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During a single journey on the Metro yesterday, messages alerted Wendy and me to six problems.

Three of these directly impacted our journey:

  • The service is suspended in both directions between Pelaw and Brockley Whins due to a vehicle striking a railway bridge on Network Rail infrastructure. Due to industrial action by Go North East, few buses are operating in the area. Customers may need to seek alternative arrangements where possible.
  • The age of our current fleet means we are facing some challenges with train availability. This is impacting on today’s service.
  • We’re aware that some of our trains are warmer than they should be at the moment and would like to apologise for any discomfort this is causing our customers. Our partners at Stadler have identified the issues are are working to resolve it.

Three did not:

  • The lift at Monument between the platforms and the ticket concourse is out of use. If you require step free access, please use St James, Central or Haymarket.
  • The lift on Platform 1 at Chichester is out of service. Customers requiring step free access are advised to travel on one stop and return via the other platform.
  • During the canopy refurbishment works at Whitley Bay station, please could customers use the full length of Platform 1 to board the trains.

It’s a lot to process.

This post was filed under: Post-a-day 2023, .


This post was filed under: Art, Post-a-day 2023, , , .

A sign of things to come

Across the Tyne and Wear Metro, new signs have appeared.

Previously, the position at which the drivers’ cab of the Metrocars should stop in stations was marked with a diamond-shaped “S” sign. Of course, Metrocars used to differ in length, shorter services operating on Sundays, but the front always stopped in the same position. This practice ended about a decade ago, and the facility to vary the train lengths ended when carriages were permanently coupled together during refurbishment, leaving a redundant drivers’ cab at one end of each.

Recently, the diamonds have been joined by new signs indicating the point in each station where the front of the shiny new trains should stop. These are required as, later this year, the 43-year-old trains will start to be replaced by new Class 555 trains with a fixed length of five carriages. And, I can only assume, slightly longer trains mean slightly different stopping positions.

This post was filed under: Post-a-day 2023, , .

A wintery coastal walk

One of the joys of where we live is that we’re very close to both open countryside and stunning coastlines.

I went for a stroll from Whitley Bay to Tynemouth—a popular walk along the promenade. It was chilly.

The trip there and back cost £4 on the Metro, thanks to their current £4 all day offer.

This post was filed under: Photos, Post-a-day 2023, , , , .

Misperceiving ticket prices

Wendy and I recently had occasion to buy two Merseyrail Day Savers, which set us back a total of £11.20.

“Blimey,” we thought, “that’s so much cheaper than the Metro!”

But it’s not. The equivalent Tyne & Wear Metro Day Tickets would have cost us £11.40, and—unlike the Merseyrail ticket—our fare would have additionally covered up to six children. It would have also allowed travel during the morning peak, which the Merseyrail ticket did not. And it would have permitted travel not just on the Metro, but also on local rail services and the Shields Ferry.

It’s funny how perceptions of fares don’t always match reality. Deals can be better (or worse) than they seem.

This post was filed under: Post-a-day 2023, Travel, , .

Photo-a-day 365: The map’s wrong!


I’ve just noticed today that on the refurbished Tyne and Wear Metros, the map is wrong… it fails to show the stop at Monument between Manors and St James. Oops!

I’ve only one more photo left in this series of 366… I’ll have to find something especially worthy to top it off!

This post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, .

i is the lovechild of The Independent and Metro

Oh, the grammatical absurdity of that post title.

There was a time when I wrote on this blog daily. That time has clearly passed, but if I was still doing it, I’d have written something about i yesterday – The Indy’s new not-quite-free-sheet.

And if I’d have written something, it would not have been unlike what Jonathan Rothwell has written over on Crashed Pips. I agree with most of what he’s said, so it seems pointless to repeat it.

I liked i. But I say that as someone who’s never been keen on Metro‘s acres of dry agency copy. It’s not something I’d go out of my way to buy on a daily basis, but when I have to go somewhere on a train, I often snoop around WHSmith before boarding and find nothing that I want to read. Now, I’d buy i. It’s interesting and diverting enough to part with 20p, and small and disposable enough to stuff in a bag.

Yet I didn’t like everything.

My biggest complaint about it is the printing process used. Like The Independent, it’s printed with that horrible ink that comes off on your hands, your clothes, and gets everywhere. That is something that would put me off buying the paper in certain situations.

They need to change to whatever printing process The Guardian or Metro use, where the ink stays firmly where the printer puts it.

I also dislike the TV Guide, whose organisation strikes me as pointless. I don’t like TV in categories. I wouldn’t identify as a fan of ‘American Drama’, or ‘Comedy’, or ‘Documentaries’ or whatever idiotic bins they throw programmes into.

In American Drama, I’m mad about The West Wing, but couldn’t give a toss about The Wire, Lost, or Law and Order. When it comes to comedy, I won’t miss The Inbetweeners, but would switch off My Family, Harry and Paul, or Only Fools and Horses. And for documentaries, I’d pay good money to see The Secret Life of the Motorway on BBC Four, but would want a licence fee refund for Make Me a Man, The Boy with Three Heads and Eight Sets of Eyebrows (or whatever idiot trash they’re pumping out these days), or Help Me Anthea, I’m Infested.

I don’t watch TV in ‘Genres’, I watch stuff I like. So giving me a page divided into genres is unhelpful.

Also, they need to get TV Reviewers who understand that writing a review of the previous night’s TV is not actually what they are being asked to do. A good TV review is almost a meditation on life, and certainly doesn’t depend on having seen the previous night’s TV. Get Nancy Banks-Smith in to do a masterclass or something.

But the TV Guide is the part of the paper that’s had the most positive reviews as far as I can see, so maybe I’m just unusual.

Oh, and ‘Caught and Social’? Puns only work when they’re funny.

Yet all-in-all and rants aside, I hope that i sticks around. And, given what The Independent has become these days, I wouldn’t be upset if i replaced it.

This post was filed under: Media, , , , , .

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