New Ashington and Blyth to Newcastle rail line set to start running in 2024

r00fie1

Well-known member

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The Department for Transport announces £34m funding to develop new Northumberland passenger services
The abandoned Ashington Railway Station in October, 1992
The abandoned Ashington Railway Station in October, 1992

The planned re-opening of the Northumberland Line between Newcastle and Ashington has moved a step forward, after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced £34m in funding to progress the scheme.

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The money will pay for preparatory work, including land acquisition, detailed design work and early site works.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris told ChronicleLive: "We are keen to have a service running on this in 2024."

The railway between Ashington and Newcastle used to run passenger services until the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.

It does still operate, but only for freight trains.
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Northumberland County Council says the lack of passenger railway services in the area has contributed to local congestion, due to car and bus travel being the only viable forms of transport for many people.

Plans for the project include new stations at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham and Seaton Delaval. Trains will connect with the Metro at Northumberland Park, in North Tyneside.

Mr Heaton-Harris said: "This is an existing freight line, so all the planning permission and other legal issues are bit easier to deal with."
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The project was backed by Northumberland County Council and local MPs, he said. "This project has truly shown how people love rail and want to be connected by it. It brings economic growth and new jobs."

Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy said: "This is brilliant news and is a huge step forward in our ambitions to re-instate passenger rail services to south east Northumberland including three stations in Blyth Valley. Stations at Bebside, Newsham and Seaton Delaval will provide a direct and quick link into the centre of Newcastle and onto the Metro network, which will give residents so many more options to travel around the region."

Northumberland County Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: "This is absolutely fantastic news and means we can now finalise our plans to deliver this transformational project for both Northumberland and the wider region.

"The Northumberland Line will bring a huge boost to the area in terms of economic growth, housing, employment and education opportunities, as well as providing a fast and efficient new transport link between the south east of the county and Tyneside."
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “When I visited Blyth Valley last year, I saw for myself the huge potential this line has for restoring connections to communities who have lost out. I want to pay tribute to Ian Levy who has campaigned tirelessly in Westminster to make sure this project continues to make progress.

"His work will of course help communities to be reconnected with jobs and better links to family and friends, so I look forward to seeing the line restored not just for the freight that it carries at the moment, but for passengers too."

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A consultation overseen by the county council suggested the station at Bebside will have 282 car parking spaces and a cycle and pedestrian bridge over the Spine Road.

At Newsham station there will be parking and a new road bridge over the track will allow the existing level crossing to be closed.

Seaton Delaval station will also have a 282 space car park which will serve Seaton Valley residents and is only a couple of miles from east Cramlington. There is provision for bus services to drop off either at the stations or very close by.

 

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Redwurzel

Well-known member
When I worked in Blyth in the early 80s - the old rail station area was a PRESTO supermarket. I used the buses a lot. It was around 8? miles to Whitley Bay which was on the Metro, Blyth was around 40,000 people and no railway.
 

buffaloboro

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Shovel ready project by the look of it? Similar to the one that could be on the line that the be boulby potash trains use in East Cleveland?
 

HarryVegas

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Great news for those of us living in the area. The landscape up here is absolutely packed full of old train line routes. It's a tragedy really that places like Guisborough had their station taken away by Beeching in the late 60s. So short-sighted. Within about 4 years they were building Hunter's Hill - all the people who live there now, the nation crying out for less cars on the roads and they have no rail service.
 

buffaloboro

Well-known member
Great news for those of us living in the area. The landscape up here is absolutely packed full of old train line routes. It's a tragedy really that places like Guisborough had their station taken away by Beeching in the late 60s. So short-sighted. Within about 4 years they were building Hunter's Hill - all the people who live there now, the nation crying out for less cars on the roads and they have no rail service.
What's hunters hill? Train line to the Boro for Guisborough would have been really useful
 

Foggysfplandiet3

Well-known member
Great news for those of us living in the area. The landscape up here is absolutely packed full of old train line routes. It's a tragedy really that places like Guisborough had their station taken away by Beeching in the late 60s. So short-sighted. Within about 4 years they were building Hunter's Hill - all the people who live there now, the nation crying out for less cars on the roads and they have no rail service.
Not sure the closure of the Nunthorpe Junction to Guisborough Line was actually a Beeching cut. The Beeching report was published in March 1963, the line was formally proposed for closure in June 1963 and been progressively run down for closure by stealth for years before this. It actually closed fully on 2nd March 1964.

Most of the route to Middlesbrough is still there of course, the Guisborough branch was a short spur from the Middlesbrough to Battersby and Whitby line still used today.
First housing estate built there. There are others now too, it's a big town. Line closed about 66/67, building on estate started not long after.

Closed to passengers February 1964. Closed to freight March 2nd 1964.
 

HarryVegas

Well-known member
I stand corrected on the exact dates but the principle remains. By the late 60s they'd surely started building the Aldenham Road part.
 

buffaloboro

Well-known member
Not sure the closure of the Nunthorpe Junction to Guisborough Line was actually a Beeching cut. The Beeching report was published in March 1963, the line was formally proposed for closure in June 1963 and been progressively run down for closure by stealth for years before this. It actually closed fully on 2nd March 1964.

Most of the route to Middlesbrough is still there of course, the Guisborough branch was a short spur from the Middlesbrough to Battersby and Whitby line still used today.


Closed to passengers February 1964. Closed to freight March 2nd 1964.
So they could re-open it?
 

Foggysfplandiet3

Well-known member
I stand corrected on the exact dates but the principle remains. By the late 60s they'd surely started building the Aldenham Road part.
Indeed, you can tell just by looking at the housing in a Guisborough that after the closure there was a huge boom in new homes developed there, something which should have been anticipated before closure was sanctioned. Guisborough must have doubled in size since 1964.

The missing spur from Nunthorpe Junction to the site of the old station is only about 6 miles, a very short length in railway terms. Some good info and pics here: http://disused-stations.org.uk/g/guisborough/index.shtml
 

Foggysfplandiet3

Well-known member
So they could re-open it?

If it was profitable! Or at least covered it’s costs.

There has to be the political will as well of course. The restoration of the Waverley Route between Edinburgh and Carlisle as far as Tweedbank was incredibly expensive but had a major hand in sweeping the SNP, who promised it, to power. They really need to extend it at least to Hawick, a Borders town which makes Redcar look like Bel Air, but which would really prosper with the restoration of the line to Edinburgh. A friend of mine has bought property in Hawick in anticipation of the boom there when the route is restored.
 
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Redwurzel

Well-known member
There is a film or photo can't remember which in Guisborough Museum of the last train running past a newly built house - probably behind where Lidl is now. The Wilton site and Teesport was expanding fast in 1964 and providing a lot of jobs to people in Guisborough. People were moving there from all over the UK seems astounding to close the rail line down. Most of the old station site is a council car park that isn't even used that much. Think of how much time is wasted by motorists from Guisborough queuing along Marton Road in the morning rush hour.
 
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