HOPES that the old Heathfield to Newton railway line could come back into service took a step in the right direction this month, as enthusiasts cleaned and cleared the old passenger platform at Newton station.

It is hoped that the line – which last had a regular service in around 1969 – could once again welcome commuters as campaign group, Heath Rail Link, submit a business plan and start fundraising.

Mike Cooke from the group said Network Rail were yet to make a decision on what to do with the line. 

Campaigners for the restoration of the route have now created a full business plan which they say shows the public need and want of the service to fire up again.

‘We need about £6 million to get things moving,’ explained Mike. ‘That figure would include replacing the level crossing: Teign Bridge near Teigngrace.’

The group are currently in talks with a company based in London that specialise in battery-powered trains. 

‘That’s something we would love to do’, added Mike.

‘Now, the group needs sponsorship and they have local business in mind. The track, claims Mike, is still ‘in good nick’ – all the way to Heathfield.