There's concern train services between Newcastle and Carlisle could be under threat following a landslip on the banks of the River Tyne.
Erosion of the riverbank has already caused the closure of the popular cycling and walking route Keelman's Way between Clara Vale in Gateshead and Wylam in Northumberland.
Campaigners fighting for the route to be reopened say if urgent action isn't taken the railway line which lies just metres away could be impacted too.
Gateshead Council says it closed the section of Keelman's Way for public safety.
Gradual erosion of the riverbank was first noted in 2016 after winter storms led to changes in the flow of the River Tyne below Wylam Bridge. This erosion of the southern bank has gradually migrated westward and in 2019 the council began regular monitoring of the area most at risk of landslip to ensure the Keelman's Way remained safe for the public to use.
Gateshead Council says responsibility for fixing the path is with the landowner.
The land is owned by the buildings material company CEMEX.
We are in contact with key stakeholders including Liz Twist MP, Gateshead Council and Network Rail about the erosion at Keelmans Way. This is a complicated issue and any repairs to the riverbank will likely require significant planning and design. We will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders to find the appropriate solution while keeping public safety paramount.
National Rail says it is monitoring the area and looking at options for work to protect the railway in the longterm.
A petition set up by Keelman's Way Action Group is calling for repairs to the route to be carried out as soon as possible. The petition has more than two thousand signatures.The footpath is close to the railway and our teams are monitoring the area to make sure trains on the Tyne Valley line can continue running safely and reliably for passengers making essential journeys. We continue to work closely with the council and support their efforts as they look at options to repair the damage so the path can reopen.
Clare Brint, Network Rail