Teesside Airport station to lose 1 platform and Bridge

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by gavin, 27 Dec 2017.

  1. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    If it did become busy again then they could just re-introduce the shuttle bus from Darlington, but even when the airport was moderately busy that didn't really work. And it won't get that busy again so no need to worry about it. :lol:
     
  2. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Something to do with Peel Airports trying to milk the place for every penny and having it backfire on them - big time?
     
  3. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    OT but a misconception is that Doncaster has the longest runway in the UK. It hasn’t, though it is long enough for anything. It does have the widest though.

    Back on topic, bet a pint of Stella that Teesside Airport station closes before a station opens serving Donny Airport :)
     
  4. splashoutradio

    splashoutradio Member

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    Sorry to bring up an old topic, but just out of interest, are the bridge and disused platform still standing at Teesside?
     
  5. roadierway77

    roadierway77 New Member

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    I caught the once a week train from there in July, they were still standing then.
     
  6. paddington

    paddington Member

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  7. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    The station is little further from the terminal than many airport car parks. The solution is a bus plus regular train stops. The actual problem is that many airport journeys are long distance, airports cannot survive on local custom so with the current services it means a change of trains in Darlo or the Boro or Thornaby. That makes it an unpopular way of getting to an unpopular airport. Teeside has a long runway. Airforce 1 was in there with Mr Bush. If it has a future it is cargo and that too fits badly to rail as it is high value, quick delivery and transhipment to rail for another part of the trip plays badly.

    The problem with this station is the airport, not the railway.
     
  8. AndyW33

    AndyW33 Member

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    The problem is that the airport now has so few scheduled passenger plane services that even if every single person using the airport also used the station it isn't possible to justify a frequent train service.
    Today there are precisely 7 flight departures, one of which has already been cancelled. These aren't exactly operated by high-capacity planes either, they are mostly regional jets or turboprops with between 29 and 88 seats.
     
  9. deltic08

    deltic08 On Moderation

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    The airport has just gone back into public ownership, renamed Teesside Airport again and managed by Stobart Air. It is owned by the local authority with big plans for expansion, possibly including the station.
    I don't think having to change trains once is a disincentive to using the airport. I would use it from Ripon only 35 miles away changing at Darlington (easy cross platform change ) if we still had a station in Ripon and a shuttle bus from station to airport was provided. It would be cheaper than paying car parking for a week.
    Most airports have a shuttle bus from car parks to terminal sometimes many miles between them and than doesn't discourage people.
    Looking at it the other way around, I would have used the station many times for journeys to London and my home in Gloucestershire for weekends if it had been there in the 1960s when I was stationed at RAF Middleton St George rather than leave my car at Darlington station all weekend.
     
  10. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    The interesting thing is that the local councils and the Tory ( shameful) Tees Valley Mayor have bought the airport back and are trying to make it successful again after the actions of the previous owners caused a massive drop in passenger numbers.

    perhaps the future looks slightly less bleak
     
  11. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The problem is that they're in a chicken and egg situation - without the routes there won't be passengers, and without the passengers they won't be able to attract airlines to provide the routes.
     
  12. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    agreed - but at least they are trying to fix things. They have got a couple of summer holiday type services back which the previous owners pushed away.
     
  13. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

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    As far as I'm aware there was a bus service to the station in the past but it wasn't well used.
     
  14. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Agreed. When I went there in January 2018, the airport was absolutely deserted, and the range of destinations is very limited. Surely anyone in the area would end up using Newcastle Airport instead, which is easier to reach and has a much wider range of destinations.
     
  15. deltic08

    deltic08 On Moderation

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    I wouldn't say Newcastle airport is easier to reach by rail transport. It still requires a change from train to Metro at Newcastle Central and a decent walk from the Metro terminus to the airport terminal building if you have much luggage.
     
  16. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    In a different world, the terminal building might have been redeveloped with a multistorey car park, utilising the older hangar areas that were latterly used by the Topspin tennis centre, and incorporating the station. The land where the existing terminal and car parks are would have been released for redevelopment.

    However, the profile of demand has changed out of all recognition since the airport's heyday, and many of the challenges that it faced even then are still relevant now.

    Corporate travel of the likes that ICI, British Steel, Monsanto, BASF, Philips Petro etc., etc., once generated has all-but long since left the Middlesbrough, Billingham, Stockton, Redcar and Hartlepool area.

    Leisure travel has diversified away from a few one and two week package trips a year, dominated by charter carriers to a limited number of destinations, to multiple 'city breaks', stag and hen do's, longer hauls etc., etc., with new airline entrants such as easyJet and Ryanair at one end and Emirates at the other. Both of these ends require volume and scale.

    Airline operations themselves have consolidated and retrenched in some cases. Who remembers (and misses?) Spantax and Air Europa (original incarnation). Operations, aircraft utilisation, costs and and potential yields are looked at not just regionally or nationally in a regulated past, but across Europe (if not globally) in a deregulated market.

    Peel were complicit in bmi's withdrawal from Teesside, but arguably only in so much as they didn't see it coming. At the time, Lufthansa was in charge, and in a failed strategy for them, the Heathrow slots for the Teesside flights were reassigned to their new Lufthansa Italia division to fly to and from (IIRC) Milan. It's not only, therefore, that Teesside's competition is Newcastle and Leeds (say); the competitive pressures and operational decisions are far wider-spread than that.

