A piece of Hartlepool rail history at King’s Cross comes to an end

DUE SOUTH: The last 2.47pm Grand Central train to start at Hartlepool passes near Newburn Bridge as it heads to London

DUE SOUTH: The last 2.47pm Grand Central train to start at Hartlepool passes near Newburn Bridge as it heads to London

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A LITTLE piece of town railway history has been terminated.

Hartlepool has featured for the last six months as a final destination on electronic information boards at London’s King’s Cross Railway Station.

Train enthusiasts believe it is the first time the town has ever appeared in such lights alongside the likes of York, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

But normal service has been resumed with rail operator Grand Central’s new timetable.

The train company introduced its fifth weekday service between the North-East and London last December.

Trains usually stop in town en route from Sunderland to the capital.

But scheduling problems further north meant the new service had to begin and end in Hartlepool until now.

The journeys to have been extended to and from Sunderland from this week are the 11.21am London-Hartlepool and the 2.47pm Hartlepool-London trains.

While pleased that Grand Central’s services continue to flourish, the change was lamented by one town enthusiast,

Retired teacher Vic Branfoot, 65, a member of both the Coastliners and Hartlepool Station Ambassadors groups, said: “This was an excellent promotion for Hartlepool.

“The destinations are seen by hundreds and thousands of people, including influential businessmen, passing through the King’s Cross concourse every weekday.

“From the town’s point of view, it’s a pity the Hartlepool destination has come to an end.”