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Wensleydale Railway to the rescue
A HERITAGE railway line last night came to the rescue of motorists stranded by the flooding.
The Wensleydale Railway ran free emergency services between Leyburn and Bedale for car users who could not get home.
There were emotional scenes at stations as passengers were greeted by grateful loved ones.
Martin Baggaley, practice manager at the Glebe House Surgery, in Bedale, got the train back home to Leyburn after spending the previous night stuck in Bedale when he was forced to abandon his car.
He said: “The railway has been a huge life-saver for me because I just wanted to get home. The staff were so helpful and couldn’t do enough for us.”
Healthcare assistant Debra Thompson, who works in Leyburn, took the train back to her home in Leeming Bar.
She said: “It’s been an absolute blessing for me. I was going to have to spend the night on my friend’s sofa.”
The heavy rainfall meant the A684 between Bedale and Leyburn was impassable yesterday.
As well as deep pools of water, drivers trying to navigate the route were hampered by abandoned cars that had become stuck.
Alternative routes were also impassable, with the road blocked between Leyburn and Catterick , and Catterick and Catterick Bridge.
Roads through Tunstall and Hunton were also impassable.
Wensleydale Railway general manager Nigel Park said: “At first we thought we wouldn’t be able to run trains, but we took a train up to have a look and found that it was okay once we had removed some gravel from some of the crossings.
“We decided that running an emergency service was a sensible thing to do – we had 50-year-old trains doing what modern vehicles couldn’t do.”
The railway initially planned to run only one service, but a later journey was scheduled after staff received more calls for help from the public.
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