Petition push to re-open old railway line

Midland Railway Centre, the special vintage train leaves Swanick Station

Midland Railway Centre, the special vintage train leaves Swanick Station

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Campaigner James Wyatt hopes his petition will lead to the re-opening of the Midland Railway line between Butterley, Ambergate and Pye Bridge.

The online bid was started a year ago and currently has 73 supporters, but James hopes to attract more interest so he can present it to Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills and Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Chris Grayling.

James, of Smalley, believes re-opening the line will have huge benefits to the area. He said: “I think Derbyshire County Council should back this petition, because something needs to be done in order to reopen the line and reconnect local communities.”

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “We’re supportive in principle of improvements to public transport as our commitment to Ilkeston Station, which opened this month, showed. This particular proposal, though, is not one which is currently under consideration.

“It’s a project which would cost significantly more than we would be likely to be able to offer – and would have to demonstrate significant benefits in order to attract funding from elsewhere. We’d have to consider the full range of impacts on communities and the environment, and on Midland Railway which operates along part of it, before offering a formal view on whether to support such a proposal.”

Alan Calladine, Midland Railway Trust development officer, added: “This is the first the trust has heard of this proposal. Although it is of great interest it must be remembered that this line did not carry many passengers at any time. The main reason for the building of this railway was to carry coal traffic from the Nottinghamshire collieries to Manchester. The route towards Ambergate was severed by the building of the A38 and the A610 was built on part of the route. Any re building of this section would be a huge civil engineering task. We’re always interested in proposals however, we are not convinced that reopening regular services would be any more successful than it was in 1948.”

For more visit: www.change.org/p/re-open-the-railway-line-from-butterley.