[route] Durham Coast Line (uk)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Clumsy Pacer, Dec 5, 2020.

  1. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Slight disclaimer: this is my local route, and if I had the tools and skills, I'd almost certainly have a crack at doing this route myself.

    BACKGROUND:
    The Durham Coast Line runs for about 47 miles* between Middlesbrough in the south and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the north, of which a little over 4 miles are shared with the Tees Valley Line, which already exists in the game, with 10 stations (19 if you include stations on the Tyne & Wear Metro. As my proposal is in a vaguely historical setting as detailled below, I'm not including Horden station, which opened in June 2020). It presently sees an hourly service with most services extending to Metrocentre, Hexham, Carlisle (to the north) or Nunthorpe (to the south).
    From Middlesbrough, it heads inland towards Stockton, splitting from the Tees Valley Line just after Thornaby (I believe Eaglescliffe should be included here as it'd save having to redirect freight trains into Tees Yard, which doesn't really happen). The line then heads north to the Norton Triangle. DCL trains head right, freight trains often head left to join the ECML at Ferryhill. After here, the line heads for the coast, taking a sharp northward turn just south of Billingham. The route now heads north to Hartlepool, and follows the coast as far as Hendon in Sunderland. During this time where the line really lives up to its name of the Durham Coast Line, you're never really more than about 700m (as the crow flies) from the North Sea, although the line does head inward slightly to serve Seaham, and the sea can often be visible. After Hendon, the line heads inland again, though this time continues travelling north. This serves Sunderland City Centre, and meets with the Tyne & Wear Metro, with which it'll share the line until Pelaw Junction. The Sunderland extension to the Metro (called Sunderland Direct) was constructed between 2000-2002, opening in March 2002. 3 new stations were built for this: St Peter's (near to the site of the old Monkwearmouth Station), Stadium of Light (which isn't very close to the stadium it's named after - St Peter's is slightly closer) and Fellgate. Seaburn (which is actually in Fulwell), East Boldon and Brockley Whins stations were all adapted from National Rail, and were served by National Rail trains until March 2002. After Seaburn, the line crosses under the A1018, from there until Heworth, a distance of around 7 miles, the line is dead straight (aside from a gentle curve at Brockley Whins), providing something of a racing ground for Sprinters & Pacers. Metro stations are on this stretch, and freight is limited to 30mph, presumably because of stopping distances on a line shared with light rail, so one does have to be wary of signals. At Pelaw Junction, the Metro splits off to join with the branch from South Shields. Until Gateshead Stadium, the line is 4 tracks, 2 of which are used by the Metro. After Gateshead Stadium, the Metro heads underground to serve Gateshead itself, breifly popping out to cross the Tyne on the QE2 Bridge. The Durham Coast Line continues overground, making 2 sharp curves to join the High Level Bridge across the Tyne. Here, rail and road join forces, as a one-way road open only to buses and taxis is carried by the same bridge below the railway (pathways are also provided). After coming off the bridge, the line joins the ECML , immediately east of Newcastle station.
    *Wikipedia claims it's 39 miles - I've no idea how it arrived to that measurement. Google Earth and my various BR timetables from the 1980s and 1990s seem to agree it's 45-50 miles.

    ERA:
    I'm proposing this route be set during 2004/2005, when the handover between Arriva Trains Northern and Northern Rail took place. This would mean the omission of Horden station completely, a few scenery changes throughout the route (such as turquoise station signage), and more importantly I think, it's before the line was remodelled and resignalled, so there's a mix of semmaphore signals and colour-light signals, as well as plenty of signal boxes.
    Image below taken from Google Street View.
    upload_2020-12-4_23-32-18.png

    BRANDING:

    There's been a lot of talk about branding & licensing, and my choice of era mostly solves the problem by removing it.

    During my chosen era, most mainline passenger trains ran unbranded (or the branding was so small you could barely see it, and would only really notice it if you were actively looking for it) so there'd be little need to get a licence for branding the trains assuming the base livery doesn't need to be licensed. Given the recent re-release of South Wales Coastal, it's safe to assume DTG have both a Freightliner and EWS/DB Cargo UK license, both of which ran on the line at the time. The only real snag (potentially) on this front would be the Tyne & Wear Metro trains.

    ROLLING STOCK:
    (All images in this section are provided as links because copyright)
    Most services on the line were operated by either Class 156 'Sprinters' or Class 142 'Pacers'. Both wore Northern Spirit's base livery of turquoise and green:
    http://dysgraphyk.madasafish.com/156/photo/DJC_156438_no-logo_Sheffield_030704.jpg
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Wakefield_Kirkgate_2.jpg
    Some Class 142s (which were left in their old BR liveries) were painted in Arriva's corporate colurs in 2003 - promply debranded when they lost the franchise:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/77/Hugh_llewelyn_142_017_(6285803767).jpg

    Northern Spirit's trains were of a (as far as I can tell) a unique specification. Class 156s had these seats installed during refurbishment in the late 1990s: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Northern_Rail_DMU_156463_interior.jpg - other changes included more bins, new tables and diffusers fitted to the interior lighting.
    Class 142s had this interior: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/142017_Interior.jpg and the seats were remarkably comfortable!

