A few years back there was an excellent proposal from a company called Translink to reopen the disused Manchester to Sheffield rail link with the idea of using special ultra-flat piggyback low-floor freight wagons that HGV lorries could drive onto and be transported between Manchester and Sheffield, this could then lead to a weight restriction on the A628 which would drastically reduce traffic in the area and which as a result would eliminate the need for A57, A628 bypass.
I thought the scheme workable for two reasons. Firstly, if such an operation was set up and run with efficiency and at a reasonable cost to users, the hauliers could not object because their lorries would reach their destinations quicker and the cost of using the service would be offset against savings in diesel. Secondly, the Woodhead route was always the quickest rail route between Manchester and Sheffield. The insanity of the original closure was highlighted in the fact that the journey from Manchester to Sheffield via Woodhead took one hour, but the alternate journey via Hope Valley took one hour and twenty minutes. If the Woodhead route was to be reopened, it is almost certain that one of the Transpennine rail franchises would want to use this quicker route for their passenger services which would result in financial reward for the owners of the line.
The Translink website is still up and running, but all is quiet. Does anyone know if this proposal is still live or excuse the pun when I say; has it hit the buffers?