Tyne Valley Line

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mrmartin

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Why is this line so bad?

Rolling stock is terrible. It takes an age to go 60 miles. It links two major rail hubs. Frequency is also rubbish.

Is there any plans to improve this line? Would it be possible to have a limited stop train between Carlisle and Newcastle (maybe stopping at Hexham only)? This would open up a load of new routes, Glasgow -> Newcastle, Preston etc to Newcastle and diversion routes.

The only savior is the A69 road and bus services are equally as dreadful.
 
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markydh

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The frequency will be half-hourly in the next few years with a premium limited stop hourly service that will extend to Middlesbrough via Durham using refurbished class 158s. In theory, journey times are supposed to be cut by ten minutes which still isn't great but an improvement all the same.
 

800001

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Why is this line so bad?

Rolling stock is terrible. It takes an age to go 60 miles. It links two major rail hubs. Frequency is also rubbish.

Is there any plans to improve this line? Would it be possible to have a limited stop train between Carlisle and Newcastle (maybe stopping at Hexham only)? This would open up a load of new routes, Glasgow -> Newcastle, Preston etc to Newcastle and diversion routes.

The only savior is the A69 road and bus services are equally as dreadful.

Northern will be introducing a Northern Connect Service (Carlisle-Newcastle-Middlesbrough), this will give 2 services per hour, with higher quality stock.
 

jkkne

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Why is this line so bad?

Rolling stock is terrible. It takes an age to go 60 miles. It links two major rail hubs. Frequency is also rubbish.

Is there any plans to improve this line? Would it be possible to have a limited stop train between Carlisle and Newcastle (maybe stopping at Hexham only)? This would open up a load of new routes, Glasgow -> Newcastle, Preston etc to Newcastle and diversion routes.

The only savior is the A69 road and bus services are equally as dreadful.

The bus services are only dreadful outside of Hexham, Prudhoe and Corbrudge. There's a regular express bus with wifi and comfy seating (preferable to the train route)

There's also a less direct but regular service to Newcastle again using modern decker a with wifi .

Service west from Hexham isn't great but demand isn't there
 

Scott M

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The frequency will be half-hourly in the next few years with a premium limited stop hourly service that will extend to Middlesbrough via Durham using refurbished class 158s. In theory, journey times are supposed to be cut by ten minutes which still isn't great but an improvement all the same.

Class 158s are basically glorified Pacers and we used to have class 158s down here anyway, so can't really call regressing and then returning to the previous level an "improvement".

But then again I didn't expect any different under a Tory government. Perish the thought a line down south would be running pacers in this day and age and be given class 158s as an "improvement".
 

TheKnightWho

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Class 158s are basically glorified Pacers and we used to have class 158s down here anyway, so can't really call regressing and then returning to the previous level an "improvement".

But then again I didn't expect any different under a Tory government. Perish the thought a line down south would be running pacers in this day and age and be given class 158s as an "improvement".

Yes, it does annoy me that they couldn't have ordered a few more 195s to give Northern Connect services a uniform fleet. I don't know why the north-east deserves less than anywhere else.

Do we know what the frequency will be between Newcastle and Hexham once 2018 rolls around? 3tph in the peaks would be good, although more evening services are definitely needed.
 

Rapidash

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Class 158s are basically glorified Pacers and we used to have class 158s down here anyway, so can't really call regressing and then returning to the previous level an "improvement".

But then again I didn't expect any different under a Tory government. Perish the thought a line down south would be running pacers in this day and age and be given class 158s as an "improvement".

Um....*looks at the Devon Metro....*:lol:
 

DarloRich

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Class 158s are basically glorified Pacers and we used to have class 158s down here anyway, so can't really call regressing and then returning to the previous level an "improvement".

But then again I didn't expect any different under a Tory government. Perish the thought a line down south would be running pacers in this day and age and be given class 158s as an "improvement".

what on earth are you talking about? :roll:
 

sprinterguy

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Class 158s are basically glorified Pacers and we used to have class 158s down here anyway, so can't really call regressing and then returning to the previous level an "improvement".
"Glorified Pacers"? :shock: There's a world of difference between a bus-bodied, fixed wheelbase Pacer and an air conditioned, bogie fitted class 158. The 158s remain one of the finest regional diesel units we have in the UK, in my opinion.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Do we know what the frequency will be between Newcastle and Hexham once 2018 rolls around? 3tph in the peaks would be good, although more evening services are definitely needed.
It remains 2tph (based on the information available at present); improvements in frequency are primarily to the west of Hexham, which sees an increase from one to two trains per hour between Newcastle/Hexham and Carlisle, and one additional train arriving in Carlisle before 9am.
 
