Upper Wensleydale Railway restoration proposal on track for Government funds

Hawes Railway Station. Photo: Gareth James.

Plans to reinstate the railway line between Hawes and Garsdale are on track for Government funding.

Upper Wensleydale Railway Association’s (UWR) plans for reinstating the line has been included in the second round of applications to the Department for Transport’s Ideas Fund for Restoring Your Railway.

The group will find out later this year if it one of 50 successful applicants which will receive 75 per cent of up to £50,000 towards development costs.

Further Government funding could then be sought towards the work needed to restore the line.

The scheme proposes the reinstatement of the six-mile Garsdale to Hawes branch of the Settle to Carlisle main line.

It is hoped that a reinstated junction with the existing  Leeds – Settle – Carlisle railway line at Garsdale will allow through trains to run from Hawes via Garsdale Junction, past the Yorkshire Three Peaks to Settle, then onwards through Hellifield and Clitheroe into Lancashire for Preston and Greater Manchester.

Passengers from Leeds, Bradford and the Aire Valley would change for the new service at Hellifield, whilst those to or from the North would change at Garsdale.

UWR says the scheme is intended to provide wide-ranging socio-economic benefits for the communities of Upper Wensleydale and to provide new, convenient journey opportunities across the region.

All bids to the funding stream need to be sponsored by the local MP and the UWR plans have the backing of Richmond’s Rishi Sunak.

The proposals for the reinstatement of the line started taking shape after a public meeting in August 2018.

Consultations with local landowners, local authorities and other key stakeholders have begun, with fundraising work also underway.

For more details on the scheme, click here.