Passenger services over the Northumberland Line ceased in 1964. Since then, the line has continued in use for freight and still carries five trains daily in each direction. The scheme is being promoted by Northumberland County Council which is working in partnership with scheme designers AECOM and SLC Rail, and with Network Rail.

Detailed design of all the new infrastructure requirements should be completed by mid 2021 and a Design and Build contract will be let soon after that. The aspiration is for the line to open with the new passenger service by 2023/4.

Source: Beeching Reversed: Reopening of the Northumberland Line, on RailEngineer website.

Northumberland Line

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Planned new stations

Ashington

Bedlington

Blyth Bebside

Newsham

Seaton Delaval

The Northumberland Line is one of the first six programmes (and the only reopening scheme) to be accelerated by Network Rail’s Project Speed initiative. The aim of Project Speed (Swift, Pragmatic and Efficient Enhancement Delivery) is to halve the time and slash the cost of delivery of railway infrastructure schemes. Source: Modern Railways, September 2020, page 9.

Further reading

Beeching Reversed: Reopening of the Northumberland Line, on RailEngineer website

Blyth and Tyne Railway – Wikipedia

Changes made to the proposed new Northumberland Line rail link, on Northumberland Gazette website (July 2020).