Thursday 22 Oct 2015

Work to reinstate quarry link reaches major milestone

Region & Route:
London North Western
North West Central

A project to reconnect two quarries with the main Settle to Carlisle railway at Horton in Ribblesdale will reach a major milestone this weekend when the new line is connected to the existing network.

Funded by Tarmac in support of its Arcow and Dry Rigg quarries, the £5million project will help remove more than 16,000 lorry journeys from the local road network each year and follows close liaison with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Craven District Council, local parish councils and residents to look at alternative ways of transporting materials.

Delivered by Network Rail and its partners Babcock and Story Contracting, the work, which started this summer, includes:

• Significant earth removal as well as the construction of a new supporting railway embankment
• Opening up the connection between both quarries and the main railway line
• Track and signalling work to connect the new section of railway to the main railway line including supporting signalling work at Blea Moor, Settle Junction and Arcow

Connecting the link to the main railway line will take place from close of play on Friday 23 October until the early hours of Tuesday 27 October. During this time, the railway will be closed between Settle and Appleby, with the following alternative travel arrangements in place for Northern Rail customers:

• Leeds to Carlisle services will start and finish at Long Preston with a connecting bus service to/from Carlisle
• Due to additional works at Appleby on Sunday 25th October, trains will start and finish at Shipley

Ross Halley, Tarmac's regional estates manager North and Scotland, said: " The opening will remove thousands of vehicle movements from the local highway network, increase connectivity to Tarmac's sites and help secure the line for future generations. This project would not have been possible without commitment from Network Rail and our local stakeholders, including the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and we are  delighted that this project is nearing completion".

Joelle Calderelli, Network Rail’s scheme project manager, said: "On completion, this new link will have a major, positive impact upon the local road network, helping remove thousands of lorry journeys from the Yorkshire Dales National Park. As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan we are committed to working with all parties to develop the railway to support industry and the wider economy.”

Once this work has been completed, a new footbridge will be installed to cross the new rail connection, aligned to the existing pedestrian route adjacent to the quarry. The new rail link is scheduled to open to traffic in late 2015/early 2016.

The rail connection was originally removed from use in the 1960s.

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