Initial work could be complete by December 2012 and include:
- A reduction in journey time by around 5 minutes between Darlington and Saltburn.
- An increase in services from 1–2 to four trains per hour on the Tees Valley Line between Darlington and Saltburn
- Additional platforms at Darlington station on the eastern side of the station to reduce the need for local services to cross the East Coast Main Line.
- Possible new platforms at Middlesbrough.
- Refurbished Class 156 "Sprinters" rolling stock.
- Relocation of Tees-side Airport station to serve Durham Tees Valley Airport better.
- A station at Wilton.
- A new station at James Cook University Hospital.
- Improvements to existing stations at Eaglescliffe, Thornaby and Hartlepool.
These improvements are estimated to cost £30 – 40 million.
The second stage of Phase 1 is due to be completed in December 2014, after the renewal of the current Northern Rail franchise.
- New stations at Teesside Park, Morton Palms and Middlehaven.
- New rolling stock, Class 172 Turbostar is most likely.
- Refurbishment of other stations on Route 1
The cost of these improvements is estimated at £50 – 60 million.
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