Newsham railway station

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Newsham
Location
PlaceBlyth
AreaNorthumberland
Coordinates55°06′32″N 1°31′43″W / 55.109°N 1.5287°W / 55.109; -1.5287Coordinates: 55°06′32″N 1°31′43″W / 55.109°N 1.5287°W / 55.109; -1.5287
Grid referenceNZ302795
Operations
Original companyBlyth and Tyne Railway
Pre-groupingNorth Eastern Railway
Post-groupingLNER
British Rail (North Eastern)
Platforms2
History
1851 (1851)Opened
2 November 1964Closed to passengers
7 June 1965 (1965-06-07)Closed completely
2022Proposed reopening
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z

Newsham railway station was a railway station that served the village of Newsham near Blyth, England from 1851 to 1964 on the Blyth and Tyne Railway. It was located at the junction of the Percy Main to Blyth and Bedlington lines of the Blyth and Tyne Railway.[1] The station was closed by British Railways in 1964, but it has been the subject of a reopening campaign since at least the 1990s.

History[edit]

The station was opened in summer 1851 by the Blyth and Tyne Railway. The station was situated at the end of Seaton Avenue and Carlton Road, off South Newsham Road on the B1523. There was an extensive system of sidings at the station and The Railway Clearing House Handbook indicated that the station handled goods and livestock. The station was closed to passengers on 2 November 1964 and closed completely on 7 June 1965 after the goods traffic ceased.[1]

Reopening proposals[edit]

There have been proposals to reintroduce passenger services to part of the former Blyth and Tyne Railway system since the 1990s; Denis Murphy, the then Labour MP for Wansbeck, expressed support in the House of Commons in an adjournment debate in April 1999 and again in a debate in January 2007.[2] The Railway Development Society (renamed Railfuture in 2000) also endorsed the proposal in 1998.[3]

Later, in 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies published a £34 million proposal to restore passenger services from Newcastle to Ashington.[4]

In the early 2010s, Northumberland County Council (NCC) became interested in the reintroduction of passenger services onto remaining freight-only sections of the network. In June 2013 NCC commissioned Network Rail to complete a GRIP 1 study to examine the best options for the scheme.[5] The GRIP 1 study was received by NCC in March 2014 and in June 2015 they initiated a more detailed GRIP 2 Feasibility Study at a cost of £850,000.[6]

The GRIP 2 study, which NCC received in October 2016, confirmed that the reintroduction of a frequent seven-day a week passenger service between Newcastle and Ashington was feasible and could provide economic benefits of £70 million with more than 380,000 people using the line each year by 2034.[7] This study suggested that though Newsham station should be reopened to serve the village itself, Blyth would be better served by a dedicated park and ride station near to the former site of Bebside station which would be closer to both the town centre and the A189 dual carriageway.[8] At the time it was suggested that, subject to funding being raised for the £191 million[7] scheme, detailed design work could begin in October 2018 with construction commencing four months later and the first passenger services introduced in 2021[7] though by October 2018 such works were yet to begin.

After receiving the GRIP 2 study, NCC initially announced that they were preceding with a GRIP 3 Study from Network Rail but such a report was not commissioned at the time.[9] Despite a change in the political leadership of Northumberland County Council following the 2017 local elections[10] the authority continued to work towards the reintroduction of a passenger service onto the line,[11] encouraged by the Department for Transport's November 2017 report, A Strategic Vision for Rail, which named the line as a possible candidate for a future reintroduction of passenger services.[12][13] Consequentially, NCC commissioned a further interim study in November 2017 (dubbed GRIP 2B) to determine whether high costs and long timescales identified in the GRIP 2 Study could be reduced by reducing the initial scope of the project but the report failed to deliver on this.[9]

The county council has, however, continued to develop the project, announcing an additional £3.46 million in funding for a further business case and detailed design study[14] (equivalent to GRIP 3)[9] to be completed by the end of 2019. However, the revised proposals, released in July 2019, are reduced in scope from the plan considered in the 2016 GRIP 2 study and propose 4-phase project[15] to reduce the initial cost of the scheme. Indeed, under the £90 million Phase 1,[14] Newsham would become the only station reopened to serve Blyth on the Newcastle to Ashington Northumberland Line passenger service;[15] possibly occurring as early as 2022.[14] The park and ride station at Bebside proposed in the GRIP 2 study is instead proposed as an additional station to be added in Phase 2.[15]

The North East Joint Transport Committee's bid for £377 million of funding from the UK Government's £1.28 billion Transfroming Cities Fund, submitted on 20 June 2019, includes £99 million to fund the reintroduction of passenger services between Newcastle and Ashington,[16] while further work is ongoing to secure additional public and private investment for the project.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Disused Stations: Newsham". disused-stations.org. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  2. ^ Denis Murphy; et al. (10 January 2007). "Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Railway". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Commons. col. 135WH–139WH.
  3. ^ Bevan 1998, p. 59.
  4. ^ ATOC 2009, p. 17.
  5. ^ "The Journal: Ashington Blyth and Tyne rail line restoration scheme gets green light". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  6. ^ "New Post Leader: Plans for rail line reach milestone". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Chronicle Live: Reopening of Newcastle to Ashington rail link moves one step closer". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Ashington Blyth & Tyne GRIP 2 Study" (PDF). Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "SENRUG - South East Northumberland Rail User Group: Re-open Ashington Blyth & Tyne Line". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  10. ^ Kelly, Mike; Muncaster, Michael (5 May 2017). "Northumberland local elections results IN FULL - council held by Tories in 'straw draw' drama - Chronicle Live". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  11. ^ Graham, Hannah (1 June 2018). "Northumberland's draft local plan unveiled: What it means for houses, jobs and the green belt - Chronicle Live". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Connecting people: a strategic vision for rail" (PDF). Department for Transport. November 2017. ISBN 9781528601252. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  13. ^ Allen, Andrew (12 December 2017). "What's in the government's new rail strategy? | CityMetric". CityMetric. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  14. ^ a b c O'Connell, Ben (28 February 2019). "Phasing of proposed Northumberland rail line explained after concerns raised | News Post Leader". News Post Leader. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  15. ^ a b c O'Connell, Ben (15 July 2019). "Six new stations could open if Ashington to Newcastle passenger trains resume - Chronicle Live". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  16. ^ Holland, Daniel (19 June 2019). "North East's £377m transport funding bid confirmed - but leaders say there is more to come - Chronicle Live". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Northumberland Line could reopen for passengers in 2022 | Rail Engineer". Rail Engineer. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Bebside
Line and station closed
  Blyth and Tyne Railway   Hartley
Line and station closed
Blyth
Line and station closed