Rail operator hopes for line extension

PLANS to extend the route of one of Yorkshire's historic railway lines will be showcased next week.

Ripon Civic Society's first meeting after a summer break will take place on Thursday next week when Ruth Annison will give a talk about the Wensleydale Railway.

A leading player in getting the railway through the Yorkshire Dales restored and re-opened for passengers, Mrs Annison will talk about the line's history, its current operations and future plans.

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Campaigners hope the line will finally run into Northallerton and, eventually, extend to the Settle-Carlisle line at Garsdale.

Ripon Civic Society chairman David Winpenny, said: "The Wensleydale Railway is our nearest 'heritage line', and we are looking forward to hearing about its pleasures and of the hard work that has gone into its restoration."

The independently-run Wensleydale route is said to be the only railway in the country where both the trains and track are owned and operated by the same organisation. It receives no subsidies, and relies on ticket sales, subscriptions, donations and a share scheme to generate revenue.

A successful fundraising campaign saw a 17-mile stretch of track re-open between Redmire and Leeming Bar on July 4, 2003.