Momentum builds for plan to restore closed railway line

South Yorkshire’s plans to reinstate local rail services and restore closed stations have been given a boost.

The Government says proposals to reopen the Sheffield – Chesterfield ‘Barrow Hill Line’ to passenger services will go to the next stage of the national ‘Restoring Your Railways’ programme.

If successful, re-opening the Barrow Hill Line to passenger services could see stations reinstated at Sheffield Victoria, Beighton, Killamarsh, Eckington/Renishaw, Barrow Hill/Staveley and Whittington, and the return of a regular service, linking Sheffield, Northeast Derbyshire and Chesterfield.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, said: “There is huge support to take this project forward because of the opportunity it gives to level-up our ‘left-behind’ communities – the people and places currently disconnected from quick and frequent public transport links to get to jobs, education opportunities or to see family and friends.

“By building better connections between communities where we live, work and visit and offering better options to get around, we can unlock more potential for people right across South Yorkshire.

“The Government have set the timeframe of levelling up our region by 2030, but in order to achieve that goal we need them to match our energy and ambition, otherwise it’s just more empty words.

“Projects such as restoring the Barrow Hill line are a great starting point, helping to better connect our communities to local places and more opportunities.”

The Barrow Hill Line was one of 10 schemes shortlisted in May 2020 to progress to the next stage of the Government’s £500m Restoring Your Railway fund, designed to reinstate local rail services and restore closed stations.

Sheffield City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Northeast Derbyshire District Council, Chesterfield Borough Council and Network Rail will play a leading role in the delivery of this project.

Waverley Station is a proposed new station on the Barrow Hill Line, and it was shortlisted in the second round of Restoring Your Railways in late 2020 and a business case was submitted in November 2021.

Two further South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority bids were shortlisted in October 2021 to restore passenger services on the Don Valley Line between Sheffield and Stocksbridge, and the Askern Line between Doncaster and Knottingley/Leeds.

Business cases are currently being developed for these two schemes.