Anniversary since closure of rail service

LNER 61994 Great Marquess at Bedlington Station on March 30, 2013.
LNER 61994 Great Marquess at Bedlington Station on March 30, 2013.

Fresh calls have been made to re-open a former railway line as campaigners mark the 50th years since it closed.

The Blyth and Tyne Railway, which served south east Northumberland, was closed on Sunday, November 2, 1964.

Although coal trains have been using the line in recent years, campaigners say there is capacity for passenger trains to return.

A report by Network Rail says it would cost £60m to re-open the line due to replacing the trackwork and signalling.

Craig Own, of Northumbria Rail, said: “If the line had not closed to passengers but been kept up to date with current safety standards then the current trackwork would be acceptable and the signalling would be fully workable too.

“We would even accept temporary stations to get the service up and running. Improvements to the trackwork and signals can follow once the revenue from ticket sales begins to flow in.

“An alternative solution would be to transfer the Blyth and Tyne railway to a community railway organisation-come heritage railway.

“The line could provide commuter services to Northumberland Park for transfer to Metro, and heritage Steam services attracting tourists.”

“A Sunday heritage railway service could be up and running at minimal cost and should be investigated if £60m is considered a show stopper.”