HOPES of restoring the Todmorden Curve rail link have become an £8.8m reality.
It is hoped that a restored curve, which will give Burnley a direct rail link to Manchester, will bring economic benefits to Todmorden.
The news, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg earlier this week, has been warmly welcomed.
Re-establishing the curve, a link when services last ran between Machester and Burnley in the 1960s, with some track being removed in 1972, has long been a goal of business campaigners in East Lancashire.
In Todmorden, many now hope it will bring some benefits here too.
Calderdale Council leader - and Calder ward councillor - Janet Battye said that in the long term trains linking Manchester and Burnley should provide extra services to Todmorden.
“The brilliant news is that the first big chunk of cash for the curve will be going to Todmorden. My expectation is that is that we have been targetted as a key town and I am expecting the trains that run from Burnley to Manchester will be stopping in Todmorden.
“This will take people off the road and improve the economy of both places.
“A lot of work has gone into this - it is a relatively simple but expensive piece of engineering.”
She also expressed the hope that money could be found to establish a station on the Burnley line, possible at Cornholme, for example, now that Network Rail was beginning to unlock some big funding.
“We need to try and make the case for something like a station at Cornholme, for example. It’s also more difficult to do when they have started the project. I will ask,” she said.
Mr Paul Clarke, Todmorden Civic Society chair, said it would bring economic benefits to Todmorden.
“This will be the single biggest investment in the railway infrastructure in Todmorden since the opening of Walsden station in the late 80s and can only be a good thing for the people of the town.
“Reopening of this small section of track will bring a host of economic benefits to the area and will be good for commuters and tourists alike.”
Mr Graham Proudlove, a former secretary of Todmorden Station Partnership, said that, speaking personally, it was extremely good news, and not before time. For Todmorden people working in Burnley, for example, it should provide another public transport option.