Transport Secretary announces £34m investment for work to re-establish rail line between Ashington and Newcastle

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has committed £34m to rapidly progress plans to reopen the Northumberland Line between Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Ashington, which closed to passengers in 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts.

The money is part of a £794m investment package to reopen two important rail routes closed more than 50 years ago.

The investment on the Northumberland line will fund preparatory works, including land acquisition, detailed design work and early site works.

Plans for the project include new stations at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park, in North Tyneside, as well as upgrades to the track and changes to level crossings where bridges or underpasses may need to be built.