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The Transport Secretary has again backed a major Northumberland rail project, as its supporters await a crucial funding commitment.
(Permalink) Blyth and Tyne Railway Northumberland Line

Work is getting underway next week to explore ground conditions on the route of the proposed Northumberland Line.

The reintroduction of a rail passenger service between Ashington and central Newcastle could be in place in 2023 and preparatory work is ongoing both in terms of detailed design and on the ground.

The ground investigation work, which will continue to the New Year, is being delivered by infrastructure consultancy AECOM, supported by delivery partner SEGL, a specialist ground engineering contractor.
(Permalink) Blyth and Tyne Railway

Of the many closed lines that are currently being proposed or reviewed for possible reopening to passenger traffic, one that looks close to coming to fruition is the so-called Northumberland line. This is being actively promoted by Northumberland County Council, with AECOM (with SLC Rail) as scheme designers, working with Network Rail as the owners.
(Permalink) Blyth and Tyne Railway

Opening all six stations at once looks set to be the way ahead for the Northumberland Line, but it affects the major rail projects timescales. Also known as the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line, the scheme seeks to restore passenger services in the south-east of the county, connecting to Newcastle Central.
The stations would be at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and the existing Metro station at Northumberland Park.
The proposed design uses, with the exception of a four-mile length of the East Coast Main Line, the existing freight-only line, which last carried passengers in 1964.
(Permalink) Blyth and Tyne Railway


Marcheys House Junction: EWS 66076 rumbles south over Marchey's House level crossing between Ashington and Bedlington Station on 25 May 2004 with a train of empties from Lynemouth ps.
John Furnevel 25/05/2004


Wansbeck Viaduct: GBRf 66714 Cromer Lifeboat takes a southbound freight over the Wansbeck Viaduct on the Blyth & Tyne between North Seaton and Marchey's House on 2 September 2009.
Colin Alexander 02/09/2009


Ashington: Looking south to Ashington Junction and signal box in March 2004.
Ewan Crawford 20/03/2004

A number of changes to the proposed £162million Northumberland Line have resulted in a fresh report being lodged as part of the planning process. Also known as the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line, the project seeks to restore passenger services in the south-east of the county, connecting to Newcastle Central. The target is for trains to start running in early 2023. The stations would be at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and the existing Metro station at Northumberland Park, which will require new rail platforms and pedestrian access.
(Permalink) Ashington Bedlington Blyth Bebside Blyth and Tyne Railway Newsham Seaton Delaval


Monkseaton: Push-pull fitted G5 0-4-4-T no 67261 of Blyth North (52F) stands at Monkseaton station around 1958 with a train off the Blyth and Tyne 'Avenue' branch. Monkseaton provided a connection for trains from Blyth with the electric services into Newcastle. The G5 was withdrawn at the end of 1958 with the B&T line north closing in 1964. Nowadays Monkseaton is served by trains on the Tyne & Wear Metro. See image [[55153]]..
K A Gray //1958


Winning Junction: One of the ubiquitous J27s that plied the Blyth and Tyne in the 1960s, North Blyth shed's no 65811, seen here hauling coal empties between Freeman's crossing and Winning Junction. The chimneys and lighting towers of Blyth's twin power stations are visible through the murk beyond the train.
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //


Winning Junction: J27 0-6-0 no 65845 with coal empties at Winning Junction, thought to be in the early 1960s. The train has just traversed the level crossing over the road linking East and West Sleekburn and is turning north towards Marchey's House Junction and Ashington. The line in the foreground turns south towards West Sleekburn Junction and Bedlington.
Andy Carr Collection //

A freight train has crashed off the tracks in Northumberland.
The wagons, which were carrying coal from Blyth to Cottam power station, left the rails at West Sleekburn near Bedlington on Monday night.
Incredibly, nobody was injured in the crash. But the derailed DB Schenker train remained strewn across the line on Tuesday morning.
(Permalink) Bedlington Blyth and Tyne Railway Cottom Power Station Derailment North Blyth West Sleekburn


West Sleekburn Junction: Scene at West Sleekburn Junction in the 1960s with 62067 approaching with empty hoppers off the North Blyth branch heading for Bedlington Furnace Way sidings. There the locomotive would run round its train before proceeding to one of the north main line collieries, most likely Widdrington opencast. (This journey involved running round six times in all, hence the brake van at each end of the train.) The road on the left is Bomarsund colliery metals and the sub signal on the facing road with the indicators is for Winning Colliery. The signal box in the background is the new West Sleekburn box, its predecessor having been destroyed by fire.
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //

A proposal to re-open passenger rail services between Newcastle and Ashington in Northumberland has been put before the Transport Secretary today.
The route was closed to passengers over 50 years ago and is now only used by freight trains.
(Permalink) Blyth and Tyne Railway


Winning Junction: J27 0-6-0 no 65845 with coal empties at Winning Junction, thought to be in the early 1960s. The train has just traversed the level crossing over the road linking East and West Sleekburn and is turning north towards Marchey's House Junction and Ashington. The line in the foreground turns south towards West Sleekburn Junction and Bedlington.
Andy Carr Collection //


Wansbeck Viaduct: GBRf 66714 Cromer Lifeboat takes a southbound freight over the Wansbeck Viaduct on the Blyth & Tyne between North Seaton and Marchey's House on 2 September 2009.
Colin Alexander 02/09/2009


Ashington: Ivatt class 4 2-6-0 no 43138 approaching Ashington with northbound coal empties in 1966, the year the locomotive arrived at North Blyth shed.
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //1966

Scottish rail chiefs could be asked to help reopen a key Northumberland line if Metro bosses will not expand faster, a new council chief has said.
Grant Davey said his biggest transport concern is to get the Ashington Blyth and Tyne railway line opened up to passenger services.
The Labour council boss said he would focus on the county's rail links ahead of long-term issues such as dualling the A1.
(Permalink) Blyth and Tyne Railway


Bedlington: Looking across Station Road level crossing to Bedlington Station on 25 May 2004, looking north east from alongside Bedlington South signal box.
John Furnevel 25/05/2004


Bedlington Viaduct: The Blyth & Tyne railway viaduct over the River Blyth on 19 July 2011.
Colin Alexander 19/07/2011


Ashington: Looking south to Ashington Junction and signal box in March 2004.
Ewan Crawford 20/03/2004

WORK has started on putting together a multi-million pound funding package that could result in a long-awaited Northumberland rail project finally getting the green light.
It is estimated up to £60m will be needed to restore passenger trains on the freight-only Ashington Blyth and Tyne railway line, which has been a key public transport priority for more than 15 years.
The aim is to run hourly passenger services between Ashington and Newcastle - half-hourly at peak times - on a route that was axed as part of the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.
(Permalink) Blyth and Tyne Railway


Bedlington: Looking across Station Road level crossing to Bedlington Station on 25 May 2004, looking north east from alongside Bedlington South signal box.
John Furnevel 25/05/2004


Bedlington Viaduct: The Blyth & Tyne railway viaduct over the River Blyth on 19 July 2011.
Colin Alexander 19/07/2011


Ashington: Looking south to Ashington Junction and signal box in March 2004.
Ewan Crawford 20/03/2004

Two new studies have been commissioned to investigate the possibility of reopening a passenger rail route through south-east Northumberland. The Ashington, Blyth and Tyne route currently carries freight only. It stopped operating as a passenger route in 1964.
(Permalink) Blyth and Tyne Railway

KML version