Network Rail and Council bosses have confessed the restoration of the Leamside Line is “possible” in a recent visit to Bedlington, which will be one of the new stops of the North East’s newest passenger rail line.

The mood was one of excitement and pride in Bedlington this afternoon (August 14) as Network Rail pushes ever closer to completing the new Northumberland Line that will take passengers from Ashington to Newcastle.

Engineers have been working tirelessly for the past two years to restore the one-hundred-year-old railway to be able to carry passengers once more after the line was closed in the 1960s.

Read more: Investigation into Sunderland's water quality blocked

The Northern Echo: Progress on the new Northumberland line in Bedlington.Progress on the new Northumberland line in Bedlington. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

By the end of 2024, Northern trains are set to operate two trains each hour through the line, reaching areas that previously would need to use hour-long bus routes to reach the city centre.

For those organising the project, bringing a rail network back to its former glory is a special moment.

Tom Stevens, Project Manager said: “People in Bedlington will be able to see the benefits, whether that’s through going to college, university or even just visiting friends in the city centre.

“There has been disruption with level crossings, but people will reap the benefits when everything is finished, and they have the station they can use.”

Mark Ellis, Senior Programme Officer at Northumberland County Council praised the development of the line that will hopefully bring business and tourism to the area.

“This line will make Bedlington much more accessible and give them the ability to go to different places.

“Bedlington in particular has a very prominent rail heritage, which is something locals are trying to preserve. There is an appetite for things like heritage trails and there is a possibility to restore one of the old ticket offices.

“This will be a great boost for the town and all the stations along the route – there is a chance of economic growth.”

The Northumberland Line is one of the first to be rejuvenated in the region, as plans to do the same for the Leamside Line remain up in the air.

Read next:

For more content from The Northern Echo, purchase a Premium Plus Digital Subscription for just £6 for 6 months until August 14.

For Tom Stevens, a new Leamside Line is “possible”, but he emphasised that the two lines are different in many ways, requiring differing approaches.

“Leamside is a whole different project – most of that line is gone and would need to be fully replaced.

“Personally, I live close to there and I think it would be great if it re-opened.”