Northumberland Line

Northumberland Line upgrades continue over Bank Holiday weekend

This coming Bank Holiday will see the Northumberland line receive key infrastructural upgrade works as Network Rail look to renovate a key section of the route, which will allow the return of passenger trains.

The works will remove and replace an existing rail bridge near Sharnford Close, Backworth with a modernised structure that will aid in the boost to reliability concerning freight train passage. This will, in turn, afford the line passenger runs in the future. Concurrent works between Thursday 25th and Tuesday 30th August will see engineers lay nearly 200 metres of new track, whilst bolstering the supporting landscape.

This comes as part of the multi-million-pound Restoring Your Railways scheme, seeking to reintroduce regular rail passenger services between Ashington and Newcastle by 2024. This would represent a massive 60 years after the line was closed to passengers during the Beeching cuts.

Luke Durston, Senior Sponsor for Network Rail said:

“We’re making some fantastic progress on this unique, economically important scheme to offer a new, reliable rail service for communities in the north east.

“Over the bank holiday we’ll be upgrading a vital section of this route, which will take us one step closer to restoring passenger services to South-East Northumberland for the first time in a generation.”

Upon the project’s completion, communities such as Ashington, Blyth and Newsham will experience enhanced connections to Newcastle, whilst opening opportunities for economic growth, tourism, and support the ambitions of offshore gas and oil sectors.

This project went live in 2021 and has seen consistent progress through the efforts of Network Rail, with renewals of more than eight miles of track and recently upgraded Feather Bed Lane bridge to ready the route for faster, more frequent services.

Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County council, said:

 “It’s great to see progress the scheme is making and work like this clearly demonstrates the engineering challenges we are working through.

“With benefits not only for Northumberland but the wider region, every new structure or track improvement brings this fantastic scheme closer to completion.”

Want to know more about the opportunities to become a key supplier to the UK rail industry? Attend TransCityRail and access an exclusive marketplace of buyers from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, Major Contractors, and all other tiers of the supply chain. For more information and to secure your place click here

RTM Mag Cover, Feb/March 23


Investing in the future of Scotland's rainforest

This issue highlights the latest topics within the rail industry, from decarbonising the Midlands, improving rail safety, meeting the future priorities of Scotland's Railway & more!                                                      


View all videos
TransCityRail Banner


South \ 28 09 23
North \ 09 11 23
Mids \ 29 02 24

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.


Episode 37 - What does the future of transport look like

This episode of Track Talk sees a discussion with Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South Iain Stewart, Chair of the Transport Committee. The focus of this episode revolves around disruptive technologies within the rail sector, specifically the impact that the new, innovative advancements and trends might have across all modes of transport. The Transport Committee are taking proposals from people in the sector who are in the know about innovations that deserve more attention, so we have given them the platform to discuss the process and hear what the committee is looking for. 

More articles...

View all