Busy day at rarely-used train station

EXCURSION: The rail travellers who took part in the outing from Teesside Airport on Saturday

EXCURSION: The rail travellers who took part in the outing from Teesside Airport on Saturday

First published in News

A RAIL station may have doubled its yearly passengers in only one day after a guided excursion at the weekend to increase numbers.

Last year, Durham Tees Valley Airport’s train station was among the five least used in the UK and rail enthusiast Alex Nelson’s attempt to change that may well have been successful.

Between 2007 and 2008, only 52 people departed from or arrived at the station, which sees just two trains a week arrive and depart.

But on Saturday, last year’s total was equalled when 26 people took the train to and from the station, which is still called Teesside Airport, despite the airport’s name change in 2006.

People came from Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington, Durham and Chester-le-Street to take part in the outing.

The party arrived at Teesside Airport station at 10.28am, before having brunch at Wings restaurant and catching the only departing train, at 1.41pm.

Mr Nelson, who is station master at the independent Chester-le-Street station, said he hoped the excursion would not only increase the station’s visitors, but show that one of the region’s airports is badly served by rail.

He said: “The train back was a couple of minutes late and I was getting a bit worried because I had no other way of getting anyone back. But it turned up, so it was fine.

“It was a very good event.”

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