The Anonymous Widower

An Open Letter To George Osborne About Teeside

I should say, I have no connection to Teeside, except that I quite like the area.

There is little that can be done about SSI Redcar, other than hope for a miracle, as there is so much steel being produced in the world, that the price will only get lower and the plant will get less and less economic.

I also live in Dalston, which since the arrival of the London Overground five years ago, has very much gone up in the world! And in some ways, like employment, gone up for those at all levels in society.

So I very much feel, that improving a railway and other forms of public transport, can only make an area more attractive for investment, employment, living and leisure.

Teeside has been lobbying for a Metro for years, to link the knit the area together.

There is only one way that this can be provided in the absolutely necesary short time-scale.

The railway line between Newton Aycliffe and Middlebrough should be electrified, as soon as possible. Immediately, this would enable.

  • The new trains being produced at Newton Aycliffe by Hitachi, to get to the East Coast Main Line under their own power.
  • Direct electric train services between Middlesbrough, Darlington and all points North and South from Edinburgh to London on the East Coast Main Line.

Northern Rail or their successor have been mandated in the new Invitation to Tender for the franchise to provide 120 new carriages to replace the disgusting Pacer trains.

Some of these new carriages should be the IPEMU variant of the new Aventra trains, being produced by Bombardier at Derby, which could by the use of the electrification at Middlesbrough and on the East Coast Main Line and the trains on-board batteries be able to run on the following routes.

  • Saltburn to Bishop Auckland via Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley Line
  • Hexham to Nunthorpe via the Tyne Valley Line, Newcastle, Sunderland, the Durham Coast Line, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
  • Middlesbrough to Whitby could be done later.

The faster electric trains would increase capacity, decrease journey times and improve frequencies.

The only construction needed for the new trains, would be a small amount of platform lengthening and adjustments to the track and signalling.



September 29, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,


  1. It always saddens me to see yet more jobs lost on Teesside, where I grew up. I used to use the Saltburn-Darlington line regularly as a child, travelling with my Mum, on what we called the ‘pay train.’ Now, travelling the East Coast line regularly it always amazes me as I pass through Darlington that the trains heading toward Middlesbrough and Saltburn look as if they could have stepped straight out of my childhood, a few decades ago! Definitely time for an upgrade. Teesside deserves better.

    Comment by londonarchivist | October 1, 2015 | Reply

  2. In my view, if they got on with it, the trains could be built in 2018, which gives them three years to get up the small amount of electrification between Newton Aycliffe and Middlesbrough.

    If nothing else it would be a wonderful tribute to have a metro based on the new technology of battery trains, on Stephenson’s historic Stockton and Darlington railway!

    Comment by AnonW | October 1, 2015 | Reply

  3. […] I believe that the Tees Valley Metro can be developed. […]

    Pingback by Why Is There No Mention Of York Potash In The Discussion Of Redcar Steelworks? « The Anonymous Widower | October 16, 2015 | Reply

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