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Keswick to Penrith Railway Re-opening


In early 2006, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) announced its support in principle for the Keswick to Penrith Railway reopening.
The NWDA formed a Steering Group to oversee the development of a Business Case for the Keswick to Penrith Railway. The Steering Group included representatitives  from the local business community and local authorities.

The Steering Group appointed JMP Consultants to investigate the Business Case.

JMP delivered their final report in May 2007, and this was
published a few weeks later by the NWDA.

  •  Passenger usage is likely to be in the range of 230,000 to 320,000 per annum- and could rise to 480,000
  •  Engineering scopes and costs derived by CKP Railways plc and Corus Rail Infrastructure Services were validated.
  •  The principle of an hourly (or better) service every day running beyond Penrith was upheld.
  •  Tourism and economic regeneration bodies were far more supportive than local authorities.
  •  Economic benefits would outweigh the costs of construction and operation, with a net present value of up to £30 Million.
  •  Benefit to cost ratio of around of 1.32:1 as a base case, up to 2.59:1 with optimistic passenger numbers, and could rise to 3.29:1 under certain circumstances.
  •  Economic benefits (using the limited criteria specified for Department for Transport evaluations) would amount to about £3.8 Million per annum once the line is established.
  •  Wider economic benefits include significant ongoing employment, economic output enhancement and additional visitor spending (the latter estimated at around £1.1 Million per annum.

Reaction from CKP Railways plc:

Keswick needs its Railway more than ever before - not just to bring in visitors but to support local businesses and the community, to link its economy to complementary local, regional and national centres. Keswick, Penrith and Carlisle would all benefit from a new east-west rail service linking the North Lakes, North Cumbria, the Northeast and Northwest. 

The area can not sustain more cars - to develop further and provide economic and social opportunities for everyone, a modern rail link is the only logical way forward. It will complement and boost existing public transport and enable other sustainable activities to be developed around it.

For most outsiders, a town without a railway station is simply “not on the map”.

With the business case confirmed we can move forward to the legal stages and actual construction.
This is also tremendous recognition of the potential for the area and the hard work, much of it voluntary or done at minimum cost by the project team. It is also a tribute to the Bondholders of CKP Railways plc who have so keenly supported and encouraged the project - providing virtually all the funding to date."

To download the reports:

Executive Summary

Full Report

Copyright 2007 - 2019, CKP Railways plc

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