Metro users were faced with further disruption on the day the service was expected to return to normal following a 27-day closure.
Saturday was due to be the first morning of regular service after the lengthy modernisation work, which saw no trains running between Airport, Haymarket and Four Lane Ends for almost a month, but instead the Tyne & Wear Metro system suffered a major disruption just hours after re-opening.
Shortly after 5am, the service’s Twitter account posted to say: “There are no trains running between Heworth and Regent Centre and Four Lane Ends in both directions due to unforeseen circumstances.”
Thousands of football fans making their way to St James’ Park for Newcastle’s clash with Fulham suffered long delays as they were ushered on to replacement bus services.
Buses were ferrying passengers between the affected stations and into town, and were accepting Metro tickets and passes.
The 901 bus was running between Haymarket-Regent Centre, and the 900 bus between Haymarket-Four Lane Ends.
The service from St James around the coast via Monument, Byker and Walker was unaffected and ran as far as Four Lane Ends, where passengers could pick up a replacement bus, the numbers 900 and 901.
David Punton from Nexus said: “We apologise profusely to all our passengers for the delays to train services.
“This is due to technical faults which were discovered when we tested the lines at 1.30am.
“It became clear there were signalling issues and we made the decision not to run trains through the central corridor between Heworth and Regent Centre and Four Lane Ends.
“Trains were running between Haymarket-South Shields/South Hylton, Airport-Regent Centre, St James-Four Lane Ends and all trains were running to South Shields and Sunderland.
“There were no trains between Haymarket, Regent Centre and Four Lane Ends.
“Bus replacement services were running and local bus services were accepting Metro tickets.
“Engineers were on site and were testing the lines again.
“We hope to have all services up and running as soon as possible.”
The temporary closure was in place throughout the morning and afternoon and it was announced on the Metro Twitter account shortly before 5pm on Saturday that the disruption had been cleared.
Trains were running to all destinations yesterday.
However, frustrated passengers took to social networking sites to vent their anger at the disruption.
Barrie Gill wrote on Facebook: “It takes the mick.
“I’ve never known the Metros to be so disruptive in years.”