    Passenger trains were based at Heaton TMD, which is a mile or so northeast of Newcastle on the ECML.

    Tyne and Wear Metro operate Class 994 Metrocars, in Yellow&Red/Green/Blue livery: Pelaw Junction | The Leamside Line was part of the first mai… | Flickr
    Services run every 12 minutes (until the November 2020 timetable change) and at the time formed part of the yellow line, so ran via North Tyneside to St James. Units almost exclusively ran in multiples of 2. Since the 3/4 life refurbishment between 2012 and 2015, units have exclusively ran in multiple (only one cab being refurbished), and the interior was completely redone. 4 metrocars (4001,4002,4040,4083), however, were left unrefurbished. These metrocars are set to be replaced in a few years.

    As for freight, Freightliner operated a service of cement from Seaham Harbour to the south (I asume Breedon Hope in Derbyshire, but could be completely wrong), using Class 66/6s and PCA cement tankers (already supplied with the Class 31). https://www.flickr.com/photos/xtrmntr007/26775593502/ This service involved the train reversing at Sunderland Docks. Nowadays, the service is operated by Colas Rail, typically with a class 70 using JPAs. The 66/6s are unique, with 25 being built between 2000 and 2007, and have different gearing compared to other Class 66s. This gearing allows them to haul much heavier loads such as cement, and longer coal and oil trains, however their speed is milited to 65mph as a result. Freightliner operate all Class 66/6s, with 66608/09/11/12/24/25 having been exported to their operations in Poland.

    Other freight services could also be operated by EWS Class 60s and 66s. See below. EWS at the time owned and used Thornaby TMD.

    It'll possibly not be feasable to include all the trains, so I suggest including the Class 156, 994 and 66/6 in the base package, with 142s, 60s, etc. included in seperate DLC. The EWS Class 66 could be achieved through layering from East Coastway.

    BRANCHES AND FREIGHT:
    Images from Google Earth. While there are no more passenger branches (aside from the Tyne and Wear Metro), there are many freight branches and locations along the line - Tees Yard and Tyne Yard are both on (or near) the line. Heading south to north, there's...
    - ... what looks like a scrap centre near Stockton station (SB access only.)
    upload_2020-12-4_23-58-8.png
    - ... a branch line to Seal Sands comes off at Billingham, which serves an oil refinery (SB access only).
    - ... a steel works (SB access only).
    - ... Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station (NB access only).
    - ... whatever this is (NB access only)
    upload_2020-12-5_0-1-11.png
    - ... Seaham Harbour (NB access only).
    - ... Sunderland Docks (which was somewhat in decline and was only really used for the cement train to turn around - SB access only).
    - ... the line to Tyne Dock (imports coal, and also serves occasional intermodal trains - access to both directions).
    - ... Tyne Yard.

    STATIONS:
    The national rail stations are:
    - Middlesbrough
    - Thornaby
    - Stockton
    - Billingham
    - Seaton Carew
    - Hartlepool
    - Seaham
    - Sunderland (shared with Metro services)
    - St Peter's*
    - Stadium of Light*
    - Seaburn*
    - East Boldon*
    - Brockley Whins*
    - Fellgate*
    - Pelaw*
    - Heworth (shared with Metro - seperate platforms)
    - Felling*
    - Gateshead Stadium*
    - Gateshead*
    - Newcastle Central (shared with Metro - seperate platforms)
    *Tyne and Wear Metro only.
    Between Sunderland and Pelaw, Metro services share the line with National Rail - as such there's a very low speed limit for freight services. Until very recently, Sunderland was unique in the whole country, as light rail and heavy rail services shared the same platforms (I understand Rotherham Central has a similar layout). Sunderland, Gateshead and the Metro platforms at Newcastle are underground.

    SERVICES:
    In the 2003 timetable, a half-hourly service was provided between Hartlepool and Newcastle. One train per hour extended to Middlesbrough, of which one train every 2 hours extended to York. Hartlepool services were shortened to Sunderland in 2004, and completely withdrawn in 2005/2006.
    Services from hartlepool terminated at Carlisle, services from Carlisle terminated at Middlesbrough, services from Middlesbrough terminated at Hexham, and services from Hexham terminated at Hartlepool/Sunderland. For gameplay's sake, it could be more beneficial to use the 2003 timetable.
    Also in the 2003 timetable, a shuttle service ran between Newcastle and MetroCentre, which could also provide some interesting gameplay, as the service only takes 8 minutes to complete in both directions (not including reversal at MetroCentre) and the extension would be very short - only an extra 3 miles, with a station at Dunston. This would also provide some justification for including Tyne Yard.

