Euro cash call to get Peak rail re-opened?

One of the European Parliament members for the East Midlands, which includes the High Peak, is to be asked about the possibility of funding being made available from Europe to finance the re-opening of two local rail routes which could boost the economy and tourism.

Rail campaigner Edmund Bradbury, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, said that according to BBC TV’s The Record Europe, which previews the work of the Euro Parliament, approval had been passed for cash to help rail projects.

He is now to ask MEP Emma McLarkin if she could advise if the new proposals could finance the re-opening of the Woodhead Route and the Chinley-Matlock section of the former Midland main line, the northern section of which is a quarry freight line.

The Woodhead closed in 1981 and the Midland in 1967 for local passenger traffic, but there have been many calls for them to be brought back into operation.

The Woodhead would provide a fast route between Manchester and Sheffield, easing the freight traffic on the Hope Valley line going south, which is almost at capacity. In addition, the Midland main line running into St Pancras in London would give an important link with the Eurostar service.

Its re-opening was studied in detail by Derbyshire County Council some years ago but was not proceeded with.

If Ms McLarkin’s reaction is favourable, Mr Bradbury intends to contact the council, the Rail Freight Group and Network Rail as well as local organisations who are working hard to re-open the lines.