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Mark62

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The Service has got worse since arriva took over last week. Every train I have caught has seen the 156 replaced by a pacer. This morning the 11.20 hexham Newcadle was absolutely packed solid. It was a pacer replacing a 156 and had been full and standing since Brampton. Arriva said they were going to improve services. This is what they said on XC and look at the cattle trains they run. Usage on the Tyne valley line is increasing quickly. A responsive TOC would respond with extra stock. Arriva have cut back on their stock. Four coach trains are needed now between Carlise and Newcastle. Arriva have consistently proved that they only have one interest. Making s much money as possible. Passenger comfort has always been totally irrelevant to them. In the private sector these are the companies that go bust. Yet in the rail industry the TOCS milk the state for all they can get. Things are only going to get worse. And the cost to the taxpayer will rise but so will profits for the people like arriva.
Last year Norhtern rail paid put £27 million in dividends to shareholders. How can a company who never made a penny in profit do that. That money was a direct handout from the state sector to the private sector.
And still we travel like cattle in the Tyne Valley. And just about everywhere else.
An excellent start for the new northern.powerhouse. Well The shareholders will be rubbing their hands at the thought of the state handouts they will be getting. And all at the expense of the travelling public.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
"Glorified Pacers"? :shock: There's a world of difference between a bus-bodied, fixed wheelbase Pacer and an air conditioned, bogie fitted class 158. The 158s remain one of the finest regional diesel units we have in the UK, in my opinion.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
M
It remains 2tph (based on the information available at present); improvements in frequency are primarily to the west of Hexham, which sees an increase from one to two trains per hour between Newcastle/Hexham and Carlisle, and one additional train arriving in Carlisle before 9am.

Trains are already to per hour between hexham and newcastle. I can't actually see any improvements under the arriva proposals. When two coach 158 trains start running they will be still overloaded cattle trains. The Tyne valley is my local line the quality of service is pretty appalling. Nothing that arriva propose is going g to change that.
People on this forum seem to ignore the concept of comfort when they talk about new services , rolling stock etc.
 

Tetchytyke

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There's some right twaddle being posted on this thread for sure.

The current service west of Hexham is going to 2tph, one of which will be using a refurbished 158, which has air-conditioning. 158s are a step-up from the 156s, never mind the 142s. 158s operated some trains on the Tyne Valley for about six months when Northern first took over the franchise, but before that it was 156s and 142s, and before that it was mostly 142s and 143s.

Some daytime trains will be busier this week as it is the school holidays, taking kids to the MetroCentre. But it is the same trains being driven by the same people from the same depot. Changes are coming, but not yet. And the Tyne Valley does not need four carriage trains. The daytime Tyne Valley trains mostly cart fresh air about, especially the Hexham shorts.

I don't understand what the issue about a class 158 train is. Calling it a "glorified Pacer" is ludicrous.
 
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YorkshireBear

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The Service has got worse since arriva took over last week. Every train I have caught has seen the 156 replaced by a pacer. This morning the 11.20 hexham Newcadle was absolutely packed solid. It was a pacer replacing a 156 and had been full and standing since Brampton. Arriva said they were going to improve services. This is what they said on XC and look at the cattle trains they run. Usage on the Tyne valley line is increasing quickly. A responsive TOC would respond with extra stock. Arriva have cut back on their stock. Four coach trains are needed now between Carlise and Newcastle. Arriva have consistently proved that they only have one interest. Making s much money as possible. Passenger comfort has always been totally irrelevant to them. In the private sector these are the companies that go bust. Yet in the rail industry the TOCS milk the state for all they can get. Things are only going to get worse. And the cost to the taxpayer will rise but so will profits for the people like arriva.
Last year Norhtern rail paid put £27 million in dividends to shareholders. How can a company who never made a penny in profit do that. That money was a direct handout from the state sector to the private sector.
And still we travel like cattle in the Tyne Valley. And just about everywhere else.
An excellent start for the new northern.powerhouse. Well The shareholders will be rubbing their hands at the thought of the state handouts they will be getting. And all at the expense of the travelling public.

