The UK government has pledged additional financial support for the Restoring Your Railway schemes across England, seeing a further nine receiving an additional £15m to ensure further development.
The Restoring Your Railway Fund originally received a pledge of £500m after its announcement in January 202. This came as part of the levelling up agenda, with the ambition to deliver on its manifesto commitment and start reopening lines and stations.
The additional announced funding will go towards the opening of disused railway lines and stations, with some that faced closures as far back as the 1950’s and 60’s.
Financing for this project can be expected to support the further development of some schemes discovered via the Ideas Fund, helping offer early-stage development funding to 38 schemes. A prime example of a successful implementation of funding support through the project can be seen in the recently reopened Dartmoor Line.
The Dartmoor line renovation was overseen by Christian Irwin OBE, the Rail Investment Centre of Excellence Director at Network Rail and saw the implementation of the SPEED project to ensure cost cutting and a production time that was more than halved. The use of SPEED allowed the project to maximise the budgetary availability for renovation works, thus saving the valuable taxpayer resources and should be implemented further to allow smooth operations on the further stations involved in the scheme, if possible.
The nine schemes that have secured funding include Aldridge station and line upgrade in Walsall, the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield, the Ivanhoe line between Leicester and Burton on Trent, and Meir Station between Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
Rail Minister Wendy Morton said the funding "will reconnect communities long cut off from the railway".
"The last time you could catch a train from Haxby Station was 1930, George V was on the throne and The Times had just published their first-ever crossword. But now, thanks to this funding, communities across England could be reconnected to our railways once more.
"This fund is a great example of how we are committed to helping communities across the country level up and reconnect people and businesses to new opportunities."
The reopening of these stations represents determined levelling up of various communities around the UK, offering a plethora of opportunities for more connected travel.