    I hope that I am proved wrong, but the tour operator concerned is not (necessarily) one that I would back myself. My concern is that any failure would be highly embarrassing and set the airport back even further.

    As far as the station goes, it was never particularly relevant even in the airport's heyday, when the Dormobile minibus used to run between it and the terminal. Yarm was one of the major catchments, but there was no station there then, and no means for trains passing through Yarm to reach the airport without a reversal at Eaglescliffe. Even with a Yarm station now, the same problem arises, and the new station is on the south of the town anyway; anyone in the centre would go to Allen's West or Eaglescliffe or, in only a few minutes more, be at the airport itself in their car.

    It's going to take some serious imagination and resourcefulness to get passenger numbers up, but the airport will only do it if it's aggressive and responsive to any untapped or conquestable, demand and the realities of the global market in which it operates.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And that Newcastle airport, with far better connectivity, is not that far away.

    To be honest, the best chance the station has of decent custom would be if the airport was flattened and a housing estate put up.
     
  18. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    From a railway point of view, that really is the nub of it.

    From an aviation point of view, Newcastle is probably a little bit of a red-herring/scapegoat though; KLM out of Teesside actually has a very credible portion of the total local demand. If KLM can't fulfil a particular requirement on the day, a direct train will take a Teessider to Manchester Airport, from which the choice of direct and connecting feeder options, and frequencies, is exponentially higher than from Newcastle.

    The latter is a minimum of one and usually two changes from the Tees Valley by public transport, and up to an hour or more by road, only to have to face another connecting flight to a hub in many cases.

    Indeed, not all is rosy at Newcastle; Emirates recently dropped to four days a week from once daily for a period (now back to daily), and they use their low yield two class 777 on the route, on a schedule that is itself only attractive for onward connections. Manchester, by contrast, has three daily three-class A380s (with chauffeur drive for Business & First passengers usually only requiring about a £40 out of limit additional payment from most parts of the Tees Valley), plus double daily Etihad flights to Abu Dhabi.

    For the short haul, generally leisure-market, London, Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh by rail are in strong demand from Teesside, and for overseas breaks, the likes of Skyscanner mean that the cheapest options from a radius that includes Doncaster, East Midlands, Leeds, Manchester, (yes) Newcastle and Edinburgh can get attention.

    All this is only obliquely relevant to the station and the railway, though. At the end of the day, as I say, the station is largely irrelevant to the airport, and without housing, irrelevant full-stop.
     
  19. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    I truly cannot see an airport in Teesside prospering. Everyone makes good points about the demise of package touring, London is easy by train, Manchester and Newcastle give much more choice of routes, Leeds Bradford is close too.

    Politicians like the idea, but it is about electoral appeal not aircraft movements.
     
  20. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This man (and others) speaks sense. There is some traffic on the KLM link but the overwhelming majority use Newcastle, Leeds/Bradford or Manchester. And I don't see how that is ever going to change as there is no way on this earth that Teesside will ever attract the kind of routes that would be required.

    I only hope that the Mayor hasn't left the Council Tax payers with a millstone around our necks...
     
  21. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    The change at Central is fairly straightforward.

    As for the decent walk, I’m flabbergasted. It’s about 90 seconds if that from platform to check in desk
     
  22. deltic08

    deltic08 On Moderation

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    With heavy luggage? I wouldn't know as I always drive as my nearest station with through trains to Newcastle is 18 miles away, so once in the car go all the way. It looked longer than 90 seconds when viewed from a distance but I take your word for it. I hope you get over your flabbergast. Nasty illness.
     
  23. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    This "heavy luggage" thing seems to come up a lot in discussions about airports and trains, most notably when there is any proposal for TPE to stop carrying fresh air to Manchester Airport quite so often. The thing is, people mostly are travelling with one trolley case per person, the weight of which doesn't really matter because it is, er, a trolley case. Those who are moving house by air will simply take a taxi.
     
  24. deltic08

    deltic08 On Moderation

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    You haven't travelled with my wife!
    I do agree that too many Northern and TPE trains go to Manchester airport from areas that have an airport such as Newcastle, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Liverpool. Local airports are much more convenient than a long journey to Manchester..
     
  25. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Oh, come on! Have you actually walked from Teesside Airport station to the terminal itself? It's terrible! I've not been to Newcastle, but it has to be better than that.
     
  26. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    In terms of the airports - my understanding is that Teesside Airport is promised a BA Heathrow flight if/when the third runway is built. I'd have thought that if it can limp along until then, at that point a new wave of options open up for people connecting at Heathrow.

    When I travel with work, I like using Teesside: its size means that arrival to being ready to board takes less than 20 minutes. Even at a moderate sized airport like Newcastle, I'd have to leave at least an extra half an hour for delays through security etc. And frankly for 3/4 of my journeys from Newcastle I have to change at Heathrow or Amsterdam anyway, so the only advantage Newcastle has really is (1) the BA/Air France flights which increase my connection options and (2) the speed and ease of use of the metro (I also don't recognise Deltic08's comments) if I'm using public transport. If Teesside can pick up the BA flights without otherwise expanding too much, it could find a market as a fairly easy to use hub for business travel. Chuck in a few charter flights in the summer and it starts to look profitable.

    In terms of rail transport, though Teesside is likely to continue to lose out to Newcastle for people looking to get to the airport that way because the metro offers such a frequent and easy to use service. It would require I think 3 trains an hour out of Darlington for that to be comparable and I don't think that's likely.
     

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