Steam railway line in Northamptonshire could nearly double in length if land lease is approved

The historic Northampton and Lamport Railway could be extended if plans to lease land to the line operators are approved by the public.
The historic Northampton and Lamport Railway could be extended if plans to lease land to the line operators are approved by the public.

A popular heritage railway line could be extended in Northamptonshire after the county council agreed to consider leasing a stretch of land to its operators.

The Northampton and Lamport Railway currently runs alongside the Brampton Valley Way linear park and Northampton Steam Railway Limited - which runs the railway - is hoping to extend the line to Spratton.

At a special cabinet meeting today, Northamptonshire County Council’s, cabinet member for finance, Councillor Bill Parker (Con, Clover Hill) approved a decision to hold a public consultation on plans to offer land at Brampton Valley Way on a 50-year lease to enable the extension to go ahead.

The council says walkers and cyclists would still be able to use the public right of way, with a safety fence separating the park from the railway line.

Councillor Parker said: “Northampton Steam Railway Limited have been working hard to bring forward plans to extend the line further through Brampton Valley Way and I’m delighted to lend our support to the project.

“Before any final decision is made, we want to make sure that the views of visitors to the park are taken into account and will be holding a public consultation to give people the opportunity to provide their feedback on the proposal.”

The Northampton and Lamport Railway is run by rail enthusiasts who formed Northampton Steam Railway Limited with the intention of reopening as much of the former Northampton to Market Harborough railway line as possible following its closure in 1973.

The county council already leases land to the organisation for the existing stretch of railway, which runs between Boughton crossing and Merry Tom crossing.

Northampton Steam Railway Limited says it will apply for various grants to fund the extension northwards, which already has planning permission.