Sunderland MP demands talks with Metro bosses over latest problem

A Sunderland MP wants an urgent meeting with Metro bosses after the latest disruption to hit the service.

Monday, 30th October 2017, 3:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:35 am
No Metro's running systemwide.

Thousands of passengers faced misery on Sunday after a power failure caused by a blown transformer caused chaos for Metro passengers.

Trouble flared at 5.30am on Sunday after a major fault at South Gosforth electrical substation in Newcastle, left the depot with no electricity.

Julie Elliott MP

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This meant trains were unable to be moved onto the main lines for service.

A battery powered locomotive was used to move some trains, however, Nexus say, this didn’t allow for enough Metros to be put onto the network to enable a service to be delivered, before the battery needed to be recharged.

The problem in the sub station was a blown transformer. Engineers were able to repair the fault by 10pm on Sunday and services resumed.

However, the issue left a number of Metro passengers needing to find alternative travel arrangements for their journeys.

Julie Elliott MP

Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central, now wants answers.

She said: “The recent disruption to service has reaffirmed what we already knew to be true: the Metro system is unreliable, outdated and in need of urgent investment.

“I have today written to Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Nexus, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss a way forward on this matter – Sunderland and the wider region deserve a Metro system that is reliable and fit for purpose.”

Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “I apologise to our customers for the major disruption that occurred on the Metro system on Sunday.

“The loss of power to our depot was a massive challenge for us. We were unable to move the train out on to the system.

“Engineers worked throughout Sunday day to repair the damaged power supply.

“The scale of the disruption was a huge headache for our customers. We are carrying out a thorough review of what happened.”

A Nexus spokesman added: ““It is not practical for us to call in replacement buses when the entire Metro system gets so unexpectedly shut down.

“Calling in that many buses to cover all five districts of Tyne and Wear, across 60 Metro stations was not possible at such short notice.”

Anyone who bought a ticket on Sunday can contact Nexus to arrange for a refund.