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Wednesday, 03 June 2015

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It’s the end of the line for ‘nodding donkeys’, urges MP

THE Tyne Valley railway line is one of the oldest in the country – and so are some of the trains operating on it.

Now Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman has expressed concern about the use of outdated 142 Pacer trains on the Newcastle-Carlisle service.

He has contacted service operators Northern Rail after receiving a string of complaints from constituents and line watchdog the Tyne Valley Rail Users Group.

The Pacers have been nicknamed “nodding donkeys” by passengers because of the unstable ride and “Spam tins” by some drivers using them.

They are due to be phased out of service because they are inaccessible to disabled passengers.

In a letter to Northern Rail. Mr Opperman said: “The use of these trains causes great inconvenience and discomfort to many of my constituents, especially on the 7.42am from Hexham and the 17.54pm from Newcastle.”

He said that over the past few weeks trains have been delayed, are too crowded or have simply not turned up at all.

Mr Opperman added: “I have sent Northern Rail a detailed break-down of the cancellations and delays and I hope that we can return to the high levels of service that I and my constituents expect, and often receive.”