Jun 2020 – Upper Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

The Upper Wensleydale Railway project is a plan to reopen the section of line from Garsdale on the West Coast Mainline, to the market town of Hawes. 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 to Settle, then onwards through Hellifield and Clitheroe into Lancashire for Preston and Greater Manchester. Investigations and consultation with local landowners, Local Authorities and other key stakeholders have begun and were boosted by the line’s surprise inclusion in a list of fifty projects for government consideration in the second round of its Restoring Railways Fund programme. The Wensleydale Railway heritage line currently operates at the other end of the dale, from Leeming Bar to Redmire, with a physical though rarely used connection to the ECML at Northallerton, and long-term pretensions to reach Hawes and Gardale to the west. (Peter Billington)