Ribble Valley Line

Ribble Valley Line

The Ribble Valley Line is a railway line that runs from Manchester Victoria through Blackburn to the small market town of Clitheroe in Lancashire. Passenger services normally only run as far as Clitheroe, but the line continues through north Lancashire towards the Yorkshire town of Hellifield, where it joins the Settle – Carlisle line. The line passes over the distinctive 48 span Whalley Viaduct.

The line between Blackburn and Clitheroe was closed to passengers in 1962 but continued to be used for diversions and for freight. After a public campaign, the line was re-opened to passengers in 1994.

The towns and villages on the route are:
*Bromley Cross
*Ramsgreave and Wilpshire

Passenger services from Clitheroe to Manchester via Blackburn are operated by Northern Rail. On summer Sundays Northern Rail also operates the DalesRail service, which starts at Blackpool and continues beyond Clitheroe to the Settle - Carlisle line, where it calls at all the stations en route to Carlisle.

The service from Manchester to Clitheroe was designated by the Department for Transport as a community rail service in March 2007. It was announced in March 2007 that major improvements to the line were being proposedcite web|url=http://archive.thisislancashire.co.uk/2007/3/26/981117.html|title=£8m train service upgrade on track|date=2007-03-26|accessdate=2008-06-28|work=Lancashire Telegraph] by Blackburn with Darwen Council, who unveiled an £8 million bid to the Department for Transport and Network Rail. Improvements may include installing double tracks where presently the route is single line, improved signalling giving increased track capacity, enhanced line speed, longer trains at peak times and ultimately putting on more frequent trains to and from Manchester throughout the day. However, the funding for the scheme was eventually rejected in March 2008 [cite web|url=http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/display.var.2135792.0.8m_boltonblackburn_rail_revamp_derailed.php|title=£8m Bolton-Blackburn rail revamp derailed|date=2008-03-20|accessdate=2008-06-28|work=The Bolton News] .

The line between Blackburn and Clitheroe will be closed in November due to a major refurbishment. The £5 million scheme includes 11,651 yards of continuously weldedrail, 16,000 new concrete or steel sleepers and 40,000 tonnes of ballast. [Rail issue 602]


*cite book | title=Lancashire's Lost Railways | last=James | first=David | isbn=978-1-84033-288-9 | oclc=56002103 | year=2004 | publisher=Stenlake Publishing | location=Catrine, Ayrshire
*Welch, S. "Lancashire Steam Finale", ISBN 1-870754-61-1

External links

* [http://www.ribblevalleyrail.co.uk Ribble Valley Rail]
* [http://www.dalesrail.com DalesRail]

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