Residents have been urged to have their say as part of a major consultation on the reintroduction of a passenger rail service in Northumberland.

As of Monday, residents are able to look at detailed plans for the Northumberland Line, which will connect Ashington to central Newcastle with a number of stops in between.The proposed opening date for passenger services is currently winter 2023. It’s hoped that thousands of residents a day could be transported between Ashington and Newcastle in just over half an hour.

The scheme could boost the local economy by up to £470 million.

The ambitious scheme includes new stations at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park in North Tyneside, as well as upgrades to the track and changes to level crossings where bridges or underpasses may need to be built.

Councillor Richard Wearmouth, cabinet member responsible for economic development, said: “There’s ever more confidence our long-term aspirations for this project are going to become reality – bringing social and economic benefits to residents, commuters, visitors and businesses both in Northumberland and the wider region.

“This consultation is a critical stage of the process.

“We really want everyone to be part of this journey and would appreciate feedback – either on specific elements or the scheme as a whole.”

Council leader Glen Sanderson added: “It’s been a long-held ambition of this council to get trains running again on the Northumberland Line and over recent years we’ve made a great deal of progress.

“With passenger trains rolling again in the next three years this is an exciting stage of the project.

“We hope people in south east Northumberland and beyond will take this opportunity to get involved.”