Metro system faces severe disruption
This post was updated at 10am on January 23 2014.
Trains are operating to all destinations subject to major delays due to a track fault at Jesmond
— Tyne and Wear Metro (@My_Metro) January 23, 2014
Commuters travelling northbound were faced with long queues while attempting to travel to work and school after a track fault around the Jesmond area was recorded earlier this morning.
According to a Metro spokesperson, the problem arose at 4:40am just prior to the start of the day’s service. A track circuit reverted signals to danger, which meant that trains were unable to travel beyond West Jesmond.
The problem was resolved by 5:30am, but the earlier difficulties had a knock-on effect on trains early into the morning.
Compounding the troubles, one train reportedly evacuated its passengers at Central Station following a further fault, leaving the already busy morning commute much more crowded.
People were stood eight deep on platforms at Central Station, Monument, Haymarket and Jesmond stations. Passengers voiced their frustration on social media:
It’d be pretty cool if we could leave Longbenton now Mr Metro Driver, just I have to be at work 9 is all…
— Andrew D R Potts (@pottsiieee) January 23, 2014
— Heather Penten (@tenpenscreative) January 23, 2014
Major delays on the Metro this morning so really glad I’m staying local today. — Hazel Plater (@hazelplater) January 23, 2014
@My_Metro Do you tweet every fault or delay? Or would that make the service look too bad.
— Daniel Mobberley (@Dan_mob) January 23, 2014
Some passengers were stuck in tunnels for five minutes or more as emergency signals held up trains.
Today’s delays are not the first the transport system has faced. Nexus, operators of the Tyne & Wear Metro, apologised to passengers in December 2013 for a series of sustained delays to travel after “letting passengers down.” Many of the winter delays were caused by poor weather resulting in low rail adhesion. Today’s delays were broadcast on Twitter and Facebook by Nexus, as well as constant reminders across personal address systems at stations, while contact was also made with local radio to make people aware of the disruption.
Passenger satisfaction, recorded before the disruptions of late 2013, has remained roughly the same in the past four years. Around 25% of passengers are unhappy with train punctuality and reliability. The perception of affordability of the Metro has increased since May 2009: nearly 58% of people feel the Metro is good value for money.