Northumberland Line

Information on the Northumberland Line improving connectivity and accessibility in South East Northumberland.

Northumberland County Council is seeking to improve connectivity and accessibility in South East Northumberland.

What is the Northumberland Line?

The Northumberland Line will bring passenger trains back into service between Ashington and Newcastle.  

The scheme aims to stimulate and support economic growth, regeneration and community development in Northumberland and the surrounding regions by providing new and improved transport links for local people and businesses. By doing so, the scheme will: 
  • improve access from towns such as Ashington and Blyth to employment hubs like Newcastle, as well as opening up new opportunities for education and travel;  
  • provide a real incentive for potential employers to relocate to and invest in the area; 
  • provide vital infrastructure to help deliver the region’s aspirations for population and economic growth; 
  • help to attract visitors and improve local tourism; 
  • enhance public transport connectivity within and beyond the region; 
  • help to reduce congestion and improve air quality on key corridors by moving people away from car travel and onto public transport; and  
  • support the delivery of significant growth in sectors such as renewable energy, offshore oil and gas and engineering. 
 

What happens next?

The timeline below shows our anticipated key milestones for the development of the Northumberland Line:
  • Late 2020 – Public consultation period. 
  • Early 2021 – Planning applications submitted for the six stations and Chase Meadows footbridge. Early enabling works start on site. This will mainly be clearance and engineering works with standalone benefits, which don’t require planning permission. 
  • Spring 2021 – Application for Transport and Works Act Order submitted to Secretary of State. 
  • Summer 2022 – Construction on stations begins, subject to necessary approvals being secured.  
  • 2024 – Current expected start of passenger services.

Temporary local road closures

As part of the ongoing Network Rail early enabling works, some local roads will be closed on a temporary basis. The details of the road closures are set out in a table -  please click here to view the table.
 

Northumberland Line plans on track

Monday 12 July 2021
The council is engaging with residents over the Hospital level crossing in Ashington and public consultation starts on July 12th around the Palmersville Dairy crossing in North Tyneside. 


Work begins to reopen the Ashington to Newcastle Northumberland Line

Monday 28 June 2021
The first physical piece of work on the £34m project to reintroduce a regular rail service between Ashington and Newcastle is completed.
 

Rail scheme enters next stage of development

Friday 28 May 2021
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.
 

Multi-million pound investment in Northumberland Line

Saturday 23 January 2021
The news that the green light’s been given to multi-million pound funding towards the Northumberland Line has been welcomed by the council and its partners.
 

As part of the Northumberland Line project, proposals are being developed to replace Hospital Level Crossing with an underpass. These proposals were presented at a residents’ meeting on Thursday 1 July 2021. Below you can find a link to a document summarising answers given to questions raised in that meeting, and a video of the presentation section of the meeting.

Palmersville Dairy level crossing public consultation

Have your say on plans for Palmersville Dairy level crossing from 12 July to 8 August 2021. 

From July 12th we are encouraging people to have their say on the proposals for the Palmersville Dairy level crossing. 

The existing pedestrian level crossing known as ‘Palmersville Dairy’ currently connects the Bellway Industrial Estate to the south with the residential estates of Palmersville to the north along the route of the Forest Hall 5 Public Right of Way.  

The introduction of faster and more frequent trains on the Northumberland Line means that the existing level crossing will need to be closed for safety reasons, the proposed replacement pedestrian underpass provides a safe crossing for pedestrians. 

In November/December 2020 we undertook a public consultation on the Northumberland Line project. As part of this consultation, we asked for feedback on the closure of Palmersville Dairy level crossing and the option of replacement access being provided via a new pedestrian footbridge.  

At the time of the 2020 public consultation, we advised that the design options for a replacement crossing for Palmersville Dairy were still evolving. Having now considered the options at this location and feedback from the public consultation the footbridge has been discounted.  A number of factors influenced this decision including the need to provide access across the railway line for both pedestrians and cyclists. The project proposes a pedestrian underpass replaces the Palmersville Dairy level crossing.  
 
You can find out more about the proposals and share your comments by accessing our response form at nland.uk/palmersvilledairy

Your feedback will be used to review the current proposals and inform the designs ahead of submission of a planning application in Summer 2021.
 

As part of the planning application a Statement of Community Engagement will describe the process of public consultation on the proposals for Palmersville Dairy and how this feedback has informed the submitted proposals.  

You will have a further opportunity to comment on the planning application for Palmersville Dairy level crossing when it is submitted to the Local Planning Authority, North Tyneside Council.  

Within four weeks of the closure of this public consultation a summary of the consultation feedback and how it has informed the designs of the underpass will be available to download from nland.uk/palmersvilledairy

This consultation is live from 12 July until 8 August 2021.   

Previous consultations

Public consultation on the Northumberland Line took place late last year and has now closed. A copy of the consultation booklet from 2020 can be downloaded by clicking here.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the proposals. The feedback received was shared and considered by the project team; your comments and suggestions have fed into this process as work on the scheme has continued. Comments received for each station location have been compiled and are set out in the Statements of Community Engagement (SCE) submitted with the respective planning applications.

Shorter, more succinct briefs summarising the feedback we received for each geographical section of the line have been prepared and are available below:
On 26 May 2021, Northumberland County Council submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to the Secretary of State for Transport to authorise certain matters related to the Northumberland Line.
 
The TWAO application and all the plans and documents submitted with it can be viewed and downloaded via the links below.

