A new timetable for Metro services between Sunderland and South Hylton stations has restored a ‘missing’ stop at Millfield station in Sunderland that has existed for the past two years.
The 11th December timetable change affects only service between Sunderland and South Hylton. Some trains are re-timed by a minute. New timetables are available here.
Since May 2009, when the service in the area was increased from two to five trains an hour, one train per hour from South Hylton towards Airport has not stopped at Millfield during Monday-Saturday daytimes and early evening.
This is because the extra minute saved as a result allowed Metro to hit its ‘slot’ between other trains on the busy line shared by operator between Sunderland and Newcastle, including Northern, Grand Central and freight services.
But Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, and Network Rail, which owns the shared tracks between Pelaw and South Hylton, have since worked out a way to save a minute and restore the missing stop.
Tobyn Hughes, Director of Customer Services at Nexus said: “In 2009 years ago we increased the number of Metro services to South Hylton to five per hour. This was a good thing, but we could only do it by having the shortest possible turn-round time at South Hylton and also one service skipping Millfield.
“Railways are just like airport flight paths – we share a busy line between Sunderland and Pelaw and we have to be on it at exactly the right time to fit with other trains and avoid longer journeys for everyone.
“Skipping Millfield once an hour was the best solution at the time, but understandably it confused some passengers and we were never happy with the arrangement. The good news is from now on every train will stop at Millfield, and all other stations.”