The UK government has announced that regular train services will return to the historic Northumberland Line in 2024, connecting six communities in Northumberland to jobs and opportunities while boosting the region’s economy.
The line has not seen regular passenger services since the Beeching cuts in 1963. The government is partnering with Northumberland County Council, Network Rail and Northern Rail to reopen the line and create faster and easier journeys between Ashington and Newcastle.
The restored line will feature 6 new, fully accessible stations at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland Park and Newcastle Central.
The journey time between Newcastle and Ashington will be reduced from 70 minutes to just 35, and services will operate regularly 7 days a week.
The project has already created almost 100 high-skilled jobs and apprenticeships, benefiting the local community.
Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, stated that restoring lost railway connections will boost local business opportunities and tourism, encouraging investment across regions.
The Northumberland Line project is part of the government’s Restoring Your Railways scheme, which aims to restore closed stations and railway lines across the country.
It has already delivered the successful reopening of the Dartmoor Line in November 2021, doubling passenger services and benefiting students studying in Exeter.
Northumberland County Council Leader Glen Sanderson welcomed the announcement, saying that the project is “such a transformational scheme which will bring benefits for residents, businesses and visitors for generations to come.”
Once complete, the restoration of passenger services is expected to reconnect communities, improve connections, and boost the region’s economy by improving access to jobs.