I think you have some misconceptions about what has been happening with the Northern franchises.

New stock does not just appear when the franchise takes over. If you haven't noticed arriva have ordered new trains (which don't just magically appear overnight) negotiated deals with the ROSCOs for extra 150s, 158s and 170s as soon as they become available, promised to rid the franchise of pacers, increasing staffing at stations, increase frequencies across the franchise including a very significant increase on sundays. Introduce a new brand of regional services with higher quality rolling stock. (i won't even comment on the 158s are glorified pacers post.....). Which of the other severely overcrowded Northern services do you suggest they take away from to enhance the tyne valley?

Arriva have not cut back on any stock. There may have been some reductions temporarily due to maintenance, exams, failures etc but no stock has been cut back and none has been reallocated away from the NE.

Northern Rail made profit because the expected passenger numbers were significantly higher than forecast. The subsidy was reduced over the course of the franchise to what was planned because of this. The fact that Northern could not improve services as required falls squarely in the hands of the 2004 labour government who let the franchise. The profit profile for the new franchise is completely different and i will be very surprised if they even get close to 27 million considering the huge investment Arriva are making.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Trains are already to per hour between hexham and newcastle. I can't actually see any improvements under the arriva proposals. When two coach 158 trains start running they will be still overloaded cattle trains. The Tyne valley is my local line the quality of service is pretty appalling. Nothing that arriva propose is going g to change that.
People on this forum seem to ignore the concept of comfort when they talk about new services , rolling stock etc.

Where has it said 2 car 158s, they may be 3 cars, they may be 4 cars at times. How do you know it is a 2 car.

Comfort? So you are actually saying the 158s are not comfortable? Pacers being removed... Comfort.

Even if a pacer is replaced with a 150 that is an increase of 5m per carriage and around 15 seats.

I am very confused as to what your problem is with the Arriva Proposals.
 

DarloRich

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The Service has got worse since arriva took over last week. Every train I have caught has seen the 156 replaced by a pacer. This morning the 11.20 hexham Newcadle was absolutely packed solid. It was a pacer replacing a 156 and had been full and standing since Brampton. Arriva said they were going to improve services. This is what they said on XC and look at the cattle trains they run. Usage on the Tyne valley line is increasing quickly. A responsive TOC would respond with extra stock. Arriva have cut back on their stock. Four coach trains are needed now between Carlise and Newcastle. Arriva have consistently proved that they only have one interest. Making s much money as possible. Passenger comfort has always been totally irrelevant to them. In the private sector these are the companies that go bust. Yet in the rail industry the TOCS milk the state for all they can get. Things are only going to get worse. And the cost to the taxpayer will rise but so will profits for the people like arriva.
Last year Norhtern rail paid put £27 million in dividends to shareholders. How can a company who never made a penny in profit do that. That money was a direct handout from the state sector to the private sector.
And still we travel like cattle in the Tyne Valley. And just about everywhere else.
An excellent start for the new northern.powerhouse. Well The shareholders will be rubbing their hands at the thought of the state handouts they will be getting. And all at the expense of the travelling public.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Trains are already to per hour between hexham and newcastle. I can't actually see any improvements under the arriva proposals. When two coach 158 trains start running they will be still overloaded cattle trains. The Tyne valley is my local line the quality of service is pretty appalling. Nothing that arriva propose is going g to change that.
People on this forum seem to ignore the concept of comfort when they talk about new services , rolling stock etc.


