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The Durham Coast Line (DCL) is the name given to the railway line which links Newcastle upon Tynemarker with Middlesbroughmarker, via Sunderlandmarker and Hartlepoolmarker. The services are operated by Northern Rail and the majority continue on from Newcastle to the MetroCentremarker and a few to Carlislemarker.

The lines which make up the route were originally part of the North Eastern Railway, which became the London and North Eastern Railway at the 1923 Grouping. The DCL comes under the aegis of the Tees Valley Rail Strategy, whose aims are to enhance services in the region. Under that scheme, Phase 1 undertaken on DCL resulted in an hourly service between Newcastle and Hartlepool from 2000; a half-hourly service was later to come into operation. Plans for Phase 2, including opening new stations, has been on hold since the Strategic Rail Authority came into being, when funding for the scheme was brought to a virtual standstill.

A halt at Greathammarker was downgraded to a partial service during the early 1980s and discontinued altogether by the end of the decade.

The section between the junction just south of Sunderlandmarker and Pelaw Junction (just south of Pelaw Metro stationmarker) is the only Network Rail route electrified at 1500V DC overhead, this section is shared with trains operated by Tyne and Wear Metro which collect the overhead current via pantograph.



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