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UK government pledges $500mn investment in north-east rail network

“2020 will be a year of action on the railways with the north sitting at the heart of the improvements.

The UK government has set out its vision to invigorate rail connections across the north-east of England with more modern and reliable services for passengers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps committed to reinvigorating rail connections across the north-east yesterday, outlining how new investment will boost the rail network as the government looks to level up infrastructure across the country.

Visiting Horden Peterlee, a new £10.55 million project set to be finished in May 2020, Mr Shapps hailed the importance of expanding the rail network, ensuring passengers and businesses across the region have the frequent, reliable journeys they rely on.

Improving connectivity for an area currently with no station over a 20km stretch, Horden Peterlee will be served by 1 train per hour calling at all stations between Newcastle and Middlesbrough, and has been supported by £4.4 million from the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund.

The Transport Secretary will also visit Blyth to see first-hand the potential for restoring passenger services along the Ashington to Blyth line, undoing over half a century of damage following the Beeching cuts.

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The government has confirmed it will establish a £500mn fund to explore reopening former routes which could benefit communities who lost vital transport connections.

Shapps commented: “2020 will be a year of action on the railways with the north sitting at the heart of the improvements.

“Investing in new stations like Horden Peterlee will deliver more modern, reliable services for passengers. We are also ambitious to restore connections to communities who have lost out, and the Northumberland line has huge potential to deliver that.

Our focus is levelling up infrastructure across the country, ensuring passengers see the benefit of new trains, new stations and fairer fares.”

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