Wensleydale Railway has launched an appeal to help restore services between Leyburn and Redmire.
The services stopped three years ago.
Railway officials say the condition of track and infrastructure between Leyburn and Redmire is very poor and getting worse, meaning they cannot safely run passenger trains over this section of line in its current state.
Nigel Park, chairman of the Wensleydale Railway Association (Trust) Limited, said: “This part of the railway has arguably some of the finest scenery and views in the Yorkshire Dales.
“We would love to reopen the Leyburn to Redmire section of the line but are faced with some major problems.
“We need your help.”
Officials say some of the track dates back to before the First World War.
There is considerable vegetation to be removed, re-ballasting done and drainage renewed.
In addition, there is infrastructure work needed to address such as the construction of a second platform and footbridge replacement at Leyburn, as well as signalling improvements.
It is estimated that the work will cost more than £1m.
The fundraising campaign is for ‘pump-prime’ funding to pay for grant applications, as well as essential maintenance.
A spokesperson for the line added: “The funds will act as a match-funding resource that can be used as vital leverage when applying for the larger, often governmental, funding opportunities necessary to reopen this section of line.
“It’s a standard requirement of many grant-funding bodies that applicants must provide match funding when requesting funding. This demonstrates that the applicant is fully committed to their project, has ‘skin in the game’ and is not relying 100% on the grantor.
“This match funding is often at least 10% of the total amount of funding being sought.”
For more details on the campaign, click here.