Rail users could soon be able to travel faster through the Peaks, thanks to plans to build new tracks on the Hope Valley line.
Network Rail has unveiled a scheme to increase the capacity of the line, which links Manchester and Sheffield, by constructing two new sections near Grindleford and Dore and Totley stations.
This would allow passenger services to overtake slower moving freight and stopping trains, helping to improve the speed, reliability and frequency of services.
Whaley Bridge town councillor John Pritchard, a member of the High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership, welcomed the move, saying it would help contribute to the Northern Hub.
He added: “I’m aware of the need for improvement in Hope Valley. There’s been calls to improve the service for the past 12 years. Passing spaces would increase the capacity for both passenger and goods trains.”
The plans for the Grindleford area include a new section of track running alongside the existing railway through two cuttings and an embankment with modifications to the footbridge.
At Dore, the railway line between West View Lane and Dore West Junction will be extended and a new platform constructed with a footbridge and lifts.
Public consultation events take place today (Friday) and tomorrow at Abbeydale Sports Club, in Dore, from 10am to 2pm.
It is anticipated that an application will be submitted in spring 2014 and subject to consent, work will be complete by the end of 2018.