Transport secretary Mark Harper, right, has greenlit the project. Credit: DfT

DfT confirms Northumberland Line to reopen next year

Passengers in the North East will be able to reconnect with friends and family and enjoy greater access to business and education opportunities, when the historic Northumberland line reopens in summer 2024.

The Government is working with Northumberland County Council, Network Rail and Northern Rail to restore regular services to the vital line from next year, creating faster and easier journeys between Ashington and Newcastle.

The completed line will see journey times reduced by half and benefit from six new stations, currently being built by Morgan Sindall.

Mark Harper, transport secretary, said: “Communities in Northumberland can get ready for regular train services that will better connect people to jobs, education and opportunities while growing our economy.

“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.”

With six new, fully accessible stations being built, the new line will stop at Ashintgon, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland Park and finally Newcastle Central.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “This is such a transformational scheme which will bring benefits for residents, businesses and visitors for generations to come.

“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.”

The journey time between Newcastle and Ashington will be reduced from 70 to 35 minutes, with services operating regularly seven days a week, providing easy access to jobs, education and tourism in the city centre for local residents and visitors.

The Northumberland Line project forms part of the Government’s Restoring Your Railways programme, which has been reinstating local services and that were axed as a result of the Beeching cuts in 1963.

The exact date when services will resume will be announced closer to the time.

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