Setback in bid to restore rail link

A BID to restore a North Yorkshire rail line which closed nearly half a century ago has failed to win support from a town council.

Dozens of people have signed a petition calling for the the rail link between Pickering and Malton reconnected.

The line was a victim of the Beeching Axe in 1965, but Whitby Town Council says it wants to see it restored.

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It has asked for support from other local authorities to help its campaign to restore the line which would provide a direct link from the popular Yorkshire coast port to York and the East Coast main line, also opening up improved access to the North York Moors.

A council spokesman said: “In an effort to bring back more of the original railway service, a petition has been started requesting the reconnection of the Pickering to Malton stretch of line.

“As well as providing a useful link for those travelling between Pickering and Malton, reconnecting this stretch of line would make it possible to travel by train between Whitby and York - a service which would undoubtedly be as popular with our town’s visitors as with locals.”

But now the campaign has received a setback after Pickering Town Council poured cold water on the idea after being told it was likely to cost at least £26 million to reinstate the missing link.

Coun Emma Richardson feared the steam trains on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway that use the line could be a thing of the past if the scheme went ahead because it would result in modern diesel trains using the line.

But Coun Tommy Woodward felt it could be feasible if the cost of vehicle fuel continued to rise.

The council decided that there was ”no great support” for re-instating the rail line, but would object to any building on the former rail track at Pickering.

Anyone interested in signing the petition calling for the link to be re-opened should visit: