"A Voice for Durham Coast Rail Users"

Monthly Archives: June 2024

The next Coastliners open meeting will take place at the Hartleool Peoples Centre in Raby Road at 2pm on Thursday 20th June/ALL WELCOME
Alan Weston -Head of Transport for the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) and a key member of Mayor Ben Houchen’s team, will give a presentation  on  the TVCA Transport plans. 
Hopefully there will be time for a short Q&A session, following which we hope to discuss other rail related matters including
1.Extra “fast services” following opening of Hartlepool third platform including the possibility of stopping at Stockton
2.Eaglescliffe Station redevelopment
3.Grand Central Extra stop @ Seaham (2025)
4.Possibility of raising profile at Stockton station -linked to the bicentenary of S&DR
5.Darlington Station redevelopment-extra/new Hartlepool -Darlington services.

Grand Central has submitted an application to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and begun consultations within the rail industry to introduce a major expansion of services for passengers travelling along its existing routes.

The proposals aim to significantly improve connectivity between key destinations in the North East and West Yorkshire with London, offering increased frequency and new direct journey opportunities. Subject to approval, the new services are targeted for launch as early as May 2025.

Key highlights of the proposed expansion include:

  • Increased frequency: Up to two additional daily return services between London and West Yorkshire, bringing the total to six daily services, providing over 360,000 additional seats per year. A 50% growth on West Yorkshire services.
  • Enhanced North East route: An additional early morning departure from York to London Kings Cross and a late-evening return service providing over 195,000 additional seats per year.
  • New direct services: Introduction of four daily calls at Seaham on Grand Central’s North East services, providing passengers with a convenient direct connection to the capital. This will be Seaham’s first and only direct connection to London.
  • Additional stops: Building on the success of the January 2024 launch, some of the new services will include additional stops at Peterborough.

“These proposed additional services are a significant step forward in Grand Central’s long-term strategic development,” said Sean English, Chief Operating Officer of Grand Central. “We are confident that expanding our operations will not only benefit our existing customers but also attract new passengers and stimulate growth in key markets.”

“We believe these proposals are essential to providing customer choice within the rail industry and strengthening connections between communities and businesses,” English continued. “By offering competitive fares and the high standards of service our customers value, we aim to make train travel the most attractive and affordable option for travellers up and down the country”.

“Grand Central is confident that the ORR and the wider rail industry will share their vision for this exciting expansion plan”.

Hartlepool station’s new Platform 3 came into operation with the start of the Summer timetable on Sunday, 2nd June.
All Southbound trains towards London Kings Cross,  Middlesbrough, Nunthorpe, Saltburn and Whitby will now be operating from Platform 3 which can be accessed via the new footbridge, served by the staircase or lift.
Passengers are advised to arrive an extra ten minutes early to allow time for using the stairs or lift to the Southbound platform.
Photo: Graham Haywood.