Stella West Transformer to cross Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge

  • A 128-tonne electricity transformer is being delivered by ship and trailer this weekend
  • The transformer will be transported through Newcastle City Centre and across the Tyne Bridge

An electricity transformer, the size of a large motorhome, is being delivered by ship and trailer to National Grid’s Stella West Substation this weekend.

Transformers step up or step down the voltage of electricity between different circuits. They play a vital role in helping ensure the UK continues to enjoy safe and reliable electricity supplies. National Grid needs to replace the old transformer at Stella West Substation, which has now reached the end of its life.  

After having travelled most of its journey by sea, the new 128-tonne transformer will arrive at Shepherd Offshore Technology Park in Wallsend on the evening of Saturday 12 June. The final stretch of the transformer’s journey will be by road in the early hours of Sunday 13 June and will involve crossing the Tyne Bridge.

Once loaded onto the delivery vehicle (a 16-axle girder trailer connected to two Trojan ballast trucks), the transformer will depart Shepherd Offshore Technology Park around 12am on Sunday 13 June. The transformer will then travel to The Quayside, where it will cross the Tyne Bridge, before making its way to the Stella West National Grid Substation in Blaydon.

The road delivery is expected to take around five hours and the transformer will travel for 17.5 miles at approximately 12 miles per hour. The transformer is expected to arrive at Stella West Substation around 5am on Sunday 13 June.

There will be a rolling road closure with a police escort to help manage traffic and make the process as smooth and safe as possible, but the exceptional size of the load and its speed of travel means there may be some delays. National Grid, alongside its delivery partner Mammoet, transformer manufacturer Siemens Energy, and the police and highways authorities, have spent months carefully planning the delivery and route to keep disruption to traffic and people who live in the area to a minimum. 

The transformer will follow this route in the early hours of Sunday 13 June:

  • Depart Shepherds Offshore Technology Park, Rendle Road
  • Travel north along the A186 through Walker
  • Turn left onto the A187 and travel through Walkergate
  • Take the A193 through Byker
  • Take the A167 and cross the Tyne Bridge
  • Take the exit for A184 westbound
  • Take the A1 southbound and make a U-turn at Team Valley
  • Follow the A1 north-westbound
  • Take Junction 71 exit, turn left onto Hollinside Road
  • Turn right onto Market Lane
  • Turn left onto Hexham Road
  • Cross the River Derwent and follow the B6317 to Stella
  • Turn right onto Haugh Lane and continue along Newburn Bridge Road
  • Arrive at National Grid Stella West Substation

National Grid recommend that anyone planning to use the roads along the route during the time of delivery should try to find alternative routes or allow additional time for their journey. They have also written to residents to request that cars parked along the route are moved from 12am to 5am on Sunday 13 June, to make sure the transformer can be delivered safely and efficiently

National Grid project manager, George Hawkings, said:Transformers play a vital role in helping to supply electricity, without interruption, to millions of people. We recognise this is a busy route, but we’ve been planning this for months to make sure we can continue to deliver power reliably to the local area while keeping disruption to a minimum.”

To keep you updated and informed during the delivery period of the transformer, we have a broadcast text message service you can subscribe to. To receive updates on the transformer delivery and subscribe to this text messaging service, please text INFO to +44 7984 358 060. Please note that, given the timing of the journey, subscribers to this service are likely to receive notifications in the early hours of Sunday 13 June. You can also contact National Grid’s community relations team by calling 08081 969 489 or emailing [email protected].