Welcome to Railfuture North East’s webpages
We are campaigning to improve and develop rail services in the North East of England.
We cover the local authority areas within the Tees Valley, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Northumberland
Latest News: Ashington Blyth & Tyne Line Re-opening Consultation: What we hope will be the last public consultation on this re-opening – now called “The Northumberland Line” – before a positive decision is finally announced, will take place between Monday November 16th and Friday December 14th. Because of the COVID social distancing restrictions it will be an online “virtual” consultation only and is available at http://www.nland.uk/line. Announcing the Consultation, Councillor Richard Wearmouth, Cabinet Member responsible for economic development, said: “There’s ever more confidence our long-term aspirations for this project are going to become reality – bringing social and economic benefits to residents, commuters, visitors and businesses both in Northumberland and the wider region. This consultation is a critical stage of the process. We really want everyone to be part of this journey and would appreciate feedback- either on specific elements or the scheme as a whole.” RFNE is urging all its members and supporters to engage with the consultation and express their support for the scheme. It is also an opportunity to raise any genuine concerns with the final design of the stations, associated road and pedestrian access and the scheme as a whole
The Budget brought good news for the Tyne and Wear Metro with further doubling of track, additional new trains and a promise of improved frequency of service. It also brought news of funding for Darlington Bank Top Station but failed to make any mention of money for the Ashington Blyth and Tyne Line (now renamed as the Northumberland Line). For our views on the changes to Darlington Station please see press release.
Branch Committee Meeting: The next Branch Committee meeting will be held on 24th November 2020 . Unless there is a substantial change in the rules about social distancing the meeting will take place on Zoom. Notes will be published as soon as possible after the meeting. If there are items that you think we should discuss, or if you would like to attend this meeting, please contact our Branch Secretary (see contact details below)
Branch AGM: The Railfuture North East Branch Annual General Meeting, due to have been held on Saturday 25th April 2020, had to be postponed. At yet there is no new date for the meeting but, for the moment, most of the existing officers, have indicated that they will remain in post. However Martin Murphy had indicated that he wished to step down as Branch President after many years of sterling service. Tony Walker has agreed to take on this role.
On Saturday 22nd June 2019 the North East Branch hosted the Railfuture Summer Conference. A Report on the Conference can be found here.
The notes of the most recent Branch Committee meeting, held via Zoom on 30th September, are available here.
Making Our Views Known
The Government are proposing to set up a panel of local experts to advise Northern Trains Ltd. on strategy and emerging plans. Unfortunately the panel does not include anyone from the northern part of our area. The Branch considered the matter and issued a press release. A few days later we received a response from DOHL, the government owned holding company who are responsible for the Northern network of rail services. For full details please see here.
On 11 February 2020, the government announced plans to proceed with High Speed 2 (HS2), with construction of Phase 1 from London to the West Midlands set to begin in April. At the same time, it announced an intention to draw up an integrated rail plan for the north and Midlands, the terms of reference for which were published on 21 February. This plan will be informed by an assessment of the rail needs of the Midlands and the north to be undertaken by the Commission. The National Infrastructure Commission took the first step to building an evidence base for this work, which will be supported by broader analysis and stakeholder engagement over the course of the assessment, in the form of a ‘Call for Evidence’. Our response can be found here
Transport for the North (TfN) have recently produced some proposals for projects that could be funded in the near future by Government as part of a Covid Recovery Plan. We've read the proposals and our response is here.
North East Campaigns
Our campaigns, working with our local Rail User Groups, are:
New Rail Service Newcastle to Ashington (Ashington Blyth & Tyne Line). For more details see Ashington Blyth and Tyne.
New Station at Ferryhill - Further details at Ferryhill Station (updated November 2020).
New Station at Gilsland - Further details at Gilsland Station (updated November 2020).
New Station at Team Valley - Further details at New Station at Team Valley - (updated November 2020).
New Railway Ferryhill to Pelaw (Leamside Line) Further details at Leamside Line (updated November 2020).
Faster Journey times between Tees-side and Tyneside (Stillington Line) - Further details at Faster Journeys between Teeside and Tyneside (updated October 2020)
North of Morpeth Local Service. Further details at North of Morpeth (updated 13 March 2020).
South East Northumberland Rail Users Group - http://www.senrug.co.uk
Saltburn Line Users Group - https://en-gb.facebook.com/saltburnlineusergroup/
Coastliners – The Users group for the Durham Coast Line - http://www.necoastliners.co.uk
Tyne Valley Rail Users Group - https://tvrug.org.uk
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Users Group - Mainly Bus and Metro - http://www.twptug.org.uk
The branch also supports the work being undertaken in our region by the AVR (Aln Valley Railway), Weardale Railway, Campaign for Borders Rail and the Wensleydale Railway.
A full list of Rail user groups in the North East are shown on Railfuture's Regional list list of groups which can be downloaded in PDF format.
View our latest and previous branch newsletters.
Secretary: ian.walker at railfuture.org.uk or at 47 Park House Gardens, Sherburn Village, Durham DH6 1DU
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