Further calls to reopen mothballed Leamside Line as County Durham chiefs add their voices to cause

More regional bigwigs have joined calls to reopen a mothballed rail line which would open up the possibility of the Metro system being extended to Washington and others areas of Wearside.
A stretch of the Leamside Railway Line.A stretch of the Leamside Railway Line.
A stretch of the Leamside Railway Line.

Bringing the Leamside Line – which runs from Ferryhill in County Durham to Pelaw in Gateshead – back into use is seen as a way of easing pressure on the East Coast Main line but also gives the opportunity for Washington to have a rail service.

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Now chiefs at Durham County Council have voiced a desire to reopen the line, stating it could providing major economic, environmental and social benefits to the region.

Cllr Carl MarshallCllr Carl Marshall
Cllr Carl Marshall

The line was mothballed in 1991 having been closed to passenger services since the 1960’s

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council Cabinet member for economic regeneration has called on the Government to commit to re-opening the Leamside Line.

He said: “With stations on the East Coast Main Line corridor at Durham City and Darlington, County Durham benefits from regular direct fast links to Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, London the West Midlands and the South West.

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“The reinstatement of the Leamside Line would be a strategically important piece of transport infrastructure for the North East, relieving the existing two track railway between Darlington and Newcastle and it could also enable a number of potential new stations in the council area, for example, at Ferryhill, Belmont Park and Ride and Fencehouses.”

He added: “Not only would the reinstatement of the line contribute towards wider economic growth, it would increase resilience to disruption on the East Coast Main Line and ease pressure on the region’s largest road bottleneck – the A1(M) at Newcastle and Gateshead.”