Campaigners fighting for a train service between Sheffield and Stocksbridge are being helped by a top international firm.
Mott MacDonald, which has offices in Sheffield and is an expert in rail engineering, has offered help to Don Valley Railway – a group of volunteers who want to run a regular service along the route.
A spokesman for Don Valley Railway said: Mott MacDonald has offered to assist us in delivery of our business plan for the project.”
DVR has also held a further meeting with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, which supports the reopening of the line – currently only used by freight trains to and from Stocksbridge steel works – ‘in principle’.
If DVR secures funding to operate services, it has two options for trains to use on the line – a Parry People Mover, which is similar to a tram and currently operates on a route in the West Midlands, or by leasing diesel trains currently in use on other services in the area.
A previous study on behalf of DVR, by consultants Arup, said it would cost £4 million to upgrade track and build new stations.
Arup initially recommended running a shuttle service between Sheffield and Deepcar, then opening extra stations at locations such as Oughtibridge and Stocksbridge.
■ DVR is to hold its regular meeting at the Harlequin pub, Nursery Street, Sheffield, on Thursday, September 6, between 7pm and 9pm.
DVR’s petition – backed by 2,000 people so far – calling on the Government to support train services between the city and Stocksbridge can still be signed.