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Rail Minister welcomes progress as Northumberland Line opening nears

Rail Minister Huw Merriman saw first-hand progress being made towards the opening of the Northumberland Line this summer. 

The rail line – bringing passenger services back between the South East of the county and central Newcastle – will be open from Summer 2024. 

The line is set to transform accessibility to employment, training and leisure for residents in south east Northumberland, as well as opening up a raft of new opportunities for education and travel. 

Construction is continuing at pace, with Ashington Station almost complete, a new level crossing installed at Bedlington, updating the signals along the line and a 160 tonne crawler crane installed at Northumberland Park ahead of the next stage of station construction works. 

Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “With each passing week we’re getting closer to passenger trains running again and it was fantastic to have the Rail Minister back here in Northumberland to show him progress first-hand and how well the scheme is going."

“It’s an extraordinary example of trading old infrastructure into brand new technology - to the point where trains will very soon be running again."

“The line will bring so many benefits for generations to come, not just for the county and the region, but I’m sure this kind of approach could be replicated across the world, turning old technology into 21st Century technology.” 

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “The railways have been a big part of the North East's history, and we'll ensure they remain a big part of its future by getting the Northumberland line up and running again."

"Made possible by the Government's Restoring Your Railway scheme, this project is part of this Government’s plan to improve local transport across the country and will bring significant benefits to local communities – boosting jobs, businesses, education and connections throughout the region.” 

To allow for services to start at the earliest possible opportunity, a phased approach  for opening is taking place – with Ashington, Newsham and Seaton Delaval open from this summer. 

Work will continue at the three remaining stations (Blyth Bebside, Bedlington and Northumberland Park) to get these stations opened as quickly as possible.


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