Welland Valley 'Beeching Reverse' Rail link will provide new links for Stamford and Peterborough and possible new station for Rutland
Railway campaigners are proposing a new line that runs between Kettering and Corby with new links to Stamford and Peterborough.
If the Welland Valley Rail link gets the green light, it will see the number of trains between Stamford and Peterborough increase from one to two per hour.
And it might also include modifications at Stamford Railway Station to make platforms more accessible to people with mobility issues.
The plan, which is in its early stages, could see a new station built at Luffenham in Rutland that would provide rail access to the proposed new housing development at St George’s Barracks.
In total, the line would potentially benefit around 400,000 people.
Owen O’Neill, lead campaigner and Welland Valley Rail Partnership’s chief technical officer, said: “This is a hugely exciting and ambitious project but it’s still early days.
“Getting hearts and minds behind the project is important, so if people want to support us then the best thing they can do right now is to fill in the very short survey on our website .”
The idea is to reconnect communities that were cut off in the 1960s when Dr Richard Beeching was tasked with reviewing the railway network and closed more than 2,000 stations.
The Welland Valley ‘Beeching Reverse’ link would start at Kettering before calling at Corby, Luffenham, Stamford, Peterborough, Whittlesey, March and Wisbech.
Most of the infrastructure is already said to be in place with just a three-and-a-half mile section of track in need of replacing between Seaton and Luffenham.
Mr O’Neill has applied for a cut of the Government’s £500 million ‘Restoring Your Railways’ funding pot in order to draw up a feasibility study on the proposals.
This would check the plan is financially viable and would be suitably beneficial to communities.
If successful, it would see the Department for Transport stump up 75 per cent of the total cost of the study, which would be around £50,000, with local councils hopefully pledging the remainder.
The plan currently has the backing of four MPs, including Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns.
She said: “No decisions have been made, but it is absolutely right that we investigate this possibility and understand whether Rutlanders want to see the return of an additional train station [at Luffenham].
“Once the feasibility has been assessed we will better understand if the new line is possible, and whether it would work for us in Rutland.”
Mr O’Neill said the line would benefit Rutlanders, especially if controversial plans for 2,300 new homes at St George’s Barracks get the go-ahead.
He added: “The St George's development is a matter for the local community to decide on, but it seems prudent to at least look at the potential for a local railway station to reduce the amount of road traffic generated.”
For more information and to take part in the survey visit the website at www.wvr.org.uk
Take part in Alicia Kearns’ survey here www.aliciakearns.com/form/luffenham-rail-station-survey