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Fast Track East Coast

We are campaigning for improvements to be made to the East Coast Mainline to improve connectivity in and out of the North East.

As part of our Fast Track East Coast campaign for investment in the East Coast Mainline the Chamber is asking members and local stakeholders to sign a joint letter highlighting the importance of this route and the need for capacity and reliability improvements.

Our campaign letter is addressed to the Department for Transport to ensure that the Government urgently commits to investing in upgrading the East Coast Mainline and include this in Network Rail’s plans. This will show that the Government truly is committed to investing in the North and rebalancing the economy.

What is the East Coast mainline?

The East Coast Mainline runs the route from Edinburgh down to London including through Berwick, Newcastle, Durham and Darlington. This is an important route as it connects the North East to the rest of the UK.

How will improvements to the East Coast Mainline help the region?

The East Coast Mainline is currently struggling with capacity issues especially between Northallerton, Newcastle and Berwick. We need improvements to reduce congestion and delays as well as creating capacity for more frequent services, this will make the region more accessible for businesses and for visitors.

If the North East is to receive any of the economic benefits from Northern Powerhouse Rail or HS2 there needs to be a more resilient connection onto the East Coast Mainline. These key infrastructure projects can act as a driver for investment and regeneration, we cannot afford to be left out.

Improvements to the East Coast Mainline will be important in improving local rail connectivity around the North East, more capacity means more frequent local services around Tees Valley as well as to Alnmouth and Berwick.

Increased capacity also allows for both passenger services and freight services to travel on the network. A reliable freight network is important for Northern ports and businesses to ensure that goods can travel to and from the North East.

How to get involved

We’d be hugely grateful if you or someone from your business would be able to add your name to our letter to help make the case for the Government to invest in the North East’s infrastructure. If you would like to get involved please email with your name, title and company name to ensure that your name can be added.

We also need businesses to tell us how and why rail connectivity is important to your business and your plans for the future. We want your stories about the benefits infrastructure spending brings to your local area.

Whether you or your staff use rail to get to work or meetings, or whether your clients and customers are reliant on rail we want to hear from you.

The North East business community is incredibly powerful when it speaks with one voice. When we’re united behind a cause, people listen.

Here are some examples of the case studies we have received so far:

Lara Mellor Training Consultancy - based in Northumberland has told us that ‘a higher frequency of trains and an earlier one to Edinburgh would enable me to travel further without extending my working day opening up significant new opportunities for my training business.’

Cubic Transportation - based in Stockton has told us that ‘an improved service would be a considerable benefit and assist with our plans to expand capacity in our Stockton office’

Intu Eldon Square in Newcastle and Intu Metrocentre in Gateshead have told us that ‘the growing issue around the reliability of journey times along the East Coast Mainline means the overall working day can often be extended beyond what many would now deem acceptable’ and that improvements to the East Coast Mainline ‘will provide a more reliable railway in the short-term, making business-related journeys more consistent and hopefully attract additional patronage onto existing local services’

Any information businesses can provide on the economic impact of improved rail services will help us to build our case for investment.

Please use the box below to give us your feedback on how connectivity can help your business.