The Anonymous Widower

Could The Wensleydale Railway Become A New TransPennine Route?

Yesterday, The Times had a nearly full page article with a title of The Village With Nowt Taken Out.

It describes how the small market town of Hawes has by its own efforts turned itself from a very much declining town into a thriving community.

The town’s latest project is to take over the only filling station in the town, to avoid a 36-mile round trip to fill up.

The Times was also very impressed, as the newspaper published a Leading Article, which was entitled Hawes for Thought. This is said.

Hawes is a phenomenon, a case study in self-sufficiency, community spirit, bloody-mindedness and the awesome power of bootstraps.

The Leading Article said that Hawes station closed in 1959, which would have been when I was just twelve.

The station buildings are now part of the Dales Countryside Museum.

I got to wondering as I do, where the railway used to run.

Hawes station used to be on the Wensleydale Railway, which connected the East Coast Main Line at Northallerton station to the Settle-Carlisle Line at Garsdale station.

The Wensleydale Railway is now a heritage railway running trains between Northallerton West and Redmire stations, with up to six intermediate stations.

This section from Wikipedia, details their future plans.

The company’s longer-term aim is to reopen the 18 miles (29 km) of line west from Redmire via Castle Bolton, Aysgarth, Askrigg, Bainbridge, Hawes and Mossdale to join up with the Settle-Carlisle Railway Route at Garsdale. A study commissioned by the railway indicated that an initial extension to Aysgarth from Redmire (3 miles (4.8 km)), would generate an extra income of £3.1 million into the local economy with an additional £500,000 in ticket sales for the railway.

There is also this in the Wikipedia entry for Northallerton West station in a section call Future.

The aim of the Wensleydale Railway in the long-term is to extend the line to Northallerton station and allow passengers to interchange with National Rail services. As this will require an agreement with Network Rail, the provision of the platform is an interim solution which will allow the track to be brought into more regular use whilst also bringing in extra income for the heritage railway.

I’ve have looked on at Ordnance Survey map at the track at the Western end and its original position is clearly visible.

Surely, this is the sort of project that rural areas with a high level of tourism need, if the sums add up in the right way!

Consider.

  • The line will have a full length of about forty miles. So it could be a Grand Day Out?
  • The line would connect to the iconic Settle-Carlisle Line at its Western end, with connections to Carlisle, Carnforth and Cumbria and Black and Lancashire.
  • The Line would connect to the East Coast Main Line at its Eastern end, with connections to Darlington, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and York.
  • Network Rail have spent a fortune on the Settle-Carlisle and this would feed in more passengers.

An extended Wensleydale Railway would greatly add to the tourism infrstructure in the area.

Conclusion

If the residents of the area, show the grit and determination, that has been shown by the residents of Hawes, this railway will get built!

There would be another slow-speed TransPennine route.

 

 

November 12, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 4 Comments