What Is Proposed?
The Northumberland Line (Ashington Blyth & Tyne Line) should, once opened, be extended beyond Ashington along the existing freight tracks to a new station at Woodhorn (adjacent to the Museum of Mining and Northumberland Life) and from there to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
The extension, fairly easy to achieve on existing track and alignment, would significantly assist in the economic re-generation of Newbiggin by providing improved access to education and employment, as well as boosting the visitor economy at Newbiggin and allowing rail access to Woodhorn Museum, one of the county’s top tourist attractions.
A large car park at Woodhorn would additionally allow this station to act as a Park and Ride for the villages further north such as Linton, Lynemouth and Ellington, avoiding the need for car drivers from these locations to proceed further south along the A189 Spine Road to reach Northumberland Line (Ashington Blyth & Tyne Line) stations.
Double track, currently carrying freight trains to the Lynemouth Power station, already exists to a point just east of the A189 Spine Road overbridge. However, from a point just west of the proposed Woodhorn Station, this track is owned by the freight operator, and it would need to be transferred to Network Rail and upgraded to passenger standards to allow trains to run at faster speeds.
From just east of the A189 Spine Road overbridge, a new single track would need to be laid along the former, fully in tact alignment for the final 0.8 miles into Newbiggin. Because this would be single track, it would not hinder the current cycle path / footpath which could remain in situ alongside the railway. At Newbiggin, the new station could be adjacent to the Sports Centre which could also serve a ticket office and enquiry point. Although the new section of track would not cross any roads, a pedestrian footbridge or subway could be constructed to retain the connection between the Sports Centre building and parts of the sports fields.