Rail reminder: How Sunderland and Hartlepool services are affected by Friday's train strike

Friday's strike in numbers.
Friday's strike in numbers.

Around half a rail company's usual number of trains will operate later this week when travellers are hit by another one-day strike.

Northern, which runs services between Sunderland and Hartlepool as part of its Metro Centre-Nunthorpe line, has revealed its emergency timetable to cope with the latest round of industrial action by members of the Rail, Maritme and Transport (RMT) union.

Northern staff are walking out in a dispute over the future of guards.

Northern staff are walking out in a dispute over the future of guards.

Friday's walkout follows the breakdown of talks over the introduction of driver-only trains by Northern's parent company, Arriva Rail North, from 2020.

Nine trains will run north from Middlesbrough to Newcastle, calling at Billingham, Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, Seaham and Sunderland, with the first service leaving at 6.55am and the last at 5.33pm.

Eight trains will head in the opposite direction with the first leaving Newcastle at 7.30am and the last at 5.30pm.

While passengers heading to the Metro Centre will be able to pick up regular connections from Newcastle, only two southbound services stopping at Middlesbrough will continue on to Nunthorpe via James Cook, Marton and Gypsy Lane.

Sharon Keith, regional director for Northern, which runs 55 services across the North of England, said: “To keep as many people on the move as possible, we are targeting available trains on our busiest routes and at peak times.

"The majority of trains will run between 7am and 7pm, with rail replacement buses on some routes where we unable to run trains. Customers need to plan carefully as services will start to wind down from late afternoon.”

Northern has previously urged the RMT to get back around the negotiating table to discuss its modernisation programme and to minimise disruption for passengers.

But the RMT, which is fighting against any axing of guards, has accused the company of trying to "bulldoze" through its plans with "flagrant disregard" for the safety of both staff and passengers.

A similar dispute between the union and Virgin Trains, which operates services from Newcastle and Durham to London, has thawed with a planned two-day strike on Friday and Saturday now suspended.

Further details of Friday's emergency Northern timetable is available from https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/industrial-action

The Metro is not affected by the industrial action.