Aysgarth station Wensleydale railway

E5 – Rail Services

How are we doing on this objective

E5.    Support the development of rail services and related economic uses along the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway, and measures to re-instate other lines to and within the National Park, including the reinstatement of the Wensleydale Railway to Garsdale, starting with the stretch from Redmire to Aysgarth by 2024.

Rationale: The Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway is the only part of the national transport infrastructure located within the Park.  It provides a sustainable and enjoyable journey connecting visitors to the Park and  residents to major service centres and growth areas elsewhere.  It has the potential to support more visitor journeys into the Park and more commuter journeys for residents.  The former Wensleydale Railway route is also a potential economic, visitor and public transport corridor.  Wensleydale Railway PLC has stated its ambition to reach Castle Bolton, and to work with landowners to connect Aysgarth to Redmire.  The Department for Transport and Transport for the North recently commissioned a study to consider the feasibility and value of re-opening the Colne-Skipton Line, which would open up access to a southern gateway into the National Park from Manchester and East Lancashire.

Lead partners:   Network Rail; Wensleydale Railway;  Northern Railway;

Supporting partners:  Skipton East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership; Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company; Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership; Craven District Council; Eden District Council; Richmondshire District Council; South Lakeland District Council; Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority; Lancaster & Skipton Rail User Group;

Further informationWensleydale Railway;

Cost over 5 years:       £13,000,000 (Wensleydale Railway)

Funding shortfall:      £10,000,000

Related objectives:     B4; D4; E2; E3; E6; F3; F7

Ecosystem services:  Recreation; Sense of place and inspiration; Sense of history

Trade-offs:    Reinstatement of the Wensleydale Railway, and additional economic development activity along the Settle-Carlisle corridor, could potentially have impacts on tranquillity (A2); important historical sites (A6); and wildlife (C2).  These impacts would be assessed, managed or mitigated through policies set out in the Yorkshire Dales Local Plan

Baseline: Timetable as at January 2019 (ie. number of passenger services each way, per day and commentary on their usefulness to residents and visitors). Wensleydale Railway currently open from Northallerton to Redmire.

Progress: In July 2019 the Authority resolved to grant permission for a short length of track to be reinstated for private use at Aysgarth station. The Upper Wensleydale Railway group has since established a website for a project to re-open the former railway between Hawes and Garsdale Station.