A TEAM from Northumbrian Water swapped drainage for "trainage" when they called in at Bishop Auckland Railway Station at the end of a £1m project aimed at protecting the local environment.

The group have just completed work on replacing almost one mile of sewage piping that carries waste out of the village of Escomb, on its way to be treated at Bishop Auckland Sewage Treatment Works.

Work started on the project in November 2018 and was carried out by the company's partner, Mott MacDonald Bentley.

Installing the new main will reduce the chances of pollution from the old pipe, which had reached the end of its life.

The company worked with local landowners and also with the Weardale Railway to reduce disruption, using underground drilling to minimise digging in fields and feeding the new pipe through the structure of a footbridge to allow it to cross the heritage railway line.

Weardale Railway assisted in construction by transporting scaffolding on the rail line to the bridge.

Having worked closely with the Weardale Railway team, a group of Northumbrian Water and MMB employees marked the end of the work by visiting Bishop Auckland Railway Station to carry out fence painting.

The company is also planning to refurbish two old benches on green space in Dunelm Chare in Escomb, as a thank you to the community.

This and the painting at the train station are being carried out using time allowed to employees to support local communities through Northumbrian Water's Just an hour volunteering scheme.

Northumbrian Water project manager, Peter Greenan, said: "Protecting the environment is at the heart of our work and this project will give additional protection to the Escomb area, reducing the risk of pollution from our network.

"The team at the Weardale Railway and the wider community of Escomb have been fantastic throughout the project and we wanted to thank them by giving something back.

"The old benches are definitely in need of some TLC, so we will come back and refurbish those in partnership with Durham County Council, and we have enjoyed spending time at the train station to give that a lick of paint."