The next stage towards the re-opening of passenger rail services on the Northumberland Line is underway.
The county council has now submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to the Secretary of State which, is used for authorising new rail or tram schemes.
Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “This is a vital stage of works to deliver this transformational project .
“The submission of the Transport and Works Act Order is a culmination of many months of work developing the scheme and I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported the project so far.
“Once completed, the new railway will connect communities and businesses along the route and beyond, creating new opportunities for jobs, housing, education and economic growth.”
Earlier this year the Department for Transport provided £34m towards reintroducing a regular rail passenger service between Ashington and central Newcastle, with several stops in between.
The County Council is working with Department for Transport, Network Rail and Northern Trains Ltd on the ambitious scheme which is targeted to open in early 2024 and will boost education, employment and housing prospects for the region.
The project will upgrade 18 miles of track, open six new stations, three new footbridges and new signal locations. The whole scheme is projected to deliver economic benefits of up to £470m.
All submission documents for the TWAO are available at www.northumberland.gov.uk/line where people can also find the locations where copies of the application can be inspected.