Colne-Skipton rail campaigners inspired by Todmorden Curve victory

END OF THE LINE The railway station at Colne

END OF THE LINE The railway station at Colne

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

RAIL campaigners have missed out on an ambitious £40million bid to restore direct trains from East Lancashire to North Yorkshire.

But officials from SELRAP - Skipton East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership - say they have taken heart from the success of moves to restore the Todmorden Curve section near Burnley.

The reinstatement of 500 yards of track, allowing faster train journeys from Burnley to Manchester, was awarded nearly £9million by the Regional Growth Fund.

Yet SELRAP’s proposals, costing £40million, despite being discussed by ministers, failed to make the cut, under the same funding round.

Jane Wood, campaign spokesman, said: “Our campaign to re-instate the missing link between Skipton and Colne will continue to move forward with some innovative meetings planned with government ministers, county councillors and the rail industry.

“The valuable information collected for the bid will be of value in this work.”

Their supporters have welcomed the Tod Curve announcement, which will help to regenerate Burnley’s Weavers Triangle.

Campaigners believe their efforts would similarly open up East Lancashire to economic opportunities in Skipton, the Aire Valley and West Yorkshire.

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The rail line between Colne and Skipton closed in February 1970 and prompted the closure of Earby and Thornton-in-Craven stations.

Work on the Todmorden Curve could also benefit a separate campaign, by villagers in Cornholme and Portsmouth, near the Burnley-Calderdale border, to provide a new station on the same line.

The halt at Cornholme closed in September 1938 and the Portsmouth station only lasted until July 1958.

The station would also be convenient for passengers in nearby Cliviger and Worsthorne.

Comments (5)

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10:19am Wed 9 Nov 11

happycyclist says...

Is there really a viable business case for opening up a line between Colne and Skipton? There must be ten miles-worth of railway line compared to 500 yards linking two existing lines at Todmorden.
Is there really a viable business case for opening up a line between Colne and Skipton? There must be ten miles-worth of railway line compared to 500 yards linking two existing lines at Todmorden. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

11:27am Wed 9 Nov 11

Rose Rouge says...

The A56 villages by-pass scheme to help alleviate traffic from the North Valley area of Colne, as well as Foulridge, Kelbrook and Earby would be much more beneficial. This could be done by extending the M65 to the East beyond Colne, towards Skipton and beyond. However, the scale of investment would also be significantly higher, and this has always appeared to be a stumbling block in the past, and probably more so in the present economic climate.
The A56 villages by-pass scheme to help alleviate traffic from the North Valley area of Colne, as well as Foulridge, Kelbrook and Earby would be much more beneficial. This could be done by extending the M65 to the East beyond Colne, towards Skipton and beyond. However, the scale of investment would also be significantly higher, and this has always appeared to be a stumbling block in the past, and probably more so in the present economic climate. Rose Rouge
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Wed 9 Nov 11

ToffeeGuy says...

I think it would be better to turn the disused track into a cycleway for leisure use.

It's hard to see how demand could make this rail route viable. There are already 3 buses an hour and in my experience they aren't always busy. The fact that Barnoldswick is slightly off the route also makes it less viable.

The priority should be to double track the line to Colne so that reliability can be improved with the long term aim to electrify the line.
I think it would be better to turn the disused track into a cycleway for leisure use. It's hard to see how demand could make this rail route viable. There are already 3 buses an hour and in my experience they aren't always busy. The fact that Barnoldswick is slightly off the route also makes it less viable. The priority should be to double track the line to Colne so that reliability can be improved with the long term aim to electrify the line. ToffeeGuy
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Wed 9 Nov 11

Noiticer says...

There is a viable and strategic case to re-open the line to Colne to improve connectivity across the Pennine region and to remove a ridiculous cul de sac on the rail network. If we were living in Wales or Scotland the line's re-opening would receive greater support but we haven't got a hope in hell whilst England's affairs are dealt with by a national Parliament in London.
We need a Northern Assembly with control of transport planning. Until then not much hope but never say never and continue the campaign!
There is a viable and strategic case to re-open the line to Colne to improve connectivity across the Pennine region and to remove a ridiculous cul de sac on the rail network. If we were living in Wales or Scotland the line's re-opening would receive greater support but we haven't got a hope in hell whilst England's affairs are dealt with by a national Parliament in London. We need a Northern Assembly with control of transport planning. Until then not much hope but never say never and continue the campaign! Noiticer
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Wed 9 Nov 11

tonygreaves says...

There is no chance of restoring the double track from Gannow Junction to Colne unless it goes through to Skipton. If that happened the new Manchester-Burnley trains could reverse at Rose Grove and come through to Colne and Skipton.

Tony Greaves
There is no chance of restoring the double track from Gannow Junction to Colne unless it goes through to Skipton. If that happened the new Manchester-Burnley trains could reverse at Rose Grove and come through to Colne and Skipton. Tony Greaves tonygreaves
  • Score: 0

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