NEWS RELEASE -
reinstatement of double track between Knaresborough & Cattal
On Tuesday 28th May the
North Yorkshire County Council Executive approved the recommendation to
submit a bid to the NYLTB for funding the double-tracking of the 10km of
railway line between Knaresborough and Cattal. Total value of bid £12.5m.
(NYLTB = North Yorkshire Local Transport Body)
This is a very
significant step towards upgrading services on the existing Harrogate to
York line which currently suffer from recurring delays due to two sections
of single track, where one line was removed in the Beeching era.
Knaresborough to Cattal is the longest section where as a safety measure at
each end the driver and the signalman have to hand over a token, which gives
a train the authority to occupy the single track. This enables the
signalman to change the double to single line points at each end every time
a train passes through the single track section in either direction.
Reinstating this section
of double track will not only save the time taken for this procedure, thus
reducing train journey times, it will also reduce the consequential delay
that occurs if one train is late, making it impossible for the next train in
the other direction to proceed over the single track until the points are
There will be less of a
problem with just the remaining shorter section of single track between
Hammerton and Poppleton, where the line is obstructed by the relatively new
road bridge where the A59 goes over the line near Poppleton. Currently the
interaction between the two sections of single track compounds any delay in
one direction and affects the train in the other direction
Brian Dunsby, Chief
Executive of Harrogate Chamber of Trade & Commerce, leads the Harrogate Line
Supporters Group which is bidding for electrifying the whole line between
Leeds, Harrogate, Knaresborough and York. Brian said "this
double-tracking is a vital first step in the plans for this busy line.
Hopefully it will come ahead of Network Rail's plans for re-signalling this
part of the line, as they have recently completed on the Leeds to Harrogate
part of the route. Reinstatement of the double track will also make it
possible to build a new Flaxby Moor Parkway Station with a large park and
ride site, as part of the planned Flaxby Green Business Park, adjacent to
the existing R R Donnelly Print Works."
Don Mackenzie, the former Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, is a
strong supporter of the bid to upgrade the Harrogate Line. Following the
elections on 2 May, the Leader of NYCC, John Weighell, asked Don to join his
Cabinet (the Executive), which Don accepted. This week's meeting was the
first he had attended as an Executive Member of the County Council, which is
the Transport Authority for this area. Don expressed his full support for
this bid to the Local Transport Body.
Don said "the other short-listed schemes, and indeed almost all the
other possible ones, were highways related. This one is clearly not, but the
potential economic benefit of the doubling of the track from Knaresborough
to Cattal is huge, opening up the possibility of faster and more frequent
rail services between Harrogate and the ECML at York. It also represents a
necessary improvement to the line prior to electrification.
I am particularly grateful to my colleagues on
the Executive for their unanimous support for this bid."
Anyone who wishes to be
kept up to date with future developments on the Harrogate Line should send
an e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01423 879208.