The long-awaited connection between the Wensleydale Railway and Northallerton has come a step nearer with news that a York-based railway company is to sponsor the surveying and design work for restoring the missing link.

The line reopened to passengers after half a century in 2003 and now operates trains every day over seventeen miles of track from Leeming Bar on the A1 to Redmire but everyone knows that to create a viable commuter line it is necessary to run trains into Northallerton on the East Coast main line. Frustratingly the Wensleydale route is already connected to the main line itself but the crucial stretch of track linking it to Northallerton station was ripped up several years ago.

Now staff from Corus Railway Infrastructure Services will give their time to draw up plans to restore the missing link.

Eventually it is intended that the Wensleydale line will be reinstated over the entire forty miles to Garsdale Head where it would join the Settle-Carlisle line, providing an extra cross country rail link.

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