How Network Rail rebuilt a power substation

23 January 2023
Metro passengers return to travelling between Park Lane and South Hylton after repairs to substation in Pallion, Sunderland.

Network Rail engineers have been working to remove the damaged equipment and rebuild Pallion substation in Sunderland. This involved a major rewiring of the equipment that critically monitors the train-powering electric cables, as well as a rigorous programme of testing.

Martin Errington, Infrastructure Maintenance Engineer for Network Rail, who led the repairs said: “This hasn’t been an easy task – the water damage was so significant that the team needed to rebuild the facility before trains could run normally again. We’ve been working alongside industry specialists to restore power quickly and safely, and I’m really pleased that passengers can use this section of the Metro line again.

Sunderland Tyne and Wear Metro Network Rail Cable Damage

Images showing damage to cables and circuitry caused by water ingress in the substation.

“We’re grateful to passengers, businesses and the community for bearing with us over the last few months. The new substation will help to offer a more reliable Metro service for many years to come, so that people can continue to enjoy the great connections it provides.”

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Until Friday January 13, Nexus – which operates the Tyne and Wear Metro – had been unable to run services between South Hylton and Park Lane stations which rely on the substation for power, instead offering bus replacements to keep passengers moving.

Metro Operations Director, John Alexander, said: “We are pleased to resume services on the line between Park Lane and South Hylton, and are grateful to our customers for their patience while Network Rail has undertaken the repairs. There was significant water damage to the substation at Pallion, which has been completely rebuilt on schedule by Network Rail in what was a complex project. The restoration of the power supply at Pallion substation will also enable us to resume a 12-minute Metro service frequency on the entire Sunderland line.”

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