The prospect of reopening a historic County Durham railway station that has been closed for over 50 years could benefit around 50,000 people, according to those looking to resurrect the facility.

Ferryhill Station closed to passengers in 1967 as part of the Beeching cuts that also wound down a large majority of the UK’s other rail stations.

For the last 55 years, those that live in the town have had to use other County Durham stations or turn to cars and other forms of public transport for their journeys, while watching the old train facility turn to rubble.

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Despite decades without a rail station in Ferryhill, discussions and campaigns have rumbled on for several years – with politicians and policymakers keen to reopen Ferryhill train station.

Alongside this, separate discussions about resurrecting the historic Leamside Line have also taken place – which would connect Ferryhill to Washington and Gateshead.

If successful, it could also include prospective stations in Shincliffe & Bowburn, Durham Parkway, West Rainton, Fencehouses, Penshaw, Washington and Follingsby.

The Northern Echo: The locations that could have stations if the Leamside line is restored. Picture: NORTHERN ECHOThe locations that could have stations if the Leamside line is restored. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO

Here is what the Leamside line could look like, including the stations that could open:

As part of the Ferryhill case, Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield, who has pushed for the town’s rail facility and the Leamside line, has recently welcomed the news that the Government is continuing to progress and take forward proposals to reopen Ferryhill station in his constituency. 

A Strategic Outline Business Case was presented to the Department for Transport last year with the backing of Mr Howell and it was announced this week it was being reopened as part of a group of projects across the country that would be taken forward to the next stage of development. 

The Northern Echo: Paul Howell MP at Ferryhill Station. Picture: PAUL HOWELL MPPaul Howell MP at Ferryhill Station. Picture: PAUL HOWELL MP

According to Mr Howell, close to 50,000 people that live five kilometres could find the positives in having Ferryhill Station returned.

He said: “If we could reopen the railway station, we could utilise the existing railway track to new passenger services which would connect Ferryhill directly to the economic opportunities on Teesside.

“The track is currently used for freight, and it would not involve significantly extra work to place a new station in the town. 

“I spent a large part of my childhood in Ferryhill, and with a current population of 10,000 people, I know that the town could really flourish with an improved transport link. In the wider area, approximately 50,000 residents live within 5km.

The Northern Echo: The Leamside line. Picture: NORTHERN ECHOThe Leamside line. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO

“This is such an exciting moment, given that thousands of jobs are now being linked to Teesside with the new Freeport and other exciting initiatives. It was my pleasure to bring the Prime Minister to visit the site after my election to Parliament and I know how much potential he saw here.”

The MP has been working closely with Durham County Council (DCC) on proposals to reopen the station and develop the Feasibility Studies and Business Case necessary to utilise the site.

Mr Howell added: “I would like to thank the officers at DCC for all their work so far and also to thank the very many others who have joined me on this campaign.”

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