Thursday, 21 January 2016

Progress on Tyne Valley Line - a revised bus schedule, more carriages, and working on extending the reach of the temporary line

I have been contacted by a number of constituents, and the Tyne Valley Rail Network, about the real difficulties in getting to work with the current problems on the Tyne Valley line. This is not about attributing blame for the floods and landslip, but about trying to get the best deal for local residents, whilst the problem is solved.

Thousands of tonnes of earth need to be removed from the site at Farnley Haugh, near Corbridge, after exceptional rainfall caused drainage to become overwhelmed, leading to a major landslip near the railway line.

I have met with Network Rail, and the many contractors on site, to see the problem for myself. It is one of the biggest engineering problems I have ever seen. Over 35,000 tons of earth, trees, and debris have to be made safe, moved and then reinstated. That work will not be easy but in the mean time we must make it as easy as possible for people to get to work.

Following representations i have made to Northern Rail they have now changed the timings of it's replacement bus service to ensure it connects into the 8am train departure from Prudhoe. The new timings are below:

Arr - Dep
Hexham 07.20
Corbridge 07.27 - 07.27
Riding Mill 07.34 -  07.34
Stocksfield 07.41 - 07.41
Prudhoe 07.52 -  07.52
MetroCentre 08.17 - 08.17
Newcastle 08.32
In addition, there are now more carriages both ways and they are getting back to me on the extension of the service to include Stocksfield and Riding Mill. I will update on progress

Ensuring the replacement service was linked up to the trains leaving Prudhoe station has been the most important issue and that is now resolved. I will be having further discussions about capacity, extra services and hope to make this difficult time for commuters are painless as possible. Discussions with northern rail and network rail are ongoing