It’s been widely reported in the press that Northumberland County Council and Northern have been running special “route familiarisation” trains round the Northumberland (Ashington Blyth & Tyne) Line last week and this week, with special invited guests on board. To enable social distancing, guests were split over the different trains. I am pleased to confirm I was invited to join last Friday’s train, along with fellow SENRUG Committee Member Dave Shaw who was representing Railfuture. On board our particular train was North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll and Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, along with people from Northumberland County Council, Network Rail and various consultants and contractors. Other invited guests such as Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy travelled on different days. We left Newcastle, ran round the Northumberland Line as far as Bedlington, then on the branch line to Morpeth where we then re-traced our steps back to Newcastle. It was a very enjoyable afternoon and our thanks to NCC and Northern for ensuring we were included on the guest list. We know from our own 2008 charter that these things are not straightforward to organise, and special thanks are due to Northern project manager Paul Henry for all the hard work he put in. Most importantly, it is so good to see our flagship campaign over the last 15 years gradually but surely turning in to reality.