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From Keighley News, January 26th, 2019
Written by Alistair Shand

KEIGHLEY now has the "real prospect" of direct trains to Manchester by 2025, says the town's MP. John Grogan was speaking after an announcement that an initial study had found it would be "technically possible" to reopen the rail link between Skipton and Colne. Campaigners have long been pressing for the restoration of the 12-mile route, which closed in 1970. Government Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said a second study would now take place to determine if demand for freight traffic on the line would make the project commercially viable.

If a business case is proved, the Department for Transport would provide the £400 million needed for the scheme – which would include improvements to the East Lancashire line from Preston through Accrington and Blackburn.

Mr Grogan, a strong supporter of the campaign, said: "This is excellent progress.

"The freight case is a strong one, supported by many businesses like Peel which runs Liverpool Port and Drax Power Station amongst other sites.

"Hopefully by the end of this year we will have the final green light for the restoration of the rail route, which will provide another crucial transport link between Yorkshire and Lancashire."