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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 March 2008, 14:52 GMT
Minister ponders over rail tunnel
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The possibility of running rail services on the route is being considered
A government minister has said the possibility of reopening the trans-Pennine rail route through the Woodhead tunnels was being considered.

Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton, who is the Transport Minister, said the Woodhead Tunnel in South Yorkshire would be maintained for possible use.

The rail route through the tunnels closed in 1981 but rail campaigners are pressing for the line to reopen.

Ms Winterton said talks were being held with the owners over maintenance.

The minister said: "We don't have studies that say we would need a whole new route at the moment.

"There are something like three routes across the Pennines that there is the potential to use.

"But in the meantime what I will be doing is meeting with National Grid (the tunnel's owners) to look at their plans, to make sure that if necessary, if we needed to reuse the tunnels, how we could do that, how we could make sure that they are properly maintained in the meantime."

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