Network Rail to reconnect Port of Sunderland lines
Network Rail has started the process of reconnecting rail lines to the Port of Sunderland, which is set to boost its import and export credentials.
Port of Sunderland, on the North East coastline, will have rail connections running right into the core of its land, after work started to reconnect rail lines, that were last used almost 20 years ago.
The project is expected to take up to six months to complete, and rail traffic is set to recommence during the first quarter of 2015.
Matthew Hunt, director of Port of Sunderland, said: "Port of Sunderland really is transforming. In the last few years, we have added two new cranes – one a heavy lift crane - and a ro-ro ramp to our facilities, all things that have provided a boost to the port’s handling capabilities.
"Teaming that with improved connections will make a huge difference to the port, and we are delighted that work is underway to reconnect the rail connections."
The rail lines were last used in 1995, before being disconnected in 1997.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of the port board, added: "Port of Sunderland has enjoyed a real revival in recent years and is contributing positively to the city economy.
"To have a port with such strong natural assets - and boasting almost unrivalled closeness to open sea – is a real strength for Sunderland, and we need to do everything we can to maximise the economic impact it is able to have."