Hartlepool and Sunderland rail passengers warned of weekend delays
Rail travelllers have been warned to expect delays this month due to weekend engineering work.
The ongoing Network Rail maintenance affects Grand Central customers using Sunderland and Hartlepool stations as well as Northern passengers using Sunderland, Seaham, Hartlepool, Seaton Carew and Billingham stations.
Services will be affected on both March 9-10 and March 23-24 due to work south of Hartlepool.
Replacement buses will operate in both directions between Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe and Northallerton railway stations for Grand Central customers travelling to and from Hartlepool and London King's Cross.
Sunderland customers using Grand Central services, however, will not need to use the buses.
Their southbound trains will firstly head north towards Newcastle to avoid the railworks before doubling back south to Northallerton where Hartlepool passengers will join them.
Northbound trains from London will again head towards Newcastle from Northallerton before doubling back to Sunderland.
While the diversion only adds minutes onto the usual Sunderland-Northallerton train journey, Hartlepool passengers will have to arrive around 35 minutes earlier than normal to board their southbound replacement buses.
A spokesman for Grand Central said: “Due to ongoing engineering work by Network Rail we have had to make changes to our weekend timetables throughout March and will be operating replacement buses on some services.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our passengers but we are working closely with Network Rail to keep disruption to a minimum.
“We encourage customers to check our website ahead of travelling and connect with us on social media for regular updates. We also advise passengers to allow extra time for their journey.”
Passengers using Northern services to and from Sunderland, Seaham and Hartlepool, however, will all have to board replacement buses if their journeys begin or end south of Hartlepool railway station during the same weekends.
The weekends of March 16-17 and March 30-31 are not currently affected by the work.
For full details of the Grand Central temporary timetable go to www.grandcentralrail.com/travel-updates/planned-timetable-changes/ or ring 0345 603.4852.
For full details of the Northern changes go to www.northernrailway.co.uk/travel/improvement-works or telephone 0800 200 6060.