Garstang to Knott End rail revival plans back on track

Members of the Garstang and Knott End Light Railway group at Hackensall Crossing, Knott End, with the part of the route to Knott End behind them
Members of the Garstang and Knott End Light Railway group at Hackensall Crossing, Knott End, with the part of the route to Knott End behind them
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Railway revivalists are to launch a campaign which could see part of an almost forgotten rail route restored.

The team of transport enthusiasts have long since dreamed of seeing parts of the route of the former Garstang to Knott End Railway being re-tracked and used by local passengers and tourists.

Decades after the last trains ran, the newly-formed Garstang and Knott End Light Railway Group is hoping to turn the revival dream turned into reality – at least on part of the old route.

The 30 member volunteer group has identified a section of the route from Preesall to Knott End as the stretch where they believe a new track and a train will boost the tourism fortunes of the neighbouring communities.

A formal launch of the project is planned within the next few months, but fundraising to pay for a feasibility study, tracks, sleepers and other infrastructure has already begun.

The proposed rail route would initially link Park Lane bridge, near Preesall Bowling Club, to the Hackensall Crossing area, a distance of just under a mile.

A longer term aim would see track continuing to Knott End at a point near the old railway station (now the Knott End cafe) and ferry slipway.

Group chairman Ray Langford, of Bispham, said: “We are confident of getting things up and running and want to keep local people fully informed.”

Mr Langford said fundraising had already begun with the printing of T-shirts showing the route of the original railway.

A publicity and fundraising stall is to be held regularly at Fleetwood Market and similar stalls will be held at local transport festivals, including Fleetwood’s Tram Sunday this summer. Preesall Town Council has invited group officials to speak at its next meeting on Monday, February 13 at 7pm. For more information contact rlangford003@gmail.com