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Newcastle Metro Area For Newcastle, N Tyneside, Gateshead, S Tyneside, South Northumberland



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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:34 AM   #41
Irish Blood English Heart
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I would really recommend them, particularly if you need to travel at short notice so the East Coast fare is beyond the pale!

The service is usually not too packed as East Coast is usually these days, plus there is a lot better legroom on their trains and better service with the added bonus of nice scenery on the Durham Coast section and non-stop running York to London.

On the downside they are slower due to the lower speeds between Sunderland - Northallerton but the comfort and price more than makes up for this.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Blood English Heart View Post
I would really recommend them, particularly if you need to travel at short notice so the East Coast fare is beyond the pale!

The service is usually not too packed as East Coast is usually these days, plus there is a lot better legroom on their trains and better service with the added bonus of nice scenery on the Durham Coast section and non-stop running York to London.

On the downside they are slower due to the lower speeds between Sunderland - Northallerton but the comfort and price more than makes up for this.

I think that London trains from the Central go about every half hour, how often do they go from Sunderland?

It might be worth giving them a try!
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Old June 5th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #43
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There are 4 trains per day between Sunderland and Kings Cross. Right now, they've got a special offer on where it is £15 each way, and you can even buy your ticket once you're on the train. (Only for the evening service to London, and the morning to Sunderland)

It's how I'm coming home tomorrow, then getting the Metro to into Newcastle.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #44
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Ive checked the timetable and the journey time of 3h40 mins (plus the chaff on of an hour-long metro journey when I get in) put me off. Id prefer to pay the extra to get home quicker tbh. If you book in advance EC are ok for price - its very rare i have to get the ticket on the day, i'm not that impetuous!

How does it take so long if its non-stop between KX and York?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #45
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It goes on some crappy slow line after there basically. It's like you're crawling along once you get near Eaglescliffe and Hartlepool.

I agree, I'd rather go straight into Newcastle, but I'm buying my ticket tomorrow morning, and a single on East Coast is about £70. My return to London was £7.95 though on East Coast.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 02:01 PM   #46
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You mean 7.95 on GC? Bloody hell, at that price i might have to rethink! When my travel was paid for by work, they would think nothing of paying well over 200 quid for the same journey. Now that its coming out my own pocket a bit of frugality is called for.....!
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Old June 5th, 2011, 02:33 PM   #47
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£7.95 on East Coast from Newcastle. Although that is with my railcard, and it's probably the worst train to get into London as it is one of the slower ones, leaving at 8.14pm arriving 11.49pm but then that's not too much an issue for me as I live about 10 minutes away on foot or less if I got the tube/bus to Euston Square and I'm not in London on business.

I only booked this on Friday for a train on Tuesday and it was the cheapest available from Newcastle or Sunderland. I'm a cheapskate student.

But even then, without a railcard, I'd much rather go for a £49 single from Sunderland on Grand Central than a £109.70 single from Newcastle with East Coast (assuming I'm not booking in advance). Then of course, they have their £15 offer on at the minute as well. With my railcard it's about £73 return to Newcastle and £53 to Sunderland so I always choose the latter now.

It was someone on here who first mentioned it being cheaper. I can't remember who it was, but I'm grateful.

On another route though, it's terrible that a return to Temple Meads is like £80 for a morning train. A flight can be bought for £23.99 and then add on Metro fare to the airport and the bus into Bristol you're still making a saving, and it's quicker.

It's not very well priced to get a train to the south west from Newcastle especially considering the time it takes. Off-peak trains are better, but then you waste a day basically.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #48
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coming from the west side of the conurbation (blaydon) trains leaving from sunderland are useless for me. so far away it's like another country down there.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #49
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Old mother Seamaster's gaff isn't far from the line south of Sunderland, and I've never seen a Grand Central train go by that wasn't virtually empty.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 11:56 AM   #50
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I'm on one now*, somewhere near Hartlepool. It's reasonably busy. There weren't any free tables or 2 empty seats next to each other in any of the carriages (well, probably excepting first class). But normally, they have been really quiet in my experience apart from when there's been a football match at Sunderland. I had to sit on the floor then.

(*Another benefit of Grand Central; free wifi throughout. Unlike East Coast where it's only free in first class, or only for 15 minutes elsewhere.)
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Old June 21st, 2011, 11:11 AM   #51
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Anger over plan to privatise East Coast Main Line in 2012
by Stephen Cape, The Journal, June 21st 2011



RAIL unions in the North East have condemned the Government’s plan to reprivatise the East Coast Main Line in 2012.

The service between London, Newcastle and Edinburgh carries 18 million passengers a year and has been in the hands of the Department of Transport since 2009 when it took the franchise from struggling National Express.

Now it has emerged that ministers want the profitable inter city operation to be “re-let” in a few months.

Michael Thompson, national executive member for the Rail Maritime and Transport Union in the North, said: “This is bad news for rail workers, the economy of the North East of England and for all rail passengers.

“Instead of slashing services, cutting and exporting jobs abroad, the Government should make it clear that East Coast must remain publicly owned and publicly accountable after the failure of numerous privateer franchises.”

He said that the “axing of a quality train experience” and the loss of customer service jobs was all in preparation for handing over the train operator to the “lowest bidder”.

