Message from Dennis Fancett, Chair of The South East Northumberland Rail User Group (SENRUG). Sent: 27 August 2019:
Northumberland County Council is now undertaking a public consultation on the Ashington re-opening (which the Council now call The Northumberland Line) at different locations along the route. Details are in the attached link: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/News/2019/Aug/Public-s-view-sought-on-rail-line-plans.aspx, and I believe the Council are also taking other steps to advise affected residents. It would be great to get along to one of the events and express your strong support for the proposals, both phase 1 and phase 2, and beyond that Seghill, Woodhorn & Newbiggin and the further possibilities SENRUG has articulated.
Please don’t forget our public meeting on Thursday 12th September, 19.30 at Morpeth Town Hall – guest speaker Chris Cunningham from LNER. I look forward to seeing you all there.
The Great British Train Robbery - a video by Renegade Inc, featuring the director of We Own It, Cat Hobbs, and Nicole Badstuber, a transport policy researcher at University College London (running time 28 minutes).
South East Northumberland Rail User Group (SENRUG) are holding a public meeting on Tuesday 17th April 2018, 7.30 pm at Morpeth Town Hall, Market Place, Morpeth, NE61 1LZ. Guest Speaker Graham Jellett, a TWPTUG and SENRUG member, will give an illustrated talk on "New French Light Systems in the 21st Century". Click here for further details.
We made the news because we've got YOU behind us! So far, nearly 14,000 of you have signed the petition calling on Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to make East Coast public, instead of repeating the failures of privatisation.
PS We believe public services are the best thing humans have ever invented. Check out Cat’s speech to 1500 people (!) at the Labour rally alongside Corbyn a few weeks ago (Click on You Tube video on the right or on the link below).
Please note our next branch meeting will take place on Thursday 27th April at 7pm, Shakespeare Hall, North Road, Durham City, DH1 4SQ. Guest speaker will be Graham Meiklejohn, Regional Development Manager from Transpennine Express explaining the exciting new plans that TPE have for the region with new trains and new travel opportunities. Click here for map.
Most December 2017 timetable changes are being deferred until May 2018 due to the lack of cascaded units caused by over-running electrification, which has also exacerbated Northern’s rolling stock shortage. The phased withdrawal of Class 158 Sprinter units for “as new” refurbishment will compound the problem. Two are in service on the Calder Valley line; future units will address unsatisfactory aspects of these prototypes, eg with brand new seating. A refurbished Class 150 unit also proved unsatisfactory, and has been returned to the works.
In consultation with industry and the trades union, the Office of Rail and Road, the rail regulator has published six high-level safety principles it expects train companies to follow when rolling out and managing Driver Controlled Operation (DCO):
Please note our next branch meeting will take place on Thursday 16th February at 7pm, CastleGate, Melbourne Street, Newcastle, NE1 2JQ. Guests will be Nigel Harris Managing editor of Rail magazine and transport journalist Christian Wolmar.
The GRIP 2 report on the re-introduction of passenger trains to Ashington envisages heavy rail (not Metro) services from Newcastle running half-hourly in the peak, and hourly or half-hourly off-peak. SENRUG would like to see a station at Seghill, but that is not critical. The £191M cost estimate includes a 40% contingency, and a signalling upgrade that would be required whether or not there was a passenger service. The NCC hopes to commission GRIP 3 by December and GRIP 4 by October 2018, with trains running in 2021
The dispute between Scotrail and the RMT union has been resolved: drivers will open train doors; conductors will close them. Also, conductors will continue to be paid and trained to full train and trackside safety competency. However, the agreement does not read across to Southern, as the Scotrail franchise specifies two staff members on every train.
On the East Coast line, catering services at weekends are poor: often there is no trolley service, and even in first class only sandwiches are available; proper meals have never appeared. It seems that VTEC are not recruiting sufficient staff, and RF North East wonder if VTEC have promised more than they can deliver.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR), which gave the operations the green light, said they would benefit passengers travelling to Middlesbrough, York, Newcastle, Morpeth, Lincoln, Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Stevenage. (4 May 2016, RMT Press Office)
Metro Futures Parliamentary Promotion with TWPTUG Chair, Vicki Gilbert, and NECA South Tyneside Transport Committee members, Cllrs Alan Smith and Gladys Hobson.