Great meeting, full of positive energy and a lot of progress made on a long journey. This was the first chance to get Network Rail, Northern Rail, the key councillors from Northumberland County Council, the Tyne Valley Rail Users Group, and the leaders of the COGS [Campaign to Open Gilsland Station], and the BBC all together both outside the proposed station, and then inside the warm of the Samson Inn. My thanks to everyone who came, and the BBC team who stayed to film for Look North in the cold. A lot of the people present had come a long way whether from York or Morpeth to come and listen, learn and see how they could help. For some people it was their first chance to see why this unique project will have so much of a tourist and economic impact, as well a huge impact on transport infrastructure locally. I have to thank the locals wo are driving this project forward. They are too numerous to name but the tireless and ever smiling Alison and Julie should be praised in particular.
These meetings are no a magic wand. But they are priceless for their ability to bring everyone together behind a shared vision. Really grateful to the team from Network Rail and Northumberland County Council for coming, and their positive approach. And thanks to Claire who travelled up by train from London specially to go to Carlisle, Newcastle and Gilsland.