East Coast trains generated revenue of £234m in the nine months to March 2010, but the proportion of its trains arriving on time was below the national average of 93%.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1PtrP0doF
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Old June 21st, 2011, 01:07 PM   #52
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Ridiculous decision.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 02:11 PM   #53
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Just been searching on google and found some really interesting images of Leamside in its current state.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanplanner

Looks like some of the track only needs minimal work to bring it up to standard. Apparently, the user also says that some points are still working!

image hosted on flickr
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 07:35 PM   #54
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I think some parts of it are totally overgrown or lifted though.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 11:32 AM   #55
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Newcastle to London rail service discussed
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, June 23rd 2011


With the Government committed to spending billions on a new high-speed rail line, there are fears much-needed improvements to the existing East Coast route may be neglected. ADRIAN PEARSON investigates . . .

Twenty years ago, the North East was told to prepare for an exciting new era in high-speed rail travel – electrification of the East Coast Main Line meant that journey times between Newcastle and London were to be reduced to just two hours and 36 minutes.

Fast forward two decades to today and East Coast trains now proudly boost their fastest service to the capital courtesy of its recently launched non-stop Flying Scotsman service is now... two hours and 37 minutes.

So just what has gone on in the intervening years which means it now takes longer to reach London Kings Cross than it did in 1991?


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1Q5dqpxN8
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:40 PM   #56
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That's a pretty feeble report - I won't call it an 'argument'. The ECML was upgraded to a very high standard; 2.36 or 2.37 is pretty damned good in my opinion. That 'fastest times' have varied by a minute or two for (presumably) operational reasons means nothing. Does Adrian Pearson expect times to improve organically, year on year, without investment in new infrastructure or new trains?
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Old June 24th, 2011, 12:22 AM   #57
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And today's news is :
East Coast are offering a £25 fixed price ticket between any 2 stations on their network in First Class (with the free mini-meals and drinks).
Travel must be before 8th Sepatember.
London - Inverness in 1st for 25 is an obvious winner.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 03:21 AM   #58
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Quote:
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And today's news is :
East Coast are offering a £25 fixed price ticket between any 2 stations on their network in First Class (with the free mini-meals and drinks).
Travel must be before 8th Sepatember.
London - Inverness in 1st for 25 is an obvious winner.
what's the catch?
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Old June 29th, 2011, 10:10 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commuto View Post
Just been searching on google and found some really interesting images of Leamside in its current state.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanplanner

Looks like some of the track only needs minimal work to bring it up to standard. Apparently, the user also says that some points are still working!

image hosted on flickr
That may be true but some parts will need to be totally redone. For instance, if you drive out of Durham on the A181 when you dip under the rail bridge near Sherburn House there is a 10 foot tree growing on the bridge. Sadly, I can't see that stretch of track being brought back to life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
Newcastle to London rail service discussed
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, June 23rd 2011


With the Government committed to spending billions on a new high-speed rail line, there are fears much-needed improvements to the existing East Coast route may be neglected. ADRIAN PEARSON investigates . . .

Twenty years ago, the North East was told to prepare for an exciting new era in high-speed rail travel – electrification of the East Coast Main Line meant that journey times between Newcastle and London were to be reduced to just two hours and 36 minutes.

Fast forward two decades to today and East Coast trains now proudly boost their fastest service to the capital courtesy of its recently launched non-stop Flying Scotsman service is now... two hours and 37 minutes.

So just what has gone on in the intervening years which means it now takes longer to reach London Kings Cross than it did in 1991?


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1Q5dqpxN8
There are loads of bottlenecks between Newcastle and London caused by too few paths due to lack of track, badly design junctions or freight traffic utilising them on fast lines.

There is a project listed on the Network Rail website to remove freight traffic from a 12 mile stretch of the line North of Doncaster by remodelling the Shaftholme Junction. North Doncaster chord



We also have the new Kings Cross to look forward to which won't improve journey times but should create a much better experience when departing London.

But in reality all the bottlenecks need to be rectified to realise the full benefit and improve journey times. To me we need the following to happen in addition to the Doncaster project:
  • Quadrupling of the track at Welwyn over the Digswell Viaduct and 2 new tunnels
  • Improvements to the Hertford loop diversionary route
  • Upgrade the current at grade junction with Hitchin to Cambridge line at Hitchin North to be fully grade separate enabling Cambridge trains to cross the main line
  • Provision of a new up side platform at Doncaster
  • Replacement of the flat crossing North of Newark with a flyover for the Nottingham to Lincoln line
  • A fourth track at Holgate Junction South of York station to relieve capacity problems/delays caused when additional services join from the West
  • Increasing the speed limit to 140 mph for when the new IEP trains are introduced
  • Reinstate and electrify the Leamside Line increasing capacity and providing diversionary routes

I'd be happy for HS2 and the subsequent extensions to remain as proposed if the ECML were to receive all those upgrades. We'd have through running trains to Birmingham and Heathrow that would improve journey times using the new HS line from Leeds. And journey times and frequencies to London would be improved with additional paths available on the ECML.

This would keep the region competitive with excellent rail links to the major cities and flight connections out of LHR.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 01:42 AM   #60
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I'm amazed that I haven't heard of that proposed new line in Doncaster. I have family there, in fact they live quite close to Barnby Dun which is in the southern part of that map. next time I go down I'll try to get more information on it from friends and family members down there who work on the railways.
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