UK: Northumberland Line services between Newcastle and Ashington are expected to begin in summer 2024, Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper has confirmed.
The exact launch date will announced closer to the time.
‘Restoring lost railway connections will drive tourism, boost local business opportunities and encourage investment across our regions, which is why I’m pleased to say that we are on track to reopen this historic line next summer’, Harper said on March 6.
Northumberland County Council, Network Rail and operator Northern are upgrading 29 km of freight track to enable the reintroduction of regular passenger services on the route. This will offer a 35 min journey time between Ashington and Newcastle Central via fully accessible stations at Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park.
AECOM and SLC Rail have provided project management, design, operations and advisory services. The council has appointed Morgan Sindall Infrastructure as primary contractor for the six stations, and Network Rail has awarded Siemens Mobility a contract to supply signalling and control equipment.
The Department for Transport said the reopening project has generated almost 100 skilled jobs and apprenticeships.
‘This is such a transformational scheme which will bring benefits for residents, businesses and visitors for generations to come’, said Northumberland County Council Leader Glen Sanderson. ‘We have been working so hard over recent years to make this scheme happen, getting all the necessary planning and stations approved and preparing the line for the major works.’