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Keswick to Penrith Railway Re-opening

Update 55 was distributed in January 2014 by post and e-mail.

Thank you to everyone who has responded with support and encouragement.

A special thank you to new subscribers, those who have renewed, for Bond applications and donations received.

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This will be a modern Railway, with passenger trains running direct to Keswick from other parts of the country.  The line will be independently built and managed by CKP Railways plc, which is locally based.

This type of independent operation, connecting into the National Rail Network, was made possible by the 1993 Railways Act.

It will be the first project in the UK to re-open and operate a complete line in this way.

webassets/A66BecksesBridgeVRfromeast.jpg
Virtual reality image of new bridge across the A66 at Beckses, west of Penruddock.

The route from Keswick to Penrith is rich in history and heritage, but it would not be appropriate to re-open it as a Heritage Railway.  The new Railway needs to provide fast inter-regional links to and from Keswick, providing transport for everyone to help the local economy expand, reduce pressures on car parking, reduce the impact of road traffic on major and minor roads in the Northern Lake District and reduce dependence on cars.

Benefits for Penrith will include reduced pressure on car parking by allowing people travelling to or from the Cumbrian Coast to use cars less and not need to park in Penrith.  Travel between Keswick, Penrith and Carlisle for work, education, health and social appointments, shopping and leisure will all be made quicker and easier for everyone.

More people travelling to and from Keswick by train will provide more cutomers for local public transport (buses, taxis and boats).  Many visitors to the area do not use cars during their stays and would happily come by train - further reducing traffic and parking problems as well as saving valuable fuel.

Having a connecting train service to Keswick will mean more main line trains stopping at Penrith on the West Coast Main line - reversing the trend of the last few years.

All feasibility, design and development work has been paid for by the Project's supporters. Approximately £ 400,000 was raised from sales of Bonds (which are still available - see link below).  The Directors are unpaid, ensuring that all funds received are spent on development work, not overheads.

CKP Railways plc is exploring various possible sources of funding for the final legal and cosntruction stages. Government does not fund local Railway re-opening schemes, so the final package of support for this Railway is likely to be unusual and interesting.

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