Did the Tyne & Wear Metro ever run expresses?

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Tetchytyke

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Came across this photo on Facebook - did metro ever used to run expresses?
I'm pretty sure they used to run a couple of peak trains "fast" from West Monkseaton to Haymarket and return, but they didn't last long. But I can't find a timetable that shows it, so I'm not sure I'm not confusing it with the peak expresses via the ECML on pre-Metro days.
 

Scott M

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I'm pretty sure they used to run a couple of peak trains "fast" from West Monkseaton to Haymarket and return, but they didn't last long. But I can't find a timetable that shows it, so I'm not sure I'm not confusing it with the peak expresses via the ECML on pre-Metro days.
Thanks. Can see why they wouldn’t have lasted long - they would have just got bunched up behind the stoppers.
 

Anvil1984

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It was when there were fewer stations (before Palmersville and Northumberland Park were built) if memory serves me right.
My gut instinct although can’t prove it is that it might have been one of those things planned but not followed through. That picture was taken about 1990 (National Garden Festival) and Palmersville was opened in 1986 IIRC.

Even with there being less stops there would have been bunching though as the Red Line from Benton ran until the mid 90s (then it became peak / weekends only for a couple of years pre Sunderland extension IIRC?)
 

Tetchytyke

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My gut instinct although can’t prove it is that it might have been one of those things planned but not followed through.
May well be, I may well be misremembering something I've read (I didn't live there then) and am thinking of the old Tynerider expresses via the ECML.
 

mikehhh

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I have this old timetable booklet, showing services from 1st June 1987. There are 2 express services shown in the morning peaks from Monkseaton, fast between West Monkseaton and Benton, so skipping Shiremoor and Palmersville. There are 2 in the reverse direction in the evening, which ran thourgh to Manors, and seemed to save 1 minute vs the standard journey time.
Not sure how long they lasted...20200914_134239.jpg
 

swt_passenger

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Ah good spot, sadly I was only 3 at the time thats my excuse for not remembering!
They’d also make far more sense as extensions of the initial “red” service, as we can now see for those 2 morning trains they would not have been running as variations of the normal coast loop trains...
 

DavidB

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They have for special occasions - e.g.Sunderland v Newcastle football matches, direct from the station with the car park in Sunderland (St Peter's?), to one of the Newcastle centre ones (don't remember which - is it possible to get to St James without going round the coast?

I remember being in Newcastle one Sunday when this was happening, probably a decade or so ago.
 

swt_passenger

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Would the point of the ‘express’ services be more about avoiding overcrowding as opposed to faster journeys?
A bit of both I think, as the example in the timetable shows the two express services on the Red route started back from Monkseaton, called at West Monkseaton and then only skipped Shiremoor, so from Benton to Pelaw they’d have been the same timings as a normal Benton starter. (Palmersville and Northumberland Park were not open.).

So at Monkseaton they’d have been providing an extra empty train via Benton, that may have been a little faster compared to a train from there going via North Shields. So all in all the effect might have just been to free up space on the trains heading the other way from Monkseaton, I guess it depends on final destination in the city centre, and where the effective half way point round the loop was in terms of running times.

Comparisons are easy enough if only going to Monument, if you consider it the centre of Newcastle, but once you have to factor in a change (if heading elsewhere in the city from the coast via North Shields), then where does “via Benton” become the preferred route to take anyway?
 
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Scott M

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They have for special occasions - e.g.Sunderland v Newcastle football matches, direct from the station with the car park in Sunderland (St Peter's?), to one of the Newcastle centre ones (don't remember which - is it possible to get to St James without going round the coast?

I remember being in Newcastle one Sunday when this was happening, probably a decade or so ago.
Yes. You'd go from Sunderland to Jesmond points, switch ends, go via the old Jesmond station (the 'curve' / coast avoiding line) to Manors points, switch ends again and you'd be at St James. Not sure if this is what they did or whether they terminated them at Monument though.
 

ModernRailways

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Yes. You'd go from Sunderland to Jesmond points, switch ends, go via the old Jesmond station (the 'curve' / coast avoiding line) to Manors points, switch ends again and you'd be at St James. Not sure if this is what they did or whether they terminated them at Monument though.
The express runs from Newcastle to Sunderland and Sunderland to Newcastle for football go to Central Station as the police strategy typically uses Central Station for crowd control and allows the BTP to also assist. It keeps fans from the Northern units also with those from the Metro.
 

Scott M

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The express runs from Newcastle to Sunderland and Sunderland to Newcastle for football go to Central Station as the police strategy typically uses Central Station for crowd control and allows the BTP to also assist. It keeps fans from the Northern units also with those from the Metro.
Figured they'd probably do something like this. Going to St James would require two end changes which isn't ideal on a crowded metro.

Plus being honest, who actually gets off at St James? It's kinda in the middle of nowhere really and always seems empty other than on a matchday. If they had had a crystal ball when they were building the metro system to look in the future to today, I wonder if they would have even bothered building St James or whether they would have finished the system at Monument, as I imagine it was quite an expensive station to build (with all the tunnel boring it required).
 
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Anvil1984

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The Metro specials ran non stop from Central Station to St Peters alongside Northern specials doing the same thing. Definitely not any rare track moves through stock exchange lines
 

Kryten2340

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The Metro specials ran non stop from Central Station to St Peters alongside Northern specials doing the same thing. Definitely not any rare track moves through stock exchange lines
I'm pretty sure however back in the day there used to be an early morning service from Tynemouth to the Airport using the depot avoiding line.
 

Anvil1984

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I'm pretty sure however back in the day there used to be an early morning service from Tynemouth to the Airport using the depot avoiding line.
I was speaking in the context of the football specials going to St James via the rest of the world which were mentionned upthread

But yes South Gosforth depot avoiding line has been used a number of times for passenger service (the early morning service you’ve mentioned and during engineering works)
 

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