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Re-open the Leamside Line

The campaign to re-open 21 miles of track in the North East of England from Gateshead to County Durham

For our people. For our businesses. For our planet.

To find out more or get involved in the campaign

The Line in Motion

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A Phased approach

Phase 1 - Ferryhill Station

In October 2023, the Government confirmed a commitment to reopen Ferryhill Station in County Durham. Project partners Durham County Council are leading on this project.


Phase 2 - Washington Metro Loop


The second phase of re-opening the Leamside Line includes an extension to the Tyne & Wear Metro - known as the "Washington Metro Loop" which uses the northern section of the Leamside Line.

The new Metro connection will run from Pelaw to South Hylton via Washington, with new stations proposed in Follingsby, Washington North and Washington South. Development of a full business case for this exciting project is underway.


Phase 3 - Leamside South


In March 2024, Government confirmed an award of £350,000 which will be used to develop a new business case for Leamside South – the section of the disused Leamside Line running from Washington to Ferryhill in County Durham.

Increase capacity on the East Coast Main Line

Re-opening the Leamside Line would add additional capacity to the East Coast Main Line (ECML) by diverting slow moving freight trains along the Leamside Line which runs in parallel, freeing up capacity for passenger services.

Currently, between Newcastle and Durham, the East Coast Main Line is dual-track. This bottleneck restricts the number of trains per hour that are able to travel along the route - currently a maximum of six trains per hour.

Essentially, by re-opening the Leamside Line we would allow more trains to travel along the ECML route, improving national connectivity across the UK, from Edinburgh to London. 

Connect our towns

The proposed "Washington Metro Loop" alone would re-connect Washington - the fourth largest town in the UK without access to a rail service - with the wider North East.

Communities in Washington will benefit from new connections to Newcastle, Sunderland and Newcastle Airport.

The proposed new metro loop would also connect the communities in and around Washington to major regional employers.

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For our People. For our Businesses. For our Planet.

The first phase of the full Leamside Line - the Washington Metro Loop - is predicted to create substantial benefits. 


Generate over £90 million per year in economic benefits to the region.

Each Metro journey taken in the region would generate £11.80 for the economy.

Create nearly 8 million additional passenger journeys a year.

Replacing nearly 1.7m car journeys annually.


​Reduce emissions by 87,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.


The Leamside Line has been a topic of discussion in the North East and across the country. See where we've been mentioned and find out what the line means to people.

Big Ben

The creation of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Leamside Line reinforces the cross-party nature of the campaign.


First opened in 1838, the Leamside Line long served the communities in the North East.

From the coalfields of Durham over the Victoria Viaduct in Washington, the line transported passengers and goods for over a century.


We're keen to hear your views! Get in touch if you'd like to find out more about the campaign or get involved.

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