengers a year, it has a total length of 48 miles and is a key part of the region’s economy. It originally opened in 1980 and as it is now over 30 years old it is in need of significant upgrade and renewal. Nexus is investing £385 million over the next decade in new track and technology, better stations and refurbished trains.
VGC was contracted to Balfour Beatty Rail to supply a range of operatives to support its contract. These included foremen, machine controllers, plant and machine operatives and yard gangs. One of the key challenges VGC had was to provide labour resources for the three-week blockade over the Easter 2011 period. In order to ensure that 24-hour cover was provided over this period, VGC spent considerable time before the blockade sourcing, interviewing and inducting local labour. As a result of this thorough approach there were no missed shifts throughout the blockade.
VGC anticipates continuing involvement in this project throughout 2012 and beyond.