The prospects are promising for the recently approved Northumberland train route as the building has been authorized to commence on three additional stations.
The exchange of contracts has occurred, signifying the commencement of work by the major contractor, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, on the Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, and Seaton Delaval stations.
The primary construction activities are advancing rapidly, with significant progress observed in station works at Newsham and nearing completion in Ashington. Additionally, a substantial portion of the new track, spanning a distance of 21km, has already been successfully placed.
In the preceding year, the construction of the fourth and ultimate subway for the line was accomplished in a meticulously planned and executed operation spanning a duration of 100 hours.
Both Bedlington and Bebside Stations are equipped with two platforms, whereas Seaton Delaval Station possesses a single platform. All amenities will have parking facilities, easily accessible entrances, and connections to nearby bicycle and pedestrian pathways, thereby promoting sustainable modes of transport.
Glen Sanderson, the Leader of Northumberland County Council, expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing development of the system and officially announced the awarding of the station contracts to Morgan Sindall Infrastructure.
The construction of infrastructure along the line is progressively increasing, as evidenced by the installation of tracks and the establishment of stations.
In addition to the positive impacts on the economy and the advancements in the education and tourism sectors, the implementation of this line will yield various environmentally friendly advantages that align with our climate change agenda. By diverting individuals from private vehicle usage to public transport, this initiative will contribute to the reduction of traffic congestion and the enhancement of air quality along major roadways.
According to Rail Minister Huw Merriman, the progress made in restoring the historic railway line is a favourable development, with efforts being expedited to complete the restoration by the upcoming summer. This initiative is expected to foster economic investment and stimulate prosperity in the northeast region.
Upon its reopening, the Northumberland line is expected to significantly reduce travel times for local residents, cutting them in half. This improvement will be achieved by the provision of frequent and efficient transport services, which will enable passengers to access new employment, educational, and commercial prospects.
Pieter Esbach, the Operations Director of Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, expressed satisfaction with the project’s advancement, emphasizing that the construction of the stations will facilitate enhanced connectivity within the local region, hence stimulating the local economy.
Furthermore, our organisation has established a strong collaborative relationship with the local community. As part of our efforts, we have successfully initiated the creation of nine new apprenticeships specifically targeted toward those residing in the immediate vicinity. Additionally, we have generated 53 full-time equivalent employment opportunities for local residents. Moreover, we are actively involved in engaging with a substantial number of 1600 local school kids, thereby fostering their enthusiasm and motivation towards pursuing future career prospects.
The proposed plan entails the construction of new stations at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Blyth Newsham, Seaton Delaval, and Northumberland Park, in addition to the replacement of several miles of track and the implementation of various new infrastructure components.
Upon completion, passengers will have the opportunity to experience a travel duration of only 35 minutes between Newcastle and Ashington, with services being available consistently throughout the week, including all seven days.