Students fight to reinstate rail line

Hirst Park School Students with MP Ian Lavery.
Hirst Park School Students with MP Ian Lavery.

Competition winners from south east Northumberland has presented a business case for reintroducing passenger services in the county to Parliament.

Four students from Hirst Park Middle School in Ashington travelled to the Houses of Parliament in London by on Tuesday, to give their MP a DVD,called A first class future, they had made about re-introducing passenger services on the Ashington Blyth & Tyne Railway Line.

Kaly Douglas, Olivia Sprudd, Liam Armstrong and Dylan Mackenzie, and, were winners of a competition organised by SENRUG, the South East Northumberland Rail User Group, which is campaigning hard to see the railway line re-opened.

Five different schools in the region entered the competition but it was Hirst Park who were declared the winners at a special ceremony last September.

SENRUG chair Dennis Fancett said: “December 1964 was the first month in which no passenger services ran over the line, and 50 years later, we at SENRUG looked for a fitting way to mark the closure, which would both strengthen our re-opening campaign and engage a new generation of young people to think about the kind of transport south east Northumberland should have in future years.

“We were delighted by the response from schools and want to thank the teachers and students from all the schools who participated.

“In particular, we congratulate Hirst Park Middle School, and I would be happy to use their DVD to show any sceptic I come across who is not convinced of the merits of this scheme.

“For us, the competition has been a great success, and I hope that by the time these students go on to college or university they will be able to do so by train from Ashington.”

The team from Hirst Park were also given a tour of Parliament prior to meeting Mr Lavery, and on the return journey back to Northumberland they stopped off at York and toured Northern Rail’s Operations Centre for an insight into how the modern railway is run.

All of the schools’ DVDs, including the winning entry from Hirst Park, are at www.senrug.co.uk/2014SchoolsCompetition.php