Tosh. What is it you expect to see?
 

sprinterguy

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The Service has got worse since arriva took over last week. Every train I have caught has seen the 156 replaced by a pacer. This morning the 11.20 hexham Newcadle was absolutely packed solid. It was a pacer replacing a 156 and had been full and standing since Brampton
I don't know what sort of unit swaps have been taking place, but you can rest assured that there'll be a genuine reason behind it such as maintenance requirements.
This is what they said on XC and look at the cattle trains they run.
Arriva Crosscountry increased seating and luggage capacity on the Voyagers, cut back on the extremities of the network to ensure better train utilisation over the busy core section of their network and re-introduced HSTs. It was Virgin, not Arriva, who introduced the "cattle trains" as you call them to the Crosscountry network.
Usage on the Tyne valley line is increasing quickly. A responsive TOC would respond with extra stock. Arriva have cut back on their stock.
Arriva have been running the franchise for a single week. How responsive do you expect them to be? Additional rolling stock and service improvements take time to introduce. They are also running the same level of service with the same number of trains; Arriva haven't suddenly hived off Heaton's 156 fleet into storage.
When two coach 158 trains start running they will be still overloaded cattle trains. The Tyne valley is my local line the quality of service is pretty appalling. Nothing that arriva propose is going g to change that.
A 2-car 156 or 158 replacing a 2-car Pacer is already a step up in capacity, and certainly in comfort. We don't know how many 158s Arriva Northern will be introducing to the north east either: The previous Northern franchise provided four carriage trains on the Tyne Valley line at times of exceptional high demand, and we can yet be hopeful (although, granted, I'm doubtful) that there can be an introduction of regular 4-car working at peak times.
People on this forum seem to ignore the concept of comfort when they talk about new services , rolling stock etc.
Refurbished 156s and 158s are pretty comfortable trains.
 
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tbtc

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It links two major rail hubs

Carlisle may be a "rail hub", but it's not that big a place, in the grand scheme of things

Would it be possible to have a limited stop train between Carlisle and Newcastle (maybe stopping at Hexham only)? This would open up a load of new routes, Glasgow -> Newcastle, Preston etc to Newcastle and diversion routes.

I don't know why you'd want to stop at Hexham but not Metro Centre (which gets roughly as many passengers, and is a destination and public transport hub)?

But, there's been a two-hourly Glasgow - Newcastle service for decades now - via Edinburgh - are you proposing an alternative "fast" service via Lockerbie?

The only savior is the A69 road and bus services are equally as dreadful.

...only west of Hexham (which is where few people live).

The frequency will be half-hourly in the next few years with a premium limited stop hourly service that will extend to Middlesbrough via Durham using refurbished class 158s. In theory, journey times are supposed to be cut by ten minutes which still isn't great but an improvement all the same.

Honest question - is the "Connect" service going to be speeded up west of Hexham (with the current Newcastle - Hexham stopper taking the local stops)?

Fair enough, if that means that the Connect service will omit Haydon Bridge, Bardon Mill, Haltwhistle, Brampton and Wetheral, but I've not seen that anywhere.

It will, however, mean quite a difference in the times for the two services, so that the slow one may have to be pathed just after the Connect service and almost be caught up at the other end by the subsequent Connect service

The bus services are only dreadful outside of Hexham, Prudhoe and Corbrudge. There's a regular express bus with wifi and comfy seating (preferable to the train route)

There's also a less direct but regular service to Newcastle again using modern decker a with wifi .

Service west from Hexham isn't great but demand isn't there

Agreed - the buses in the Tyne Valley are about as good as you're going to get for that kind of territory.

Agreed also re lack of population west of Hexham.

Class 158s are basically glorified Pacers

:lol:

Top trolling!

Yes, it does annoy me that they couldn't have ordered a few more 195s to give Northern Connect services a uniform fleet. I don't know why the north-east deserves less than anywhere else

I don't know, but it may be because they want to keep with just two types of DMU for the local "Tyne Tees" operations. Its currently 142s and 156s - maybe the plan is some 158s for the longer distance stuff (inc Whitby, Morpeth) and something like 150s for the other stuff (Saltburn - Bishop Auckland)?

195s may mean a third "small" fleet at Heaton, whereas 158s can be part of a larger pool along with what will be put to work on other routes? (am just guessing here though)

The 158s remain one of the finest regional diesel units we have in the UK, in my opinion

Agreed

The Service has got worse since arriva took over last week

You're complaining after a week? Seriously?

Arriva said they were going to improve services. This is what they said on XC and look at the cattle trains they run

And still we travel like cattle in the Tyne Valley. And just about everywhere else

When two coach 158 trains start running they will be still overloaded cattle trains

You really are laying it on a bit thick with the "cattle" stuff ;)

If a 158 is a "cattle train" and a Voyager is a "cattle train" then is there any point trying to have a nuanced conversation?

