"A Voice for Durham Coast Rail Users"

Monthly Archives: May 2018

The Coastline sees a number of small but significant changes with many services altered by several minutes.

Northbound the early morning train from Hartlepool starts 10 minutes earlier(0650 SO, 0653 SX) and the former 0832 from Middlesbrough now starts back at Nunthorpe providing an extra service from that station at 0805 but now leaving Middlesbrough at 0819 and Hartlepool at 0854. For the rest of the day departures from Middlesbrough are consistently around xx35 through to 2135, giving a later last train than currently. Usefully the 1559 ‘school train’ from Whitby now runs through to Hexham via the coast.

Southbound for most of the day services run around 10 minutes later than at present (typically xx41 from Newcastle, xx25 from Hartlepool). There is one through train to Danby (1141 ex Newcastle) one to Battersby (the 1541) and one to Whitby (the 1643). There is no longer a through afternoon service from Carlisle, but there is a new evening commuter departure from Newcastle at 1723 terminating at Stockton. On Saturdays there is a welcome new late service leaving Newcastle at 22.32 for Hartlepool.

Sundays sees for the most part an hourly through service between Carlisle and Nunthorpe and vice versa with some trains extended to/from Whitby.

All this gives the Coastline, south from Newcastle to Sunderland, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough better connections from Scotland (VTEC) whilst TransPennine connection-times to and from the Coast line at Thornaby are much improved in both directions. The promised hourly TPE Sunday services to Middlesbrough also begin, as do some welcome later last trains every day. Whilst on the subject of TransPennine, cyclists should note that with effect from 20th May TPE will only accept cycles booked in advance, though there is no charge for this.

Grand Central services remain basically the same, though there are some changes by up to six minutes, sometimes earlier, sometimes later, except for the Monday to Saturday evening train from Kings Cross which departs a little later at 1927 on all six days.

Work by Network Rail has been complete on renewal of the roof at Middlesbrough station. This station has a listed status which added challenges, but the restoration effort has been finished to an exceptional high quality, including new slates, weatherproofing, masonry repairs and repointing. A Star of David in the original concourse wall has been restored with funding from the Railway Heritage Trust.  On April 9th the southern entrance to the station which has been closed for a number of years was reopened once again providing a step free walkway from Zetland Road including a vehicle turning circle & drop off point,