An investment (the has been agreed by the North East Combined Authority) of £1bn has been made to Metro and local rail services with the hope of it:
- To put towns and communities back on the national railway map,
- To improve the journeys for the passengers,
- To jolt the expansion of a high quality local rail for different areas.
Due to the scheme, a whole network of neglected rail routes that are being under used, or not used at all over the North East of England have been discovered. These routes could potentially profit form the scheme, as it will upgrade the services, which in turn will put towns and communities back on the national railway map. Over the next 20 years the strategy, which has been approved by the combined authority’s Leadership Board, is also in line to invest £1bn into the Metro system.
The blue print has identified the opportunity to put towns such as Ashington, Peterlee and Washington on the railway map. This will in turn be creating links into business parks such as:
- Team Valley,
- The new International Advanced Manufacturing Plant north of Sunderland.
The advantages of the scheme include the opportunity for a new train fleet to potentially operate on lines that go beyond the current Metro system, which in turn will allow the expansion of local rail services and for better incorporation.
The managing director for Transport at the Combined Authority, Tobyn Hughes, had the following to say:
“We believe some existing and disused local rail corridors can be combined with Metro to create a single network at a lower cost than new-build railways. By fusing local rail and Metro together we can create something new and better than the sum of those two parts.”
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