Usage on the Tyne valley line is increasing quickly

...as it is on most lines.

What makes yours so special?

A responsive TOC would respond with extra stock

:lol:

Yes, in the week they've already been running it, they should have found some of the Strategic Diesel Reserve (hidden in Box Hill Tunnel) and put it on the Tyne Valley route...

Well The shareholders will be rubbing their hands at the thought of the state handouts they will be getting

But then again I didn't expect any different under a Tory government

Why do you both need to bring politics into it?
 

sprinterguy

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And the Tyne Valley does not need four carriage trains. The daytime Tyne Valley trains mostly cart fresh air about, especially the Hexham shorts.
I'm generally in agreement with all your points above, but I would say that certain peak time trains, and off-peak trains during times of high demand, could do with being four carriages long if rail passenger travel is to continue to grow and if it is to be encouraged to grow on a line such as the Tyne Valley that has been largely starved of investment for many years. I've certainly seen a pair of Pacers leaving Carlisle full and standing on an off-peak working before (there was a match on in Newcastle later that day, although I wouldn't have thought that would influence things much at the west end of the route).

Mind you on the flip side of the coin I've also been on a pair of 156s trundling into Newcastle that were virtually deserted.
 
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TheKnightWho

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I'd just like to counter the myth that usage has been steadily increasing: it hasn't for the most part. Apart from Dunston and Blaydon (which now receive vastly improved services over the previous parliamentary one), passenger levels are around the same as they were 5 years ago east of Hexham. Westwards there are marked increases (of 30-85%) at all station apart from Haltwhistle, which has remained steady, but Haltwhistle is the only station with significant passenger numbers anyway.

This certainly explains why service increases are being improved in the way that they are!
 

Anvil1984

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Its odd that Northern (Arriva) are being blamed for operating a worse service when they are operating the same staff / stock / diagrams than the week before. The 1120 Hexham to Newcastle mentioned up the thread has always been a service wheres its 50/50 on what turns up (in my experience mostly a 142). The only "difference" is that this week is Easter School holidays week so the service carries double the amount of normal passengers. However in terms of overcrowding at these times the Durham Coast trumps the Tyne Valley line which as mentioned for most of the day carries about 50% capacity if that
 

sprinterguy

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However in terms of overcrowding at these times the Durham Coast trumps the Tyne Valley line which as mentioned for most of the day carries about 50% capacity if that
Agreed, I was just thinking that it is noticeable how much the Middlesbrough - Hexham trains empty out firstly at Newcastle and then again at the Metrocentre. As Arctic Troll mentions above, the Hexham terminating services can often be fairly quiet on the Tyne Valley line off peak.
 
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bramling

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Its odd that Northern (Arriva) are being blamed for operating a worse service when they are operating the same staff / stock / diagrams than the week before. The 1120 Hexham to Newcastle mentioned up the thread has always been a service wheres its 50/50 on what turns up (in my experience mostly a 142). The only "difference" is that this week is Easter School holidays week so the service carries double the amount of normal passengers. However in terms of overcrowding at these times the Durham Coast trumps the Tyne Valley line which as mentioned for most of the day carries about 50% capacity if that

Part of any issue is that much off-peak demand seems to be journeys to/from the MetroCentre, which in turn seem to skyrocket during school holidays with many children going there by train for a day out. The economic and political realities of this situation don't seem to work out in favour of longer off-peak trains.
 

Tetchytyke

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I've certainly seen a pair of Pacers leaving Carlisle full and standing on an off-peak working before (there was a match on in Newcastle later that day, although I wouldn't have thought that would influence things much at the west end of the route).

The matchday traffic is significant, even from Carlisle but certainly from Haltwhistle and Hexham. It's not uncommon for them to double up the 142s when they can on Saturdays when Newcastle are at home.

The school holiday traffic to the MetroCentre does throw a spanner in the works, normally the peak trains are the only ones where a bit of extra capacity wouldn't go amiss. But, even with that, it's really only the 1622 Whitehaven that really stays crowded beyond Hexham.

