Had a fun trip to Newcastle on Monday, courtesy of Northern's 10p advance ticket promotion. I honestly couldn't remember the last time I was in Newcastle, but it might well have been when I was still living in Edinburgh, so probably at least ten years ago. Therefore when it turned up that I could get tickets from Carlisle to Newcastle for 10p each way, I figured it was an overdue opportunity for a bimble around the Tyne and Wear Metro.
|Last month Northern launched an offer of 10p advance singles across their network on selected trains as an apology for the delayed withdrawal of their old Pacers.|
Still, I wasn't complaining, it made for an acceptably comfortable 90 minute crossing over to Newcastle on what Northern now seems to be marketing as the "Hadrian's Wall Country Line", as remained pretty quiet throughout despite being only a 2-carriage service.
On arrival into Newcastle, I went straight down into the Tyne and Wear Metro station underneath the mainline station, and went out first to Whitley Bay and Monkseaton, then back through Newcastle and down to Sunderland, then finally back up and out to South Shields, taking in most of the network.
|Sadly it was still raining a bit at Whitley Bay, but it cleared up later on!|
I had been hoping for a Pacer on the way over to Newcastle, but thankfully the return journey didn't disappoint with a classic 142 even still with the original bus seating forming my return journey to Carlisle. It was considerably less comfortable than the 156 out, but I was glad to get one last journey in on this class. Even with the end of 2019 withdrawal now expected to be delayed until around mid-2020, these trains will be getting steadily withdrawn from service as the new class 195s arrive, and it's unlikely there will be many left by the time I next travel with Northern.
|Hooray, a Pacer!|
|I actually quite like the bike storage/luggage rack layout here, it makes good use of the space...|
|Bus seating with limited legroom for a 90 minute journey, less hooray...|
|Definitely not compliant with modern DDA standards for visibility!|