East Coast Main Line Timetable Deferred Again

I heard today from media outlets that the unloved and unwanted new timetable – scheduled for implementation from December 2024 – has been deferred yet again. The timetable involves reductions in the number of LNER services at Morpeth, Alnmouth and Berwick, and curtailment of Northern’s local service from Morpeth at Newcastle, ie no longer travelling on to MetroCentre, Hexham and Carlisle. As such, SENRUG has strenuously opposed it. The following is the response SENRUG is making to those media outlets that ask for our response:

“SENRUG, along with a wide range of stakeholders, has consistently said the new timetable with its reductions in long distance services at Morpeth, Alnmouth and Berwick, plus the loss of through local services between Morpeth and MetroCentre, Hexham and Carlisle would be disastrous for Northumberland. It’s a “levelling down” timetable that puts the interests of the overheating economies of London and Edinburgh above the needs of mid-sized market towns in Northumberland. So we are pleased its implementation has been delayed yet again, but are concerned the cited reasons are only that this is due to technical issues with implementation, and still with no recognition that this is a poor timetable that doesn’t serve the needs of northern communities, and should be scrapped completely.

We are not against the introduction of a 3rd LNER train per hour between London and Edinburgh, but this should not happen until it can be introduced without cutting back on existing service levels elsewhere. It is therefore now incumbent on Network Rail to spell out exactly what capacity enhancements are necessary for this 3rd hourly train to be introduced whilst maintaining current train services at Northumberland stations. The rail industry must then make the business case for rapidly delivering these enhancements.”

1 thought on “East Coast Main Line Timetable Deferred Again”

  1. In the latest Rail Magazine (issue 1008, May 1st – May 14th 2024), the front cover headline reads “NR ditches December 2024 ECML timetable – Line has multiple clashes between operators”. The whole of the ‘leader’ [Philip Haigh Comment] on page 3, entitled “ECML timetable headache – Demands on busy line make ditching the best option”, and the majority of content on pages 6 & 7 “Pathing issues see NR ditch ECML December timetable” all lead me to think that Network Rail itself agrees with the SENRUG Chair’s comment above that “this should not happen until it can be introduced without cutting back on existing service levels elsewhere”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *