Trains could run between city centre and Deepcar

RESTORING passenger train services between Sheffield and Deepcar "would not require a great deal of work" according to a report commissioned by enthusiasts campaigning to reopen the line.

The document, to be discussed at the annual general meeting of the Don Valley Railway group on Monday, was carried out by rail consultants Arup .

It looked into the possibility of running two trains per hour, providing a fast public transport link between the city centre and upper Don Valley.

In the report, Arup said the track is "well built and well maintained, and it does not appear to require a great deal of work to return the line to passenger operation".

It is the sole surviving section of the old Woodhead railway between Sheffield and Manchester, which is currently used for freight trains to Stocksbridge steelworks.

The consultants recommended that the most cost-effective regular service would be a simple shuttle between a station close to the site of the former Sheffield Victoria station, off the Wicker, to Deepcar. Two trains per hour could operate, initially with no intermediate stops, using a single train.

The report said: "Diesel-powered rolling stock is seen as the most suitable for the operation of the line. This option is also potentially the easiest to get into operation. Enhancements could be made in the future as funds allow to extend into the centre of Stocksbridge, additional stations at Oughtibridge and Wadsley Bridge and extensions towards Penistone."

It was also revealed in the document that the estimated cost of introducing passenger trains on the line would be much lower than previous studies have shown, Don Valley Railway said. Detailed costs have not been revealed.

During the AGM, being held from 7.30pm on Monday at the Harlequin pub, Nursery Street, members of Don Valley Railway will discuss how to get other organisations interested in the project and obtain funding to get the service up and running. An estimated date for the launch of trains has not yet been set.

- Current Don Valley Railway chairman Dave Goodison has stood down due to ill health after seven years. Mr Goodison used to work as a signalman on the Woodhead railway.

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