    Freight services were irregular, but possible routes are:
    - Seaham Harbour - Eaglescliffe for Breedon Hope (Class 66/6, Freightliner, PCA tankers) + empties from Tyne Yard. This service typically only ran once per week.
    - North Tees Oil (Seal Sands) - Eaglescliffe/Tees Yard for the south (Class 66, 60 or 37, EWS, TEA oil tankers) + empties return
    - Tees Yard - Hartlepool BSC (Class 66, 60 or 37, EWS, BAA/BBA or similar) + empties return
    - Hartlepool BSC - Tees Yard for further export (Class 66, 60 or 37, EWS, OBA (suggestion)) + empties return
    - Hartlepool Power Station - Tyne Yard for Sellafield (Class 20 or 37, DRS, FNA)
    - Tyne Coal Depot - Tees Yard for Redcar Steel Works (Class 66, 60 or 37, EWS, HTA) + empties return.
    There could also be options for intermodal freight services, perhaps using the Class 66 and wagons from Great Western Express, as long as it doesn't swap into DBS livery.

    Please let me know your thoughts on this, and thanks for reading this near-essay :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
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  2. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    upload_2020-12-5_16-54-49.png
    Decided to ammend this with a diagram from Google Earth, showing the outline of the route, for those not from the area. Also just realised that the bit between Middlesbrough and Billingham looks a bit like the greek letter Sigma (Σ)
     
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  3. jack.a.varley04

    jack.a.varley04 Active Member

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    Having a class 156 is a dream for tsw and this route is practically a modern tees vally line
     
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  4. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. It's possibly just as modern as TVL in this proposal, as it's before the modernisation scheme, but of course with more modern trains. I really like the early privatisation era, plus I'd like to revisit memories of this route as it was in the mid-2000s.
     
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  5. 59321747

    59321747 Well-Known Member

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    Newcastle to York, haha
     
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  6. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Good presentation and great suggestion, regardless of era.
     
  7. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks OldVern :)

    I've since found out, before the Metro got extended to Sunderland, they used 153s on Newcastle - Sunderland local services (in conjunction with 142s and 143s before they went to Devon/Wales), calling at Heworth, Brockley Whins, East Boldon and Seaburn - longer distance services ran (and still run) non-stop between Heworth and Sunderland.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66289212@N07/7980121053/in/photostream/
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2021
  8. KatiaBLR

    KatiaBLR Active Member

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    great suggestion, i'd buy this for sure
     
  9. Lil jj

    Lil jj Active Member

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    I actually suggested that
     
  10. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    The fun part here is that you have the normal AWS TPWS DSD DRA used by Sprinters 15x and Pacers 14x while Tyne and Wear Metro use the familiar PZB Indusi System if you played German routes.
     
  11. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    I've looked into it and it appears indusi is only used to stop trains that have passed a red signal or are going too fast at certain places (such as approaching a level crossing or a terminal platform). There appears to be nothing in the Metrocar cabs to acknowledge any PZB warning anyway.
    [​IMG]
    (yes, the cab really is that small, and yes it also doesn't have AWS - presumably the fact it's fitted with magnetic track brakes meant it didn't have to be retrofitted when the network was extended to Sunderland)

    Which on one hand is a shame but on another it kinda isn't - less faff and more trains ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
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  12. ralphy_porter2000

    ralphy_porter2000 Active Member

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    This is a first-class (no pun intended) presentation, but as someone who has lived in the area 50 years I have to add it would be a lot more interesting from a stock and play value perspective for the game if set in the 60/70's.
    Even a trimmed down version i.e. North Tyne loop, South Shields and Sunderland branches to Darlington would have a fair old scope set in the 60/70s
     
  13. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks :)
    I'd certainly like to see the Tyneside locals in the 70s - particularly if they came with a different first-gen DMU (perhaps a 104 or 105), however I think at that point we're into two separate routes territory.
    It'd also be interesting to see the DCL further back, with the collieries still open, perhaps with the branch up to Murton with the steep Seaton bank (would be good to hone your braking skills) - were passenger services at that time loco hauled or DMU? I know there was a brief stint of Class 47s/45s/31s and 3 coaches doing some services in the late 80s. I've only really suggested it be set in around 2005 due to my personal nostalgia. Also sprinters and the novelty of light rail rapid transit sharing track with heavy rail.
     
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  14. Subway#2400

    Subway#2400 Member

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    Pacers in TSW ? Hell yes !
     
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  15. Train Sim 9723

    Train Sim 9723 Well-Known Member

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    Route would be a great example of bringing in a more modern northern route as the divide seems to be modern south and old north
     
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  16. Lil jj

    Lil jj Active Member

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    #modernnorthernroute
     
  17. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's a shame and I think it's entirely because the northern franchises have been very tight on licensing, hence why I had a small branding section saying it would actually be quite realistic if the sprinters and pacers unbranded. Hopefully they can get a license for the new OLR, although I'd still love for it to be in 2004/2005, mainly from a nostalgia perspective, but also as a couple of the side industries have closed down since.
     
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