Buckingham Group wins £55m contract for major rail project

Track dualling scheme will increase service frequency, cut journey times and improve reliability on the Tyne and Wear Metro

Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:27 pm
Rob Harwood of Buckingham Group (holding banner, left) and Martin Kearney of Nexus sign the contract for the Metro Flow project
Rob Harwood of Buckingham Group (holding banner, left) and Martin Kearney of Nexus sign the contract for the Metro Flow project

A Buckingham company has won a £55 million tender for a major rail project in South Tyneside.

A £100 million track dualling scheme that will increase service frequency, cut journey times and improve reliability on the Tyne and Wear Metro has moved a step closer after Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd (Buckingham) was officially appointed.

Buckingham Group, based near Stowe, successfully bid for the construction stage of the Metro Flow project, which will see an existing freight line upgraded and electrified in South Tyneside between September and December next year.

The Tyne & Wear Metro

The dualling of three key sections of the route will create the capacity for an extra 24,000 Metro passenger journeys every day.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the award of the contract was an important stage in a project that, when completed, would be of huge benefit to customers.

Metro Flow has secured £95 million worth of funding from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

Nexus' chief operating officer, Martin Kearney, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the Buckingham Group to deliver this exciting £100 million scheme that will vastly improve Metro services for our customers.

"It will involve the conversion of an existing heavy rail line, bringing it into dual use so that Metros can run alongside freight services, which is similar to the operations we have on the Sunderland line. This will increase the frequency of Metro services system-wide from 12 minutes to 10 minutes outside of the central areas. For our passengers this means more regular services and faster journey times. This project also gives us the scope to examine future opportunities to expand the network to other areas that are currently not served by Metro.”

Rob Harwood, Rail Contracts Director of Buckingham Group, said: “Buckingham is delighted to win this project and be involved in improving the Metro network. Having recently completed the construction of the Howdon depot for Nexus in 2020, we are now able to continue working with Nexus and involving the supply chain in the region on this exciting project.

"We will also work with the local community to minimise any inconvenience and involve local schools and colleges in the educational benefits from a significant project in their area. The first phase will be detailed design this year and then mobilise for the construction phase early next year.”

Buckingham Group has previously delivered some of the UK’s biggest rail construction projects. It recently completed the work on the new temporary Metro depot at Howdon in North Tyneside.