HARROGATE LINE - Direct London Services




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May 2016

Harrogate Line Supporters Group Bulletin - May 2016

There have been significant developments concerning rail services to Harrogate in the past few months which I have summarised in the attached Bulletin No 17.   Whilst some members may well be aware of some of the news items, I hope that there is sufficient new information to justify the time and effort to compile it - and for you to read through it.  (If not, please let me know!) 

The news that the Office for Rail and Road has finally approved Virgin Trains East Coast's bid for pathway allocations to bring their plans to reality is really welcome.  This announcement was a great relief to everyone who has been involved in the long campaign for more direct rail services between Harrogate and London.  These new services with new high speed trains every two hours each way will be of great benefit to Harrogate District's businesses, residents and visitors for many years to come. 

It was particularly heartening to see the ORR refer to the benefit to communities being a key part of its decision. The needs of the Harrogate community and economy have always been at the heart of our campaign and we believe this final decision is recognition that those needs must be met. Click for full Bulletin

5th March 2015

Chamber welcomes electrification campaign success

After six years of campaigning, Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce has welcomed the announcement that the Harrogate rail line has been prioritised by the Government for electrification.

Chief Executive Brian Dunsby said: "This is absolutely excellent news for everyone concerned, and the result of extensive hard work and campaigning over many years.

"Improving the rail service with electrification will make an enormous difference to Harrogate. As well as modern rolling stock, which is something we have needed for many years, we will benefit from increased frequency, shorter journey times, and services earlier in the morning and later in the evening, seven days a week. more...

2nd March 2015


There have been many important announcements and planned developments affecting rail services to Harrogate since our previous Bulletin No 12 in September 2014. The summary below highlights the key items of news and the relevant files or weblinks. Click here to download a more detailed paper . The relevant files can be provided by e-mail on request. more...

28th February 2015


Harrogate Chamber Chief Executive Brian Dunsby and a group of members who depend on rail services have held a series of meetings with the short-listed bidders for the Northern Rail franchise and the TransPennine Express Franchise - and with the successful bidders for the East Coast main-line franchise.

The East Coast mainline services, including the current once-a-day each way direct London-Harrogate service, will be taken over by a partnership of Virgin and Stagecoach with effect from 1st March 2015.  Stagecoach own 90% and Virgin 10% of the new company, but it will be branded as Virgin Trains East Coast.  more...

February 2015


Harrogate Line Electrification Business Case going to Government Ministers

We are pleased to announce that the detailed Business Case for electrification of the Leeds-Harrogate-York rail line has just been published and is now going to be submitted to Government Ministers by Andrew Jones, MP For Harrogate & Knaresborough.

The analysis and preparation of the Business Case has been funded by NYCC, Metro, City of York and Harrogate Borough Council. Network Rail and Northern Rail have supported the work with technical and commercial data, whilst Harrogate Chamber provided extensive demographic and market research data plus feedback on customer needs and technical issues from the present 160 members in the Harrogate Line Supporters Group.

The detailed engineering design work by TATA shows an estimated capital cost of £93 million, whilst the cost-benefit analysis by WSP is excellent at 3.61 - meaning a return to the local economy of £3.60 for every £1 invested in the scheme. The Business Case is now been submitted to the Ministers in the Treasury and the Dept for Transport to seek funding for the scheme.

Click here for full news release

18th January 2014

Shortlist for new InterCity East Coast rail services
Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.

The shortlist of bidders that will be invited to deliver proposals for improved services for passengers on the Intercity East Coast rail franchise was announced by the government on 17 January 2014. more...

16th January 2014

GOOD NEWS!  The Harrogate Line is listed in the following Department for Transport News Release today. more...

7th November 2013

Two Awards for Harrogate Line Supporters Group

Harrogate Chamber's Chief Executive Brian Dunsby was presented with two national Rail Industry Awards for the Chamber's Harrogate Line Supporters Group at the recent Rail Future Annual Conference in Oxford Town Hall. more...

29th May 2013

Bid for reinstatement of double track between Knaresborough & Cattal

On Tuesday 28th May the North Yorkshire County Council Executive approved the recommendation to submit a bid to the NYLTB for funding the double-tracking of the 10km of railway line between Knaresborough and Cattal.  Total value of bid £12.5m.   (NYLTB = North Yorkshire Local Transport Body) more...


10th March 2013

Business Case for electrification is underway

In response to a long reader's letter in the 7th March issue of the Harrogate Advertiser, Brian Dunsby assured readers that there is now a very active Harrogate Line Supporters Group and they are seeing significant progress in terms of justifying the electrification of the Harrogate Line on several fronts. more...


25th February 2013

The following update was issued to the Harrogate Line Supporters Group on 25th February 2013:

Significant progress is being made in terms of justifying the electrification of the Harrogate Line on several fronts.

The Department for Transport has requested preparation of a detailed technical study and a business case comparing costs with benefits for submission in the Spring of 2013. Although there is no assurance of funding at this stage, our aim is to have this Project ready in the pipeline when the Treasury decides to release additional funding for investment in further rail electrification. more...


22nd May 2012

Harrogate-London Trains have had a successful first year

The new everyday return train service from Kings Cross to Harrogate has just completed its first year of operation with very good results. East Coast Trains say that over 43,000 passengers have used the Harrogate leg of the direct Kings Cross services during its first year. more...


8th December 2011

Harrogate Line electrification is now supported by all the local Councils

The need to electrify the Harrogate Railway Line between Leeds, Harrogate and York has now been fully endorsed by all of the Local Authorities concerned.   Following extensive research and lobbying by Harrogate Chamber of Trade & Commerce, supported by Harrogate Borough Council and local MP Andrew Jones, the plans to radically improve the services now have full support from the leaders and relevant senior officers at City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire PTE (Metro) and the Leeds City Region Transport Panel.  more...

8th August 2011

Harrogate “Metro” Line proposals supported by local rail enthusiasts

Proposals for electrification of the Harrogate Railway Line between Leeds, Harrogate and York were endorsed at a meeting of local rail supporters on Monday evening 8th August in the HIC Queen’s Suite.  more...