PASSENGER numbers have almost doubled on a rural railway into the Derbyshire Dales over just three years.
East Midlands Trains said 399,002 people were carried on its line to Matlock between April 2010 and March 2011, compared with 214,283 in 2007/8 - an increase of 86 per cent.
It is the third highest passenger growth on any branch line in Britain.
David Horne, commercial and customer service director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We’re extremely pleased that the introduction of hourly services, coupled with the significant improvements in punctuality, have resulted in such dramatic increases in passenger numbers.
“We know from feedback received that many people are now turning to the train.”
The line was among several around the country designated Community Lines, also including the Penistone Line, where community groups help promote services.