Tees Valley line
|Tees Valley line|
Northern Rail Pacer DMU 142021 approaches Longbeck railway station with a service to Darlington. July 2011.
North East England
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The Tees Valley line is a name for the railway route between Bishop Auckland and Saltburn via Darlington, Middlesbrough and Redcar. Also operated on the line are services from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Middlesbrough, Redcar and Saltburn via Darlington (using the East Coast Main Line between Newcastle and Darlington). The line between Darlington and Bishop Auckland has been re-branded The Bishop Line and is supported by the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership.
Beyond Bishop Auckland, the railway line continues as the re-opened heritage Weardale Railway. A regular freight service used to operate on weekdays moving coal from Wolsingham to Ratcliffe-On-Soar power station and Scunthorpe Steelworks, but this working ceased in 2013.
All trains along the route are currently operated by Northern with Class 142 Pacers and occasionally Class 156 SuperSprinters. TransPennine Express operate fifteen services per day in each direction from Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough via the line.
Between Darlington and Middlesbrough/Saltburn there is a service running almost every half-hour during the daytime, becoming roughly hourly in the evenings. The service to Bishop Auckland is more sparse, running hourly at peak times and two hourly off peak. A once weekly parliamentary service in each direction stops at Tees-side Airport. The new Northern Rail franchise operator Northern has announced its intention to increase the service to Bishop Auckland to hourly (15 each way weekdays and 12 each way on Sundays) once the new franchise agreement came into force on 1 April 2016. The unpopular Pacer units are also to be withdrawn once new rolling stock is delivered in 2018.
The towns and villages served by the line are listed below.
- Bishop Auckland
- Newton Aycliffe
- Middleton St George
The section of line between Bishop Auckland and the East Coast Main Line, as well as the section between Dinsdale Station near Middleton St George and Eaglescliffe station, follow the original route of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
The line from Middlesbrough to Saltburn, as well as the freight line to Boulby mine, were part of the Whitby Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway (WRMU). This extended to Whitby, until it was closed on 5 May 1958.
In March 2015, a one kilometre section of electrified track was laid to the west of the line between Heighington and Newton Aycliffe to allow low speed testing of the Class 800/801s being built at Hitachi Newton Aycliffe.
- Home Bishop Line
- Shannon, Paul (February 2014). "Railways Illustrated". Freight Review 2013 (132). Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- Bishop Auckland-Saltburn timetable Northern Rail
- North East to Manchester Airport & Liverpool timetable First Transpennine Express
- Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT
- "ACORP Summary map" (PDF). Association of Community Rail Partnerships. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "The Stockton Railway". This is Stockton on Tees. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- "Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway". www.gracesguide.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- Hitachi Rail Europe's Newton Aycliffe factory connected to national rail network The Journal 25 March 2015
- Newton Aycliffe's Hitachi train plant connected to main line BBC News 25 March 2015
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