Tees

Teesside airport 'crazy' train service mocked

Teesside Airport train station serving Durham Tees Valley Airport
Image caption Teesside Airport station's name was not changed when the airport became Durham Tees Valley

Train passengers have staged a tongue-in cheek rally on one of the country's least used services.

Teesside Airport station has just two trains a week, both on a Sunday - the 11:05 Darlington to Hartlepool service, and the 12:05 return.

Independent travel company Chester-le-Track station master Alex Nelson said the service was "crazy".

The line's current operator Northern Rail said it was obliged under its franchise to serve the station.

It is one of the least used in the UK, behind Shippea Hill in Cambridgeshire.

Last year there were 16 arrivals and 16 departures from the station, which was built in 1971 to serve Durham Tees Valley Airport.

But it "was never very close by", Mr Nelson said.

Members of Stockton and Darlington Railway youth team and the Royal Society of St George were among 28 passengers who took part in the "protest"

Image copyright Alex Dodds
Image caption Members of Stockton and Darlington Railway youth team and the Royal Society of St George joined the "protest"

"I'm not sure why it was located exactly where it was.

"If you were travelling out on a flight from Teesside Airport you wouldn't want to carry your luggage all the way from the station to the terminal - it's a long way."

The station is situated more than half a mile (1km) away from the airport.

Members of Stockton and Darlington Railway youth team and the Royal Society of St George were among 28 passengers who took part in the "protest".

"We're just drawing attention to how weird this is. It's a bit of fun," Mr Nelson said.

Passenger service requirements were introduced as part of the privatisation of British Rail to ensure operators maintained certain levels of provision.

Instead of a dedicated service the station could be served by other trains that pass through but do not currently stop, Mr Nelson said.

"It would be a substantially less expensive way of doing it and I'm frankly amazed they don't do that," he said.

Northern Rail's franchise ends on 31 March, after which the route will be taken over by Arriva.

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