Initially, Morgan Sindall’s contract includes supporting the conclusion of the detailed design and delivery plans for the six stations and bridges.
Northumberland County Council is working with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Northern Trains Ltd on a programme to reintroduce regular passenger trains between Ashington and Newcastle by 2024.
Subject to funding being confirmed by the government, and approval of the recently submitted Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application, the framework provides for the contractor starting construction in early 2022. Cost of the work is currently estimated at £40m.
New stations at Northumberland Park, Newsham, Bedlington and Ashington are in phase one of the project. Additional stations at Seaton Delaval and Blyth Bebside are in phase two, which could start in 2024.
Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson said of the chosen contractor: “As a hugely respected company with a proven track record, we’re confident they will carry out a first-class job on this extremely important and high-profile project.”
Earlier this year the Department for Transport provided £34m towards detailed design and preparatory works to allow for the reintroduction of a regular rail passenger service between Ashington and central Newcastle, with several stops in between.
The project will also upgrade 18 miles of track, create three new footbridges, underpasses and new signal locations.