The Metro system has won a national award - for getting people to major events including Sunderland Airshow and the Great North Run in South Shields.
The system - which has in recent months been hit by reliability issues - scored a success at the prestigious Rail Business Awards.
The award win, in the Accessibility and Integrated Transport Excellence category, was for delivering an unprecedented level of additional Metro services in the summer of 2018.
The system delivered 133,000 people to the Tall Ships Race in Sunderland; 90.800 to South Shields for the Great North Run; 8,000 to the free concerts in South Shields and 230,000 to the Ed Sheeran concerts on Newcastle.
Bosses at Nexus, which owns and operates the system, say the summer tested Metro’s resources to the limit through an unprecedented programme of exhibitions, stadium concerts and open-air family events which saw Metro carry an extra half a million passengers.
Nexus was also a finalist for Marketing and Communications Excellence for its successful campaign to win Government funding for a new Metro train fleet.
Managing director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “This highly prestigious national award is deserved recognition for the unprecedented levels of extra Metro services that we delivered last summer.
“We were up against some of the very best firms in the railway industry and we have ended up winning. It’s a huge honour and it’s testament to the hard work of our staff over many months.
“It was our busiest ever summer in 2018, as North East England played host to a raft of high profile events that attracted thousands of people, many from outside our region.
The Tyne and Wear Metro had a vital role to play and we carried an extra 500,000 passengers.”
Chairwoman of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub-Cttee, South Tyneside councillor, Coun Gladys Hobson, said: “My thanks and congratulations go to all Nexus and Metro staff. The summer of 2018 was our busiest ever and thanks to their hard work and commitment we delivered an outstanding level of service for a whole host of high profile events.”
"Metro staff worked thousands of additional hours over the busy summer of 2018, and hundreds of extra trains generated more than 500,000 extra journeys and excellent passenger feedback."
By the end of last summer Metro had operated more than 200 additional services above the normal timetable and this was in no small part due to the efforts of all the staff at the Metro Depot in Newcastle.
Metro train crew worked 1,226 extra hours and customer service and temporary staff worked 4,336 additional hours.