Northumberland line

‘Fantastic’ Northumberland Line rail plans on track for 2023 opening after key government approval, shouted the Evening Chronicle headlines. The former Blyth and Tyne railway that runs close to my house was given a major boost on Monday, as it was confirmed that a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) has been granted for it to go ahead.

This is great news and testimony to the enduring activities of the South East Northumberland Rail Users Group (SENRUG). They have made a real difference to the availability of train travel in the area.

I’m looking forward to using the railway, especially to get to Cobalt for work. Or am I?

I say that as I have a history of enduring large civil projects only to find I don’t make use of them once completed. For years I put up with roadworks on the A1 as I made my way down to Cambridge. Miles and miles of disruption took place as the road was upgraded and all of the roundabouts removed. As soon as it was finished and the route cleared, I left my job in Sawston to work in North Tyneside.

Following a relatively calm spell I started working in Durham. I then had to put up with the major roadworks through the Team Valley, which added between 60 and 90 minutes to my journey each way. As soon as these were finished I left my job at Durham County Council and decided to set up on my own. Once again I didn’t get to enjoy the reduced travel times and improved driving experience, though of course they have now started a new set of roadworks to Gosforth.

No doubt then, the day the line opens, with its six new stations including an extension to Northumberland Park Metro, I will retire. Having waited for years (it must be at least ten since we travelled on the first test train) I will probably only use it for pleasure.

Still, it will be a fantastic day.

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