"A Voice for Durham Coast Rail Users"


‘Coastliners’ is a Rail User group representing users and friends of the Durham Coast railway line

To keep up to date with all the latest developments please visit our news page where you can find details of general news of interest and our regular rail user group meetings.

We also have a Facebook Page

The Group’s main aims are:

(a) To encourage greater passenger use of the rail line between Sunderland, Hartlepool, Stockton and Middlesbrough, as well as services beyond these limits.

(b) To actively campaign for better rail services.

The group has several aspirations for improvements on the Durham Coast railway including:

  • Coast line trains to run from earlier until later, daily.
  • New or better rolling stock to be used. New stock to be hybrid.
  • Proper step-free access to be provided at all stations with Billingham a priority.
  • Restore the 'extra' half hourly Newcastle - Hartlepool service and possibly extend it south serving all stations to York.
  • Ensure timetables are designed to connect in a user-friendly manner at Thornaby and Newcastle with all other operators.
  • Longer trains to be introduced on the Hexham to Nunthorpe service to provide more capacity and avoid overcrowding.
  • The existing service to remain at least Hexham to Nunthorpe with no curtailment requiring changes at Middlesbrough/Newcastle
  • The introduction of a Northern Connect service linking Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Carlisle
  • Divert some Cross Country or Transpennine trains via the Coast to give along with Grand Central an approximately hourly service to York and beyond
  • Improved bus connections at all stations.
  • Upgrade track where possible along theCoast line and betwen Eaglecliffe and Northallerton for 90mph running.
  • Develop more through Coast line - Whitby services, to run the year around.

The group meets approximately five times per year, usually in Hartlepool when we discuss the latest news relating to the line. Meetings are open to anyone supporting the above aims, though you are encouraged to become a member of the group for which there is a small annual subscription. Click here to join

Most meetings have a guest speaker from within or associated with the railway industry. If you would like more information, please contact us.

The Durham Coast Line

The railways of East Durham were originally built to serve the coal mines with passengers being a secondary consideration. The present coast line resulted from the joining up of many of these colliery lines. This was not completed until as late as 1905 when the North Eastern Railway connected Hartlepool with Lord Londonderry’s railway at Seaham, a project that required the construction of several large viaducts across the Denes. The original web of lines can be seen on the historic tile maps still in situ at Hartlepool (then West Hartlepool) and Middlesbrough stations.

Freight trains still use the Durham coast line, but now carry imported biomass from Tyne Dock to the Yorkshire power stations, whilst other regular freight services serve the cement terminal at Seaham and Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station and more recently scrap metal from Sunderland docks to Cardiff.

Durham Coast Passenger Services

Northern services link Nunthorpe and Newcastle via the coast calling at James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough, Thornaby, Stockton, Billingham, Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, Seaham, Sunderland and Heworth.

Trains generally run to MetroCentre and Hexham with some trains running to/from Carlisle. On Sundays in the summer there is a through service to and from Whitby.

Grand Central trains link Sunderland, Hartlepool and Eaglescliffe with Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London.

Connections are available at

  • Middlesbrough for Northern services to Saltburn and Whitby.
  • Thornaby for Darlington and TransPennine Express trains to York, Leeds and Manchester.
  • Newcastle for services to the Tyne Valley, Morpeth, Alnmouth and Edinburgh, and to Durham, Darlington and the South.