Transport chiefs have decided against action to protect the 1950s Woodhead tunnel for future rail use.
The Department for Transport had been asked to press National Grid to move power lines from the tunnel into neighbouring Victorian tunnels, keeping the main tunnel free so the railway could be reinstated.
However, Stephen Hammond, transport minister, said: “Before reaching my decision, I wrote to more than 40 MPs representing constituencies both east and west of the Pennines, and received three replies.
“I also wrote to other statutory bodies with an interest in the tunnels and Network Rail. In total just seven replies were received by early September.
My decision does not rule out reopening the Woodhead rail route in the future.”