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Blow for North East commuters as Metro route is to remain suspended into new year following floods

Metro services on a major North East route are set to remain suspended into the New Year following flooding damage.

Tyne and Wear Metro operators Nexus have announced that services between Park Lane and South Hylton are to remain suspended while Network Rail carries out major repairs to an electrical substation which has been severely damaged by flooding.

Chronicle Live understands that Network Rail have now completed a full assessment of their substation at Pallion with the extent of the flood damage such that they do not expect a Metro service to resume between Park Lane and South Hylton before the new year.

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Nexus is still able to run trains on the Sunderland line between Pelaw and Park Lane, but with a 24-minute service frequency instead of the usual timetable of a train every 12 minutes.

In the meantime, Stagecoach bus services 8,10,11 and 20 are accepting Metro tickets between Sunderland and South Hylton.

Paul Rutter, East Coast Route Director for Network Rail said: “We’re really sorry for the impact this is having on Nexus customers. The flooding has damaged our substation so significantly that we need to rebuild it before it can safely power Metro services between Park Lane and South Hylton again.

“We’re working with our colleagues at Nexus to find other ways to help people get to where they need to be, but the complex repairs mean that no services are likely to run on this section for the next few weeks. In the meantime, passengers should check before they travel and allow extra time for their journey.”

Metro Operations Director, John Alexander, said: “We have been advised by Network Rail that we won’t be able to restore Metro services between Park Lane and South Hylton until the new year.

“This is because the flood damage to their electrical substation at Pallion is severe and it needs to be completely rebuilt.

“We appreciate our customers will be frustrated by this news and we are working with Network Rail to see if the repair time frame can be shortened.

“Until the substation is rebuilt we cannot offer a Metro service between Park Lane and South Hylton, while the service between Pelaw and Park Lane is reduced to a train every 24 minutes rather than every 12 minutes. While this reduced Metro frequency, alongside Northern Railway trains, is coping with demand we know the inconvenience it is causing.

“Between Park Lane and South Hylton we continue to advice customers to use local buses, with Metro tickets being accepted. We still hope to arrange a replacement bus service if we can find operators with the driver capacity to support this.

“We will keep customers fully up to date on the alternative travel arrangements, and with the progress of the repairs that Network Rail need to undertake.”

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