Sunday evening trains from Carlisle can be pretty busy, though, which is a bit bizarre.
 

enrag2000

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The Service has got worse since arriva took over last week. Every train I have caught has seen the 156 replaced by a pacer. This morning the 11.20 hexham Newcadle was absolutely packed solid. It was a pacer replacing a 156 and had been full and standing since Brampton.

The 10.25 from Carlisle was normally a 142 on the previous franchise and outside the school holidays it is not full.
This is an all stops service so it is not surprising that it was busy. If you want more space from Hexham, get the Hexham starter before or after this one.
 

HSTEd

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Which of my two stock responses should I go with?

The Tyne Valley Shinkansen or the Tyne Valley Metro?

I think the latter.
1500V electrification between Hexham and Metro Centre with a new tunnel joining the Metro system. Appropriate new stations.
 

Greenback

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It's far too early to decide that things are worse this week under the new franchise than they were previously!

I don't know the line that well, I've only travelled on it once, on a Monday afternoon in March, so there's no way I'm going to claim my experience is a typical example of the average journey, but it was a comfortable class 158. The arrival in Newcastle was on time, the train was not busy, and there didn't seem a lot of custom or population to the west of Hexham.

Any service improvement is to be welcomed, and will hopefully lead to increased passenger numbers. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
 

cuccir

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The frequency will be half-hourly in the next few years with a premium limited stop hourly service that will extend to Middlesbrough via Durham using refurbished class 158s.

Is that via Durham or via Durham Coast? I wasn't aware of the via Durham part of this proposal but if that's true that's great: direct services to Middlesbrough and the Tyne Valley would be most welcome from Durham!
 

D6975

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If you look at the proposed service frequency document covering the Tyne Valley stations, it becomes apparent that the Connect services will only be required to stop at Metrocentre and Hexham. At peak hours, they will probably make another stop or two though.
It will be interesting to see how they space the two services, the fasts are going to be significantly quicker than the stoppers, so we could end up with the two trains per hour but 10 mins apart (like the TP situation in Liverpool). A sensible approach would be to time them so that they are 30 mins apart at Hexham, so the imbalance at journey’s ends are not too great.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Is that via Durham or via Durham Coast? I wasn't aware of the via Durham part of this proposal but if that's true that's great: direct services to Middlesbrough and the Tyne Valley would be most welcome from Durham!

The 'normal' Connect is via the coast, but it looks like there will be an early morning peak service (or 2) going up the ECML. There is much speculation elsewhere as to whether this will run via Darlington or direct up the currently freight only line from Stockton to the ECML.
 
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glbotu

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The 'normal' Connect is via the coast, but it looks like there will be an early morning peak service (or 2) going up the ECML. There is much speculation elsewhere as to whether this will run via Darlington or direct up the currently freight only line from Stockton to the ECML.

I thought all the connects were via Durham. Otherwise, this is just replacing the current Saltburn - Newcastles (which become Newcastle - Carlisles) anyway, with something that doesn't serve Tees Valley - Newcastle.

Northern Website said:
 

sarahj

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I think if your going to run fasts the stops need to be at least Metro Centre-Hexham-Hatlwhistle-Carlisle. Possible adding Prudhoe.

I used to live at Haltwhistle, so perhaps I'm biased, but I also used to commute every day on that line, going from the old DMU's to pacers with gears that never self changed, to 47's and 5-6 coaches, and ending up in 156's going to Girvan(?). Sometimes a trolley used to turn up on the Girvan train.

Anyway, my thoughts on a 1/2 hourly service beyond Hexham:

1x Hour. Newcastle-Metro-Prudhoe-Hexham-Haltwhistle-Carlisle
1x Hour. Newcastle-Metro-Hexham-Haydon Bridge-Bardon Mill (perhaps every 2 hours)-Haltwhistle-Brampton-Wheatheral-Carlisle.

Then somewhere in between the all stops Newcastle to Hexham.

Other things, make the car park at Brampton bigger with better signs from the A69. It used to be called Brampton junction where there was a branch line into Brampton. (along with a line towards Halton -le Gate).
Get ticket machines at more stations.

The A69 has issues, but plans are afoot to improve. Do the rail improvements now, not as catch up.
 
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