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Northumberland rail revival in one go?

24 July 2020

The DfT has asked Northumberland County Council to explore restoring passenger trains to the Newcastle to Ashington line in one rather than two phases. The council had been planning a first phase with four stations and a second phase with two more stations and a passing loop to allow more services (LTT 21 Feb). But Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Transport North East said: “The DfT has recently indicated that they may wish to see the project delivered as one phase with a half-hourly timetable from the start, rather than two phases with service ramping up over time.” A final business case is due to be submitted to the DfT next spring.  The service could be launched in May 2024. Two operating scenarios are being explored, one with services as part of the Northern franchise, and the other a local concession. “The DfT plan to take a decision as to whether they favour operation within the Northern franchise, or a locally developed alternative in October,” said Hughes. 

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