As part of Nexus’ ongoing Asset Renewal Plan, TXM Rail was awarded a 4 year framework to renew large sections of the Tyne and Wear Metro infrastructure. The works under this framework are located around the Newcastle Metro system. These works are broken down into six delivery packages:
Package A – Tynemouth to Northumberland ParkPackage B – Chillingham Road to St JamesPackage C – Northumberland Park to South GosforthPackage D – Pelaw to South ShieldsPackage E – Gateshead Stadium to PelawPackage F – South Gosfoth to Airport
The scope includes a number of full track renewals, as well as a variety of other works including, but not limited to, Re-Railing; Re-Ballasting; Tamping; Stressing; Switch and Crossing Renewals; Drainage works; Ballast Retention; Signal Testing; Overhead Line Adjustments.
TXM Rail’s philosophy has been to work closely with the client, supply chain and stakeholders in an open and honest manner to ensure that all parties are striving to achieve a ‘best for project’ outcome.
One of the key challenges for the framework is to minimise disruption to the metro, whilst undertaking a substantial amount of work. This will be achieved by undertaking works during mid-week nights and weekends. However, where this is not practical, long possessions and blockades are planned. Due to the size, complexity and importance of these possessions, the biggest challenges for TXM Rail staff has been the significant level of planning involved. To overcome this, TXM Rail staff have used their experience from working on the previous framework.
Innovative methods of working such as the installation of a Non-Intrusive Crossover Systems (NICS) have helped reduce disruption. The benefits of having the NIC system are that it allows the contractor to cross engineering trains from the inbound to the outbound tracks either side of a renewals worksite (and vice-versa). This will improve renewal outputs and allow the client to leave metro stations open either side of renewal worksites thus reducing disruption to passengers and saving on costs associated with closing the metro stations.