An error has been identified in the written answer given on 08 June 2015.
The correct answer should have been:
The construction of a new station at Horden is being promoted by Durham County Council and funded from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal. To date, no approval has been sought from the Secretary of State for its opening. The Department would expect the sponsors to work with the future Northern franchisee to develop a deliverable plan.
The Invitation to Tender for the northern rail franchise, published in February 2015, confirmed that we would be asking bidders to replace the Pacer trains and introduce 120 new-build vehicles by January 2020. This is part of our transformation of rail travel in the north and a step in the creation of a northern powerhouse for the UK economy.
The Government established Transport for the North (TfN) in October 2014 to formalise cooperation on transport issues in the North. The aim is for TfN to speak with one voice to Government on the transport priorities for the whole of the North. The Department is working closely with TfN and Rail North to develop and prioritise the rail options so that the first tranche is ready for consideration as part of the Government’s Rail Investment Strategy for the next rail investment period (CP6, 2019 – 2024).
There is currently a two-hourly Northern service on the Middlesbrough-Sunderland-Newcastle route, with a couple of extra services. By December 2017, this will become an hourly service.
Northern Rail provides an hourly service in each direction between Newcastle and Middlesbrough throughout the day with some additional trains at peak times with some through trains serving Hexham and Nunthorpe. Northern improved the Sunday service frequency between Newcastle and Middlesbrough in May 2015 so trains now run every hour in each direction through the week.
The ITT for the future franchise requires bidders to provide a materially similar number of train services along the Durham Coast line each day of the week.