THE campaign to reopen a rail link through East Yorkshire has been boosted by the launch of a branch in York.

The Minsters’ Rail Campaign has been battling for a decade to reopen the historic railway between Beverley and York, through Pocklington and Market Weighton, which closed in 1965 following the Beeching Report.

Now a group of York supporters are getting together to set up a York branch, with the inaugural meeting taking place at the Railway Institute, Queen Street, on Saturday, July 23.

National railway campaigner Dr Paul Salveson will be guest speaker at the meeting, between 10.30am and 12.30pm, and is open to members and the general public with an interest in the campaign.

Organisers also hope a senior councillor from City of York Council will be able to attend.

The branch is the brainchild of David Wells, who said he had joined the campaign six or seven months ago and was struck by the lack of involvement in York.

He said he worked for the engineering consultancy Halcrow and he would hope to involve railway professionals in the campaign as well as enthusiasts.

He said the primary objective at the moment was to obtain sufficient funding for a comprehensive engineering study.

Mr Wells conceded practical difficulties would have to be overcome, as some building had taken place on parts of the line, but these could be overcome by line diversions or possibly, in the long term, tram-trains which could go on to the roads for short sections.

George McManus, a former mayor of Pocklington, who chairs the campaign, said: “It’s great news that members in the York area will now have a focus for local activities which will play a major part in our ambitious campaign.

“I’m delighted that local members have taken the initiative to establish their own branch. Building a campaign over a 34-mile long swathe of countryside requires local organisation, supported by local members, which is why this new branch is so important.”

For further information on the campaign, phone Mr McManus on 07720 847819 or visit