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Keswick to Penrith Railway line a possibility as Department of Transport invites MPs to develop proposals

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Four Cumbrian MPs involved in a bid to reinstate the Keswick to Penrith railway line have received a response from the Department for Transport. 

There are no rail links to Keswick; the line built in the 1860s for the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway closed in 1972. Since the 1990s a plan to rebuild it has been under discussion. Some 90 percent of the earthworks of the railway still exist, but according to 2000 estimates, a reopening would cost £25 million.

The Department for Transport invited MPs, local councils and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use funding to reinstate axed local services and restore closed stations.

The bid was submitted to reinstate and operate the Penrith to Keswick railway line. It was submitted by Allerdale Borough Council in conjunction with CKP Railway Plc. The bid has received support from the Cumbrian LEP, Cumbria Tourism and Eden District Council.

The Department for Transport has confirmed that it is willing to work with Allerdale Borough Council, CKP Railway Ltd and the four Cumbrian MPs who submitted the bid to find the best way forward for this project. The Department will work with the group to help them develop their application for consideration in a later round or to access funding another way.

Dr Neil Hudson MP for Penrith and The Border said, “I am delighted that our application for restoring the Keswick to Penrith Railway Line has received a positive response from the Department for Transport and can be explored further. This project will be great for Cumbria, providing jobs and opening up links that will really help in the economic development of our county. Joining areas by improved physical connectivity will be good for our area and be a shot in the arm for our local economy, not least our important tourist sector which has been hit so hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Mark Jenkinson MP for Workington said "The response from Department for Transport is very positive and I look forward to their input. I want to improve infrastructure within our county and that includes all forms of transport. The rail network is a large part of this- supporting residents and tourists. Better rail links will vastly improve Cumbria’s tourism offer and create more options to travel to work and school."

John Stevenson MP for Carlisle said "This is an exciting opportunity for Cumbria. It would see significant investment into the area and help support the tourist industry as well as improve connectivity between two important towns in our county." 

The 4 MPs (Neil Hudson, Mark Jenkinson, John Stevenson and Trudy Harrison) have confirmed that the group would like to work with Department for Transport to develop this project.

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Keswick to Penrith Railway line a possibility as Department of Transport invites MPs to develop proposals
Keswick to Penrith Railway line a possibility as Department of Transport invites MPs to develop proposals
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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