Power to the people for rail users

Friends of Glossop Station are celebrating after the Glossop and Buxton train lines were officially named as community railways by the Department for Transport.

They now join 19 others in having this designation, including the famous Esk Valley Line, from Whitby to Middlesborough; the Tarka Line, from Exeter to Barnstaple; and the Lakes Line, from Windermere to Oxenholme.

Neil Williams, of the friends, described it as “good news” as it will mean that local needs will now be taken into consideration in the delivery of train services and the maintenance of stations.

He said: “We at Friends of Glossop Station are delighted with the designation and the status it brings and look forward to further shared projects to improve the stations and services on the Glossop Line.”

The bid for the designation was made by the High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership and took several years.

County Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, chair of partnership, also welcomed the news, saying: “It brings well deserved recognition to the exhaustive work of the partnership in its efforts to improve stations on these lines and their services.”

Alan Chapman, Northern’s Interim managing director, agreed, adding that the status would help both lines to prosper, benefiting local people and visitors.

The move is part of a project by rail minister Norman Baker, who wants to encourage communities to become more closely involved in services and stations with a view to making them more innovative and cost effective.