Study undertaken into reinstatement of railway line linking Harrogate to Northallerton

A RAILWAY line linking Harrogate to Northallerton, which has been closed for half a century, could be reinstated.

North Yorkshire County Council is carrying out a feasibility study into the possibility of reopening the line which would also connect Thirsk via Ripon.

There have been several attempts over the last ten years to look at reopening the line, which was closed about 50 years ago.

In 2006, a preliminary report was commissioned by the county council into reopening 11 miles between Harrogate and Ripon.

The study identified five new potential sites for a railway station in Ripon. The city was once the principal stop between Harrogate and Northallerton, but the main station building has now been converted into flats.

It also concluded a Harrogate-Ripon rail link would be viable, but the project was not taken any further.

Now the county council has commissioned a feasibility study into reopening the Harrogate to Hambleton route.

There are hopes to continue the line could eventually extend out to Leeds, opening up the dales and the west of the county to more tourists and rail commuters. The proposed line would also allow passengers direct access to the East Coast Mainline, and to trains to Scotland and London.

County councillor Bernard Bateman, from Ripon, said the report should indicate whether the route should terminate at Thirsk or Northallerton.

But he said it was most likely the line would be reopened to Northallerton, as it offered the easiest access to the East Coast Mainline.

He said: “It would certainly be a boost for tourism, especially places like Ripon Racecourse. It will also mean there’s a direct line straight to London via Thirsk or Northallerton.”

Although the line closed half a century ago, Hambleton District Council has largely preserved the route by keeping it clear of development.

“Hambleton council took steps to safeguard most of the line between Ripon and Northallerton some years ago luckily, as they put a restriction on building on the line,” said Coun Bateman.

The feasibility study was commissioned at an area committee meeting recently and should be completed over the coming months.

Comments (4)

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7:27pm Sun 27 Jan 13

D&SGent says...

Hmmm. The Ripon by-pass is a bit embarrassing then ?
Hmmm. The Ripon by-pass is a bit embarrassing then ? D&SGent

7:49pm Sun 27 Jan 13

NickTheBatMan says...

There are a few bridges missing or require major refurbishment as well as the Ripon bypass bridge...
It would be interesting to hear what the ORR & Network Rail think of it too ?
There are a few bridges missing or require major refurbishment as well as the Ripon bypass bridge... It would be interesting to hear what the ORR & Network Rail think of it too ? NickTheBatMan

9:02pm Sun 27 Jan 13

ferroequine says...

Apart from bringing huge benefits of new and improved public transport opportunities to the citizens of Ripon and Harrogate this project would be of tremendous strategic value for transport in the north of England by bringing back an alternative route for both passenger and freight between the south, west and north west to the north east of England and eastern Scotland. The situation since the Harrogate – Northallerton closed in 1967 has changed dramatically: the numbers of passengers carried nationally on the railways have increased hugely to numbers not seen in peacetime Britain since the 1920s. The East Coast main line is close to capacity and this project would supply much needed additionally capacity and provide an alternative route at times of disruption.

In both Scotland and Wales there have been a number of successful railway re-openings during the past decade and in Scotland work is starting this year on what at 30 miles will be the longest railway re-instatement so far and will bring the Central Borders region back on to the railway map after a period of over 40 years. Hopefully, we in England can be as far sighted.
Apart from bringing huge benefits of new and improved public transport opportunities to the citizens of Ripon and Harrogate this project would be of tremendous strategic value for transport in the north of England by bringing back an alternative route for both passenger and freight between the south, west and north west to the north east of England and eastern Scotland. The situation since the Harrogate – Northallerton closed in 1967 has changed dramatically: the numbers of passengers carried nationally on the railways have increased hugely to numbers not seen in peacetime Britain since the 1920s. The East Coast main line is close to capacity and this project would supply much needed additionally capacity and provide an alternative route at times of disruption. In both Scotland and Wales there have been a number of successful railway re-openings during the past decade and in Scotland work is starting this year on what at 30 miles will be the longest railway re-instatement so far and will bring the Central Borders region back on to the railway map after a period of over 40 years. Hopefully, we in England can be as far sighted. ferroequine

9:55pm Fri 1 Feb 13

ceddesfeld says...

Remember this folly the next time NYCC bleats it is strapped for cash....
Remember this folly the next time NYCC bleats it is strapped for cash.... ceddesfeld

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