Home Business Campaign to reopen railway between Colne and Skipton intensifies

Campaign to reopen railway between Colne and Skipton intensifies

Campaign to reopen railway between Colne and Skipton intensifies
The new rail link will link Skipton in Yorkshire with East Lancashire.

An action group campaigning to reinstate just 12 miles of rail track between Colne and Skipton is building up to a major last push to get the project over the line.

SELRAP, the Skipton and East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership, suggests that a new rail corridor will be transformational – forming the North’s freight trans-Pennine link and supporting the levelling-up of the Northern economy.

A new station is proposed at Earby.

The reinstatement of the track will connect the Airedale line, a modern and fast train service running from Leeds, into East Lancashire. Two trains will be scheduled per hour, with a new station built at Earby and a replacement station built in Colne. This will bring the Colne-Leeds journey time down to just 50 minutes, with significant benefits for students, commuting, leisure and tourism opportunities in East Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales.

Freight is another significant benefit the project will bring to the region, SELRAP argues. Additional freight trains on this route will make it a strategic freight rail corridor from coast to coast, connecting Hull with Liverpool and routes in between. This will significantly reduce congestion pressure on the M62 and will have a great benefit on the environment. This project will also open up other future projects, such as the building of a strategically placed freight terminal at Huncoat.

Freight forms an important part of the proposal.

Supporting the argument, a report ‘THE SKIPTON – COLNE RAIL CORRIDOR: The New Transpennine Northern Link’, drawn up by Arup last year, states that:

  • The Skipton – Colne rail corridor is home to around 676,000 people, 32,000 businesses, and nearly 200,000 jobs.
  • A new 12 mile rail corridor will be transformational – forming the North’s fourth trans-Pennine link, supporting the levelling-up of the East Lancashire and wider Northern economy.
  • The Rail Corridor will enhance connectivity, improve productivity, increase employment, foster innovation, and deliver inclusive growth.
  • The Skipton – Colne Rail Corridor will open up opportunities for communities across East Lancashire, spreading and enhancing the economic benefits from Yorkshire.

High profile supporters have lent their voice to the campaign, including the Chamber of Commerce, Skipton Building Society, Drax Power Station, Leeds City Council, and MPs along the route corridor. The campaign has also been mentioned in Parliament, most noticeably by Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden.

SELRAP video describing its proposals to reopen the line between Colne and Skipton.

Peter Bryson, SELRAP.

A campaign video has been produced, to illustrate how such a relatively small infrastructure project would be transformational, not just for passengers, but, by creating a highly important freight rail corridor coast to coast, benefitting the new proposed freeports as well as existing businesses.

Peter Bryson, chairman of SELRAP, said: “We’ve had so much support from leading figures already on our project, and 2021 is the year we will get this over the line and secure the funding.

“We hope people will understand more now about why this project is so important for the whole of the North, and will really get behind us and show support!”


  1. Though I’m from Huddersfield, this line would be of great use to wife and I. Now aged 70, hope to live long enough totravel along it.
    Could I suggest also, a park’ride on a restored Threshfield line. Could be situated on land next to site of the original station which is now built over with houses. Most of line still intact and in use up to Swinden quarry.

  2. Question: Is there any word from government as to whether this really is about to happen, or how close are the powers that be, to making a decision?

  3. It would be great to see Colne and Skipton line reopened because it a very variable line, they never should have closed, well done to every body who supports this project, shaun

  4. just cant understand why the line was closed back in 1970 . it was not on the beeching list of cuts they said it was losing money but why did the rest of the line survive when you look at the rail network they took a major small piece out that was a major link between lancs and yorkshire complete bonkers . lets hope this can be achieved i am sure it would be a great benifit to many people workers who could commute people going for trips to the dales freight especially drax could use it .i can remember going on it when i was a young boy with my parents and i know other people who went on it just hope this project can be got over the line

  5. Last I heard was that the transport department wanted to see how/if costs involved could be reduced. So can they be reduced? Has anyone reported back with a quote for doing the job cheaper? How long does it take to haggle with civil-engineers/builders/materials-suppliers etc? It didn’t take Priti Patel that long to stump-up 50-odd million quid of ours to pay the French navy so they could do just the opposite of what they were supposed to do. We really should be kept informed about what’s progressing behind the scenes; even if it’s only to say that no company/ies has/have offered to do the job at a low enough price.


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