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Tees Valley Metro

Tees Valley Metro
Type Metro, Commuter Rail
Status Project cancelled due to lack of funding. Focus now on Northern Rail franchise.
Locale Tees Valley Region
Services Line 1 (Darlington via Middlesbrough to Saltburn)
Line 2 (Hartlepool to Nunthorpe Parkway)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The Tees Valley Metro is a project to upgrade the Tees Valley Line and sections of the Esk Valley Line and Durham Coast Line to provide a faster and more frequent service. In the initial phases the services will be heavy rail mostly along existing alignments. The later phase may introduce tram-trains to allow street running. The project is backed by all the local authorities through which the system will run, the authorities are: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-On-Tees. Support was also forthcoming from the Department for Transport. The "Metro" brand has since been dropped and the overall project substantially downgraded. Of the original "Tees Valley Metro" project, only the construction of a new station at James Cook University Hospital has come to fruition.


  • Route 1
  • Detailed plans 2
    • Phase 1 2.1
    • Phase 2 2.2
  • Current status 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The expected initial routes will use sections of the Tees Valley, Esk Valley and Durham Coast Lines. There are no current plans as to the interoperability of the continuing services and the new metro services. This will be considered at the next stage of the process.[1] Several new stations will be built along the routes in two stages. After stage two additional routes using street running may be considered.

Detailed plans

The project is planned to be delivered in two phases, with the first phase split into stages.

Phase 1

Initial work could be complete by December 2012 and include:

These improvements are estimated to cost £30 – 40 million.[2]

The second stage of Phase 1 is due to be completed in December 2014, after the renewal of the current Northern Rail franchise.

  • New stations at Teesside Park, Morton Park and Middlehaven.
  • New rolling stock, Class 172 Turbostar is highly likely.
  • Refurbishment of other stations on Route 1

The cost of these improvements is estimated at £50 – 60 million.[2]

Phase 2

This phase includes improvements to the Esk Valley Line between Nunthorpe and Middlesbrough, and on the Durham Coast Line between Middlesbrough and Hartlepool; new stations at Morton Palms, Middlehaven, The Ings and Nunthorpe Parkway are proposed, and a further reduction in journey times between Darlington and Stockton.

Current status

This project has been officially shelved by central Government and Tees Valley Unlimited due to lack of and cut funding for the project by Government and lack of interest in the project from Network Rail.

Rail services provided by Northern Rail with some work to try and marginally improve journey times is now the plan going forward.

The Government whilst not ensuring has requested that new franchise holder from 2016 onwards must attempt to refurbish or replace 35 yr old Pacer trains currently in use.

The project received approval from the Interim Regional Transport Board in September 2008, allowing more detailed plans and a public consultation to go ahead. If approved and funded, construction of the first phase may commence in 2010[3] and should be completed by the end of 2013. Phase one would cost around £80 million and Network Rail has already committed £40 million for signalling improvements. The second phase would cost a further £140 million and would be in place by 2018.

On 23 July 2009 the project received in-principle funding from the Department for Transport via the Regional Funding Allocation process. Each of the individual components is being treated as an individual project, eligible for fast track funding.[4] Funding is expected for the two new platforms at Darlington, the reopening of platform 3 at Middlesbrough, the relocation of Teesside Airport station to within 350 m of the terminal building, improvements at Eaglescliffe, Thornaby and Hartlepool, including new lifts and footbridges, and the new station at James Cook University Hospital.[5][6] Reports mentioned a possible new station between Middlesbrough and Redcar Central, proposed as a new station for Wilton International,[4] reopening Grangetown Station or improving and bringing South Bank station fully into use,[5] or relocating Redcar British Steel station[2] As well as the infrastructure improvements the improved rolling stock and increased frequency for trains will be introduced.[5]

In 2014, a new railway station at the rear of James Cook University Hospital, was built and opened.[7]

Route of proposed 'Tees Valley Metro'.

In May 2014, Thornaby Railway Station's ticket office was refurbished and extended.


  1. ^ "Tees Valley Unlimited: Transport for Tees Valley" (PDF). Retrieved 12 July 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Draft Business Case" (PDF). Retrieved 12 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Tees Valley Metro".  
  4. ^ a b "Formalities waived for Tees Valley Metro stations". Transport Briefing. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "£30m pledge for Tees Valley Metro". Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "Boost for Tees Valley metro plan". BBC. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Work begins on new £2.2m rail station at the back of James Cook University Hospital". Retrieved 6 February 2014. 

External links

  • Details from the Darlington Transport Forum(PDF)
  • Tees Valley Regeneration
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