Northumberland Line to be re-opened to passengers

fgwrich

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I know it’s far too early to start talking about rolling stock for the route, but could this be ideal for utilising some of Northern’s 769 fleet? More so if the services can cross the city and out to places like Metro Centre and beyond.
 
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Anvil1984

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I know it’s far too early to start talking about rolling stock for the route, but could this be ideal for utilising some of Northern’s 769 fleet? More so if the services can cross the city and out to places like Metro Centre and beyond.
To be honest I think theres more worthy candidates for those than this line. Bearing in mind Northern are only getting 8 769s anyway. Looking at Railmiles this works out as 4 miles on Electric and 19 on diesel. Again this may be for another topic
 

edwin_m

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As Rich said this money is purely to fund the next phase of design work not a guarantee of the line opening. As for politics I happen to think most of these seats are borrowed because people were voting for who would deliver Brexit at the Ballot Box in December plus in 2024 the Tories will pay a heavy price for their perceived mishandling of the pandemic
This is probably true. The only hope they have of maintaining support is to be seen to have done something for these areas - and quickly.
 

IanXC

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This is a decision already made surely? It’s known to be a heavy rail DMU service via the ECML, hence earlier posts wondering what possible involvement Nexus could have?
I was clarify the debate others were having about what the proposal could even be.

It is indeed my understanding that it's a DMU service as you describe, but my understanding is that there are no decisions on the operator, whether that be a franchise TOC or for Nexus to separately contract.
 

Anvil1984

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I was clarify the debate others were having about what the proposal could even be.

It is indeed my understanding that it's a DMU service as you describe, but my understanding is that there are no decisions on the operator, whether that be a franchise TOC or for Nexus to separately contract.
It probably wouldn't be for Nexus to contract in any case. Whilst they are partners the project is being led from Northumberland County Council as the vast majority of the line is in their area (Nexus only having jurisdiction in the smaller Tyne and Wear part). However I concede by the time this is built it may not be a franchise TOC as we don't know what the Northern franchise will be like and the areas have asked for parts to be devolved.
 

Mordac

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It probably wouldn't be for Nexus to contract in any case. Whilst they are partners the project is being led from Northumberland County Council as the vast majority of the line is in their area (Nexus only having jurisdiction in the smaller Tyne and Wear part). However I concede by the time this is built it may not be a franchise TOC as we don't know what the Northern franchise will be like and the areas have asked for parts to be devolved.
How does Nexus interface with the new North of Tyne combined authority, which basically covers the history county of Northumberland (e.g. Northumberland County Council, and the boroughs of Newcastle and North Tyneside)?
 

Chris NS

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How does Nexus interface with the new North of Tyne combined authority, which basically covers the history county of Northumberland (e.g. Northumberland County Council, and the boroughs of Newcastle and North Tyneside)?
I can't remember the details, but this was taken into account when they set it up.

I think it had something to do with NECA taking the place of Newcastle and North Shields on Nexus's governing body.
 

Mollman

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At PMQs today one of the Tory MPs in the North East asked the PM for support over opening a railway line between Consett and MetroCentre. Unfortunately the BBC live feed seemed to ignore that question and Hansard isn't up yet so I can't quote it here at the moment. Boris referred it to the Transport Secretary.
 

Chris NS

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At PMQs today one of the Tory MPs in the North East asked the PM for support over opening a railway line between Consett and MetroCentre. Unfortunately the BBC live feed seemed to ignore that question and Hansard isn't up yet so I can't quote it here at the moment. Boris referred it to the Transport Secretary.
TfN caught it on Twitter.

I've just opened a thread in speculative ides.
 

adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
Regarding the organisations north of the Tyne that are involved in this project, would it have been far simpler to have it as a partnership between Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive [sic - unsure of "branding" nowadays] and Northumberland County Council?

I recall that in my original neck of the woods in the West Midlands, back in the second half of the 1980s there was a partnership between West Midlands PTE and Staffordshire County Council that reinstated passenger services between Walsall and Hendesford which happened in 1989. These passenger services were subsequently extended to Rugeley Town, Trent Valley, and Stafford before being curtailed to Rugeley TV in the mid Noughties.
 

Mollman

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Regarding the organisations north of the Tyne that are involved in this project, would it have been far simpler to have it as a partnership between Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive [sic - unsure of "branding" nowadays] and Northumberland County Council?

I recall that in my original neck of the woods in the West Midlands, back in the second half of the 1980s there was a partnership between West Midlands PTE and Staffordshire County Council that reinstated passenger services between Walsall and Hendesford which happened in 1989. These passenger services were subsequently extended to Rugeley Town, Trent Valley, and Stafford before being curtailed to Rugeley TV in the mid Noughties.
That's sort of what the North of Tyne Combined Authority is. Nexus acting on behalf of Newcastle City and North Tyneside councils. Unfortunately the politics of the region has prevented a proper North East Combined Authority.
 

