The idea of developing the marshalling yards site, stretching from just outside Thornaby station to Newport Bridge, is among the proposals being developed under the Stockton Middlesbrough Initiative being pursued by Stockton and Middlesbrough councils.
But it also introduces new development in areas such as the marshalling yards, the former site of the Portrack incinerator and around the barrage.
To consider the potential of bringing forward development on the marshalling yards the two landowners, EWS, the freight rail company, and Network Rail, together with the Stockton Middlesbrough Initiative, have appointed consultants EDAW, in partnership with Hyder Consulting and King Sturge, to study the site.
Les Southerton, project director of the Stockton Middlesbrough Initiative, said: "Bringing forward a large site on this scale at the railway marshalling yards is difficult and will inevitably take some time.
He photographed it and sent copies, including a letter of protest, to EWS rail, which operates the marshalling yards
, and the wildlife trust.