Northumberland Line TWAO Application Letter
  1. The Northumberland Line Order 202X
  2. The Northumberland Line Order 202x Explanatory Memorandum
  3. Statement of Aims
  4. Report summarising consulations undertaken
  5. Declaration as to the status of the applicant
  6.  Funding statement
  7.  List of consents, permissions or licenses under other enactments
  8.  EIA Screening Decision
  9.  Waiver Direction
  10. Land and Works Plan - Key Plan
    1. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 01 of 24
    2. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 02 of 24
    3. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 03 of 24
    4. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 04 of 24
    5. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 05 of 24
    6. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 06 of 24
    7. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 07 of 24
    8. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 08 of 24
    9. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 09 of 24
    10. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 10 of 24
    11. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 11 of 24
    12. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 12 of 24
    13. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 13 of 24
    14. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 14 of 24
    15. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 15 of 24
    16. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 16 of 24
    17. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 17 of 24
    18. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 18 of 24
    19. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 19 of 24
    20. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 20 of 24
    21. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 21 of 24
    22. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 22 of 24
    23. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 23 of 24
    24. Northumberland TWAO Plan - Sheet 24 of 24
  11. Rights of Way Plans - Cover Sheet
    1. RoW - Sheet 1
    2. RoW - Sheet 2
    3. RoW - Sheet 3
    4. RoW - Sheet 4
    5. RoW - Sheet 5
    6. RoW - Sheet 6
    7. RoW - Sheet 7
    8. RoW - Sheet 8
    9. RoW - Sheet 9
    10. RoW - Sheet 10
    11. RoW - Sheet 11
    12. RoW - Sheet 12
    13. RoW - Sheet 13
    14. RoW - Sheet 14
    15. RoW - Sheet 15
    16. RoW - Sheet 16
  12. Book of Reference
  13. Estimate of Costs
  14. Rule 10(6) - Request for planning permission
  15. The Northumberland Line - A Guide to the proposed TWA Order
Click here for some frequently asked questions about Transport and Works Act Order.

Hard copies can be viewed at the following locations:
 
Location Address Telephone Email Further details
Ashington Library Ashington Leisure Centre, Portland Park, Ashington Northumberland NE63 9JY 01670 623429 ashington.library@northumberland.gov.uk Please contact your library to check the local arrangements via: https://www.mylibrary.co.uk
Bedlington Library Glebe Road, Bedlington Northumberland NE22 6JX 01670 622202 bedlington.library@northumberland.gov.uk Please contact your library to check the local arrangements via: https://www.mylibrary.co.uk
Blyth Library Bridge Street, Blyth Northumberland NE24 2DJ 01670 620201 blyth.library@northumberland.gov.uk Please contact your library to check the local arrangements via: https://www.mylibrary.co.uk
Guide Post Library Cleaswell Hill Centre, Choppington Northumberland NE62 5DW 01670 620453 guidepost.library@northumberland.gov.uk Please contact your library to check the local arrangements via: https://www.mylibrary.co.uk
Seaton Valley Library Astley High School, Elsdon Avenue, Seaton Delaval, Whitley Bay NE25 0BW 01670 620395 seatonvalley.library@northumberland.gov.uk Seaton Valley is open on Mondays only. Please contact your library to check the local arrangements via: https://www.mylibrary.co.uk
Shiremoor Library Shiremoor Centre, Earsdon Road, Shiremoor, NE27 0HJ 0191 643 2036 shiremoor.library@northtyneside.gov.uk Shiremoor is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday mornings.
Morpeth County Hall Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF 01670 620 000  N/A Please report to reception on arrival. Due to ongoing refurbishment, please consider alternate venues if at all possible.
Seaton Valley Community Council 20-22 Astley Road, Seaton Delaval, NE25 0DG 0191 2379870 engagement@seatonvalleycommunitycouncil.gov.uk Please contact Seaton Valley Community Council in advance.

To request a hard copy of any of the TWAO application documents, please contact the Strategic Transport and Employability Team: A reasonable copying charge for hard copies will apply – we will let you know the amount of this when responding to any request.

Any objections to, or other representations about, the proposals in the TWAO application should be sent to the Secretary of State for Transport c/o Transport Infrastructure Planning Unit, Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR (e-mail: transportinfrastructure@dft.gov.uk). An objection or other representation MUST (i) be received by the relevant Secretary of State on or before 8 July 2021, (ii) be made in writing (whether sent by post or e-mail), (iii) state the grounds of the objection or other representation, (iv) indicate who is making the objection or other representation, and (v) give an address to which correspondence relating to the objection or other representation may be sent. If you are sending your objection or other representation by e-mail, please provide a postal address and state "Northumberland Line TWA Order" in the subject of the email.
Network Rail are renewing the old track between Hoylwell and Bebside as part of the Northumberland Line project. To carry out this work, they we will be using generators, lights, small hand tools and an on-track machine to assist with the safe and efficient installation of the new track.

Work will be taking place on midweek evenings between 21:00 - 06:00, Monday to Friday on the following dates:
  • 5 April 2021 to 9 April 2021
  • 12 April 2021 to16 April 2021
  • 17 May 2021 to 21 May 2021
  • 24 May 2021 to 28 May 2021
  • 31 May 2021 to 4 June 2021
  • 7 June 2021 to 11 June 2021
Work is being undertaken along an eight mile stretch of track so will not be in a set location for all these dates/times.

Network Rail will try to minimise the amount of noise they cause as much as possible. The staff on site are taking all the necessary precautions to keep each other safe and prevent the spread of Covid-19 by working within current Government guidelines.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, visit www.networkrail.co.uk or telephone our 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

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