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North East Branch

Welcome to Railfuture North East’s webpages

We are campaigning to improve and develop rail services in the North East of England. 

We cover the local authority areas within the Tees Valley, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Northumberland

Latest News: The branch committee have spent a number of evenings, on Zoom, working their way through the draft of the North East Transport Plan. The plan covers County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Northumberland and it looks at the next 15 years of developments in both public and private transport. To read the draft plan and our response please look at our page on the North EastTransport Plan here. Whilst we welcome a lot of what is in the plan, we have found some parts that are not as ambitious as we had hoped. We say that the need to act urgently to protect our environment must be a top priority, and this will mean a much greater emphasis on both public transport and moving as much freight traffic away from the roads as is possible. We’ve made proposals to improve the plan in both of these key policy areas. Our response, and many others including those from the local RUGs, has gone in and the next stage will be the publication of plan itself – followed by work to implement the proposals.

Upcoming Events 
Branch Committee Meeting: The next Branch Committee meeting will be held on 19th January 2021 at 18:00. Unless there is a substantial change in the rules about social distancing the meeting will take place on Zoom. Notes will be published as soon as possible after the meeting. If there are items that you think we should discuss, or if you would like to attend this meeting, please contact our Branch Secretary (see contact details below)

Past Events
Branch AGM: The Railfuture North East Branch Annual General Meeting, due to have been held on Saturday 25th April 2020, had to be postponed. At yet there is no new date for the meeting but, for the moment, most of the existing officers, have indicated that they will remain in post. However Martin Murphy had indicated that he wished to step down as Branch President after many years of sterling service. Tony Walker has agreed to take on this role.

The notes of the most recent Branch Committee meeting, held via Zoom on 24th November, are available here.

Making Our Views Known
The Government are proposing to set up a panel of local experts to advise Northern Trains Ltd. on strategy and emerging plans. Unfortunately the panel does not include anyone from the northern part of our area. The Branch considered the matter and issued a press release. A few days later we received a response from DOHL, the government owned holding company who are responsible for the Northern network of rail services. For full details please see here.

On 11 February 2020, the government announced plans to proceed with High Speed 2 (HS2), with construction of Phase 1 from London to the West Midlands set to begin in April. At the same time, it announced an intention to draw up an integrated rail plan for the north and Midlands, the terms of reference for which were published on 21 February. This plan will be informed by an assessment of the rail needs of the Midlands and the north to be undertaken by the Commission. The National Infrastructure Commission took the first step to building an evidence base for this work, which will be supported by broader analysis and stakeholder engagement over the course of the assessment, in the form of a ‘Call for Evidence’. Our response can be found here

Transport for the North (TfN) have recently produced some proposals for projects that could be funded in the near future by Government as part of a Covid Recovery Plan. We've read the proposals and our response is here.

December 2020. The last of the Pacers has been withdrawn and Grant Shapps has congratulated the North on our new trains. We've been looking around to find these new trains on local services but haven't managed to uncover any of them. We decided on a public response. You'll find it on our press release page.


North East Campaigns
Our campaigns, working with our local Rail User Groups, are:
New Rail Service Newcastle to Ashington (Ashington Blyth & Tyne Line). For more details see Ashington Blyth and Tyne.
New Station at Ferryhill - Further details at Ferryhill Station (updated November 2020).
New Station at Gilsland - Further details at Gilsland Station  (updated November 2020).
New Station at Team Valley - Further details at New Station at Team Valley - (updated November 2020).
New Railway Ferryhill to Pelaw (Leamside Line) Further details at Leamside Line (updated November 2020).
Faster Journey times between Tees-side and Tyneside (Stillington Line) - Further details at Faster Journeys between Teeside and Tyneside (updated October 2020)
North of Morpeth Local Service. Further details at North of Morpeth (updated 13 March 2020).

Local Links
South East Northumberland Rail Users Group - http://www.senrug.co.uk
Saltburn Line Users Group - https://en-gb.facebook.com/saltburnlineusergroup/
Coastliners – The Users group for the Durham Coast Line - http://www.necoastliners.co.uk
Tyne Valley Rail Users Group - https://tvrug.org.uk
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Users Group - Mainly Bus and Metro - http://www.twptug.org.uk

The branch also supports the work being undertaken in our region by the AVR (Aln Valley Railway), Weardale Railway, Campaign for Borders Rail and the Wensleydale Railway.

A full list of Rail user groups in the North East are shown on Railfuture's Regional list list of groups which can be downloaded in PDF format.

Newsletter
View our latest and previous branch newsletters.

Contact
Secretary: ian.walker at railfuture.org.uk or at 47 Park House Gardens, Sherburn Village, Durham DH6 1DU

Railfuture - Britain's leading independent campaign for a better passenger and freight rail network
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