North East Coastliners

"A Voice for Durham Coast Rail Users"

The next Coastliners Open Meeting will take place on Thursday 22 November 2018 at 7.15pm in the Reading Room of The Athenaeum Club, Church Street, Hartlepool and entitled ‘What next for the Coast Line?‘. And who better to invite to share with us their news and views about the present and the future than our guest speakers and long-standing friends Mr Sean English, Chief Operating Officer of Grand Central Railways, and Mr Pete Myers, Stakeholder Manager for Northern Railway. It should make an interesting evening

All Welcome – bar available from 6.30pm

GBRf has given a fresh look to the TyneDock-Drax biomass trains running down the Coast Line which are now almost exclusively powered by Class 60 locomotives recently acquired from Colas Rail. Most are still in Colas livery but with the Colas name & logo removed, but 60095  has full GBRf colours

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The meeting on 5th July largely concentrated on the forthcoming Cross Country franchise consultations and the relevance to the Durham Coast. With DfT thoughts of curtailing one of the two services per hour north of York in order to release a path north of Northallerton, we would like to see this train (presumed to be the current Reading-Newcastle) diverted on alternate hours via the Coast This would give new direct travel opportunities to Yorkshire & the Midlands, and with the Grand Central service on the other hour (and assuming Grand Central are granted their sixth path), an hourly service all day from Sunderland and Hartlepool to York.

Other improvements we would like to see to the Cross Country franchise include

  • Increased capacity – longer trains & more luggage space
  • A buffet counter in each train.
  • A change to the on-the-day reservation policy – no reservations once the train has departed its originating station.

Our earlier meeting with Mark Wilson and Steve Payne of the Tees Valley Combined Authority had suggested that TVCA was largely supportive of the above. TVCA would be publishing its Strategic Transport Plan for consultation in October. This covered Rail matters such as increased service frequency, Middlesbrough station (increased capacity), Darlington station (connections with HS2) and a speed restriction study of both the Coast line and Stockton – Northallerton in conjunction with Network Rail.