Transport minister gives backing to restoration of rail line

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has given his support to the restoration of a rail line in Shropshire.

Owen Paterson at the Park Hall halt by the orthopaedic hospital
Owen Paterson at the Park Hall halt by the orthopaedic hospital

The Cambrian Railways won a £50,000 grant for a feasibility study into the re-opening of the rail line between Oswestry and the mainline railway network at Gobowen.

Now Mr Shapps MP has talked of the reopening of the railway as part of the Government's pledge to restore some of the lines cut by Dr Beeching in the 1960s.

Mr Shapps said: "It's great news and I am excited to see how the scheme progresses.

"Our efforts to undo the damage of the Beeching closures are gathering pace with work on new lines and new stations across the UK. I share the enthusiasm of local campaigners like Owen Paterson MP. "

Mr Paterson said: "It is excellent news that the Transport Secretary sees the strength of the case we made for reopening the Oswestry-Gobowen line and that he shares the enthusiasm we all have for it locally.

"Funding will turn the hard work of Cambrian Railways volunteers into reality."

The feasibility study will look at re-opening of the three miles of track in two stages, the first from Gobowen where the Cambrian Railways already owns a sidings, to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. The track is already in place and, Mr Paterson said, the scheme is ready to go.

The platform is still in place at the Park Hall Halt which is just yards from the Orthopaedic hospital car park.

The second phase would continue the line onto Oswestry and under the A5 road.

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