Decision due on new Stockbridge rail route that could re-open Sheffield Victoria Station
Campaigners behind proposals for passenger trains on old tracks between Sheffield and Stockbridge expected to learn this month if the plan can move forwards.
If it is given the go-ahead, the scheme could see the re-opening of the former Victoria Station in the city centre, along with possible stops at Wadsley Bridge, Oughtibridge and Deepcar.
Don Valley Railway, the campaign organisation aiming to bring passenger trains onto the freight line to Stocksbridge, understands an announcement regarding the potential development of a full business case review will be made on October 27 as part of the Government’s Spending Review.
This will include funding for the Rail Development Plan which encompasses schemes being developed as part of the Restoring Your Railway initiative, to which a bid has been submitted by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority for trains to Stocksbridge.
The proposal, delayed because of the pandemic, was originally submitted in March 2020 before being resubmitted the following year.
The Department for Transport launched a £500 million Restoring Your Railway Fund in late 2019. MPs, local councils and community groups across England and Wales were invited to propose how they could use funding to reinstate axed local services and restore stations.
The funding will be split in three ways to offer support to projects at different phases of development.
Miriam Cates, MP for Stocksbridge and Penistone, sponsored the bid, which is widely supported across the area, specifying the train services sought.
She said: “The Upper Don Valley is one of the key corridors in the city that really needs investment in public transport and active travel infrastructure, and having the railway line already in place is a perfect opportunity to connect the communities along the line and reduce journey times into Sheffield considerably.”
Funding has already been secured for a feasibility study looking into bringing back services on the Barrow Hill Line, between Chesterfield and Sheffield via places like Eckington and Killamarsh. That also may use the currently redundant Victoria Station, according to campaigners.
There are also proposals for a Sheaf Valley Line along Abbeydale Road.
The Stocksbridge plan would use a currently freight-only line serving Liberty Steelworks in Stocksbridge from Woodburn Junction in Sheffield with the future aspiration of extending this service along the route of the Woodhead Rail line from the junction at Deepcar.