Northumberland rail line set to reopen to passengers

Dominic Lee reports on the continuation of Northumberland's disused rail line and what this could mean for the North East

Dominic Lee
6th November 2020
from Pixabay
Proposals have been made for the revival of a disused railway line that would link Ashington with Newcastle Central, cutting journey times to less than half an hour

The Northumberland Line could be transporting passengers between Tyneside and South-East Northumberland by mid 2023. The building of six new stations has also been proposed for the line at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and an expansion of Northumberland Park Metro station.

The expansion of Northumberland Park would see the line connect with the Tyne and Wear Metro, allowing passengers from the coast and other areas across North Tyneside easy access to Northumberland.

Newcastle University student and North Tyneside resident Bethany Richardson said: “Currently, the only public transport access to Ashington and Blyth is through the bus service.

“For many, this results in over an hour journey into Newcastle alone, on top of having to change to the metro if wanting to go anywhere else.”

Bethany went on to add: “By reintroducing the Metro service, not only does it reduce travel time which means my friends don’t have to leave two or three hours before a shift, it’s the beginning of connecting the North East as a whole.”

Transport executives in the region are hoping that the £162 million project will attract government funding this year, which would help kickstart early work on the project.

The line hasn't seen passenger services since they last ran 56 years ago

The line, which is currently only used by freight trains, hasn’t seen passenger services since they last ran 56 years ago.

It is hoped that the revived service will rejuvenate the area economically, which has been suffering since the closure of the mining and shipbuilding industries around 30 years ago. Improved connectivity between Northumberland and Newcastle city centre will likely open up more job prospects as well as boost the economy of the towns situated on the line.

Featured image: Pixabay

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