Minsters Rail Campaign


How frequent will the train service be?

We would envisage the train service being every half hour, calling at all stations between York and Hull. That said, there may, if there is sufficient demand, be fast direct services between the two cities. The MRC is also considering a spur to Bridlington, which would enable a direct service to operate to York. If possible we hope to see trains continuing beyond York to Leeds, and possibly Manchester.

Who will operate the trains?

The franchise holder – the sucessors to Northern or TransPennine at the time the line opens.

My house is on the alignment of the old railway line – I am worried, will my house may be demolished?

Our proposed alignment will see no properties demolished. Unfortunately much of the former route has since been developed, so we are planning to use the old railway alignment in the countryside between the towns or villages, and divert around existing built-up areas. More information about the proposed site of each new station can be found on the page for each location – although these plans might change as the campaign progresses. In early 2014 East Riding of Yorkshire Council voted to allow housing developement over the sites at Pocklington and Stamford Bridge which the MRC are objecting to. If the ERYC Local Plan is upheld then a new route will need to be identified in these areas. In January 2015 development had started on the site at Pocklington even though the local plan had yet to be agreed.

As a car driver why should I support this Campaign? Rail campaigns are usually anti-road!

One important thing to note is that we support the A1079 Group, which is campaigning for a limited number of improvements on that road (see links page). The Minsters Rail Campaign is about giving choice to the people of the Wolds, and the provision of the railway will remove much road traffic, reducing congestion and the likelihood of accidents. We believe integration is the way forward, rather than competing against other modes, and we know that many rail passengers will use cars to get to the railway stations.

What will happen to the existing bus services?

One of our supporters is East Yorkshire Motor Services, who see the railway as a benefit to the local area, and something that can be integrated into improved local transport. As well as trying to get the railway built, the MRC wants to see a Swiss transport model in place, with connecting buses to local villages which will not directly served by the railway. To achieve this goal, the Campaign will work with local bus companies although in 2015 continuing pressureonlocal subsidies sees fewer and fewer local businesses.

Will the railway carry significant amounts of freight?

No – the line will be available for freight trains to use, but most freight traffic will come out of Hull via the existing route beside the Humber. The current track layout at York station, and the number of trains forecast to use it, means that freight traffic would be limited on the Minsters Line. It should also be noted that the route is more steeply graded than the alternative routes via Goole or Selby, and this would restrict train loads and speeds. It is unlikely (but not impossible) that the line will generate any new freight flows.

Why not build a tramway?

There are advantages and disadvantages about building a tramway. At MRC we believe that being part of the national rail network is an important benefit for the railway. However if the railway was built as a tramway, it would be able to access the centres of the towns and villages. What’s your view? Let us know on the guestbook page.

Will the line be electrified?

We would like the line to be electrified from the outset, but it is possible it will initially be diesel operated. Any structures such as overbridges will be built with electrification in mind.

Will there be any level crossings on the line?

If the line is built as part of the national railway network, then road and rail traffic will be completely separated, in order to reduce the risk of accidents. If the line is built as a tramway or light rail, then roads and trams will interact within towns and villages, with appropriate safety measures.

So how much will the line cost?

Our current estimate is in the region of £320m for the line. We have not costed a tramway, which might cost less to build per mile, but would require specific rolling stock and maintenance facilities. At this stage we need to build the business case, and get Network Rail to recognise the scheme as something that will happen. Any resignalling on the Beverley to Bridlington or York to Scarborough lines will need to make passive provision for future junctions, and we will closely monitor any developments on these lines.

The line will have to be built with a mixture of public and private money. The Campaign will be investigating this further throughout 2014/15.

How many people will use the line?

The 2005 Carl Bro report prepared for the campaign noted "The estimated annual 2004 passenger figures are a total of 395,000 journeys per annum for one train per hour, 584,000 journeys per annum for two trains per hour and 622,000 journeys per annum for two trains per hour, with one extended to/from Leeds. A sensitivity analysis suggests that these figures may vary by up to 30%." Since then, a Northern Rail spokesman has suggested these figures were probably on the low side, given the recent increases in national rail travel.

What about Haxby station?

The people of Haxby, Wiggington and Strensall have indicated that a station, or stations, serving these villages would be popular, and a study has been carried out, showing this to be feasible, when served by trains to and from Scarborough. We believe that if a new station was built to serve both the Minsters Line and Scarborough lines, this would be of great benefit to those communities. We organised a public meeeting in Haxby in February 2013 but unfortunately there has been little progress since.