Replacement bus services operating on rail services in Durham and Sunderland this weekend

Rail passengers in County Durham and Sunderland can expect significant disruption this weekend as Network Rail carries out major improvement work in Middlesbrough.

The rail operator is upgrading the signalling in Teesside this month in a £45 million project it says will deliver a “modern, more reliable railway” for passengers.

In order for engineers to carry out this work safely, Network Rail has announced line will be closed from Saturday 13 to Monday 15 November, with no trains to or from Middlesbrough station. Bus replacement services will keep passengers moving during this time.

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The work will see two signal boxes – Middlesbrough, just outside the station, and Whitehouse, near Middlesbrough Dock – will be demolished as part of this scheme to “futureproof” the railway.

However, it means buses will be replacing trains running between Sunderland and Middlesbrough on Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14.

The changes will also affect County Durham stations at Seaham, Horden and Seaton Carew on the Durham Coastline.

Kerry Peters, Regional Director at Northern said: “The upgrades being carried out by Network Rail will provide our customers with an even more reliable railway.”

“We are sorry for any disruption during the improvement work and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to keep it to a minimum. Bus replacement services will be available for our customers.”

Network Rail have advised passengers to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator, and allow plenty of time for journeys.

Chris Gee, Operations Director for Network Rail’s North and East Route, said: “While signal boxes and lever frames are iconic reminders of our railway heritage, we need to invest in modern techniques to improve reliability for passengers and create a railway fit for the future.

“This work has been planned carefully to avoid any unnecessary disruption whilst still allowing our teams to work safely on site. I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work closely with Northern and TransPennine Express to keep passengers moving as we complete this essential work.”

Buses will also replace trains this weekend between:

  • Darlington and Saltburn.
  • Middlesbrough and Whitby.
  • TransPennine Express services to Redcar will start and terminate at Darlington.
  • Northallerton to Redcar.
    Trains running between Sunderland and Middlesbrough will be replaced by buses
    Trains running between Sunderland and Middlesbrough will be replaced by buses
    (Image: Armstrong Railway Photographic Trust)

On Monday, replacement bus services will be running between:

  • Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
  • Darlington and Saltburn.
  • Middlesbrough and Whitby.
  • TransPennine Express services to Redcar will start and terminate at Darlington.
  • Northallerton to Redcar.

Passengers will also face disruption in two weeks time, with more work set to be carried out on the weekend beginning Saturday, November 25.

Replacement bus services will again be in operation – however, this will only affect travel between:

  • Middlesbrough and Whitby.
  • TransPennine Express services to Redcar will start and terminate at Darlington.
  • Northallerton to Redcar.

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Chronicle Live – Sunderland