Tetchytyke

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Regarding the organisations north of the Tyne that are involved in this project, would it have been far simpler to have it as a partnership between Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive [sic - unsure of "branding" nowadays] and Northumberland County Council?
The politics mean that isn't possible. Newcastle and North Tyneside left NECA to form the NTCA. To keep Nexus representation, NTCA now sit on the NECA transport committee. Confused? Clear as anything :lol:

It all stems from everyone else in T&W thinking Nick Forbes would be a shoo-in for NTCA Mayor, despite Nick Forbes being pretty much universally loathed. He lost to a Momentum candidate (shudder, but anyone's better than Forbes!), but by then South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland had refused to get involved.

As for the line, this is the best chance we've got to get it re-opened whilst Blyth and Wansbeck are marginal constituencies.
 

gimmea50anyday

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If the connections were timed well, would there be a shift of Metro passengers from the coast changing to Northumberland line trains at Northumberland Park in order to reach Central Station/Manors quicker?
I suspect you'd have to work in close proximity to Manors or Central to be advantageous (i.e. not if you're bound for Jesmond/Haymarket/Monument), plus it would depend on fares, i.e. not many would pay more to have one faster connection per hour and would probably just sit on the Metro the whole way.
I would imagine fares would be interchangeable at Northumberland park just as they are at Heworth and Sunderland. Some Tickets are integrated with bus, metro and ferry anyway and include heavy rail blaydon/metro centre-central-Sunderland (not Durham tho as some people keep trying!) so this will likely extend that.
 

xotGD

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The north east has been repartitioned back to Northumberland north of the Tyne and County Durham south of the Tyne. Quite rightly, IMHO.

However, the residue of Tyne and Wear still uncomfortably straddles the divide, especially in the realm of transport, and in particular the Metro.

Extending 'metro' (small m) services out of the former T&W is a good thing, but it needs to apply equally both north and south. An integrated zonal fare system extending beyond the T&W boundaries would be a possibility, but such systems get complicated when you have more than one focal urban centre.
 

edwin_m

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The north east has been repartitioned back to Northumberland north of the Tyne and County Durham south of the Tyne. Quite rightly, IMHO.

However, the residue of Tyne and Wear still uncomfortably straddles the divide, especially in the realm of transport, and in particular the Metro.

Extending 'metro' (small m) services out of the former T&W is a good thing, but it needs to apply equally both north and south. An integrated zonal fare system extending beyond the T&W boundaries would be a possibility, but such systems get complicated when you have more than one focal urban centre.
So you then have a county boundary along the Tyne right through the main urban centre of the region. Transport through the whole conurbation needs to be co-ordinated so you effectively have to ignore that boundary - the Tyne and Wear area makes much more sense in that respect.
 

JonathanH

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And there is no mention of Blyth and Tyne or any other North East scheme
Different scheme - ie not part of the Restoring your Railway scheme - see a different part of Grant Shapps's statement - it was mentioned explicitly in his talk today
 

Killingworth

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The devil is always in the detail. Business case. Politics, finance, engineering, and timing.

The Metro came at the right time. Engineering is the least of the issues now. Post COVID nobody knows how the finances are going to pan out. Shapps can make all sorts of encouraging noises now, but ultimately it will be national financial priorities that determine what gets done and when.

This initially looks to be one of the easiser projects to deliver, and relatively it may be.

South East Northumberland has changed a lot since the line was last used for a passenger service running into Manors. Then it was coal mines, rows of colliery wagons and pit heaps all around. No coal mines today, no colliery yards, and most of the pit heaps have been landscaped out of recognition. New roads and private housing developments have transformed the region. Anyone who has not been there for 50 years woud find it hard to recognise the place.

There's the potential market all but proved, just needing some figures to fill the gaps.

The trackbeds are mostly still intact, except for running into Blyth itself. It's mostly level ground so there are some level crossings that are likely to provide conflict with traffic on major roads.

50 years ago most folks lived near the old stations and walked or used bikes. Today they're more dispersed and use cars - on those new dual carriageways. Providing parking space is likely to be challenging if passengers are to be attracted from their cars and fill enough trains to make the business case.

I note it's intended to be served by DMUs. I'd have thought electrified from the start and continued to Metrocentre would be a sensible bolt on option to any plans.
 

gimmea50anyday

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If you want electric trains running on the Blyth and Tyne through to the metro centre you also need knitting stung up to at least as far as blaydon, while you are at it you may as well carry on to Hexham, in which case does Carlisle then stack up?

But then isn’t there supposed to be plans to see the metro extended from St James Park through the west end and eventually end up at the metro centre? So the question then raises wether it’s worth adding to the metro and electrifying at 1500v or keeping it mainline and at 25kv? The electrification used on metro seemingly complicating its and adjoining lines isolation and therefore wether remaining diesel/hybrid powered in the area is the best case option
 

yorkie

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We're straying into Speculative Ideas territory here ;) this thread should be for updates for what is planned and/or happening, and a separate thread can be created in the appropriate area to discuss what people think should happen :)
 

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