Station toilets and waiting room to close as face-to-face train ticket firm announces its closure

Chester-le-Track is based at Chester-le-Street railway station, as well as Eaglescliffe, but will close at the end of next month. Image copyright Google Maps.
Chester-le-Track is based at Chester-le-Street railway station, as well as Eaglescliffe, but will close at the end of next month. Image copyright Google Maps.

A firm which sold passengers train tickets over the counter has confirmed it will shut down, leaving a station unstaffed.

Chester-le-Track, which runs at Chester-le-Street and Eaglescliffe, will service its last customers at the end of next month.

Eaglescliffe railway station, where Chester-le-Track also runs an office. Image copyright Google Maps.

Eaglescliffe railway station, where Chester-le-Track also runs an office. Image copyright Google Maps.

It will also mean the Chester-le-Street will be unstaffed, leading to the closure of its toilets and waiting room.

A statement posted by stationmaster Alex Nelson said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Chester le Track will cease trading at our Chester le Street and Eaglescliffe stations from close of business on Saturday, March 31.

"Falling revenue and the increased use of internet sales on portable devices and mobile phones has made the business unprofitable because we only survive from the sale of tickets at the stations and on our phone lines.

"When we opened in 1999, 90% of customers making journeys originating from Chester-le-Street bought their tickets at the station.

"Although passenger numbers have risen greatly, the proportion purchasing at the station has fallen to 20-30%.

"We regret this will involve the closure of the waiting room and toilets for all passengers as the station will be unstaffed.

"Trains will continue to call at the stations, but tickets should be purchased from the automatic machines Northern Rail are providing, or on the train.

"At Eaglescliffe, Grand Central are reviewing how to provide services for the passengers on their London Service.

"Our team has enjoyed serving you for the last 18 years and we thank you very much for your custom."

The company said its staff spend around 2,000 hours a year booking tickets for customers, helping them to find a bargain.

It charged no booking fee, no credit or debit card fee and sends out tickets by post for free.