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New Whitby Commuter Trains Start Today

New Whitby Commuter Trains Start Today

Published by Matthew Pells at 6:01am 16th December 2019.

For the First time in 30 years Whitby now has a morning commuter train.

The new 06:33 Northern service to Middlesbrough runs for the first time this morning as part of national timetable changes which also see a later evening service running to the town.

Alan Williams from the Esk Valley Community Rail Partnership says the new services are a big deal.

Leaving Whitby from Monday to Saturday throughout the year at 06.33 and arriving at Middlesbrough just before 08.00, it will provide onward connections to Darlington, Northallerton, York, Leeds and Newcastle, and for the first time it will also be possible to get to London and back in a day.

Alan says the new trains open up the entire rail network to local people.

The additional evening service will provide return connections from these places, departing from Middlesbrough at 20.43 and returning from Whitby at 22.21, allowing for the first time an evening out in Whitby or to most stations along the Esk Valley. 

Alan Williams says the additional services will also help patients traveling to the James Cook Hospital.

Welcoming the new services, Esk Valley Community Rail Partnership Chairman Alan Williams said:

"We have been lobbying for these services for many years and we are delighted that residents in Whitby and the Esk Valley will now enjoy an improved service.

Timetabling restrictions mean that at the moment all stations cannot be served, so the stopping pattern in the initial timetable is mainly based on current usage.

We will be working with Northern to monitor passenger numbers during the first weeks and months of the new services to ensure that passengers gain maximum advantage."

The new services are the first stage in a plan to provide more trains in the middle of the day, but the Partnership warns that the services remain experimental, with the evening services funded for a limited period by Sirius Minerals, so it is still very much a case of 'use them or lose them.' 

The new timetable includes a 12.56 mid-day train from Middlesbrough as far as Castleton Moor, but at the moment there is no capacity for this train to continue on to Whitby, as the line at this time is now used by North Yorkshire Moors Railway steam services for seven months of the year. 

Alan says the changes are an important step in making the Esk Valley line a real benefit to local people as well as visitors to the area.


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