A DREAM scheme to re-open a former railway station at Gilsland is still on track, according to Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman.

The station at Gilsland has been closed since it became a victim of the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.

But campaigners believe reviving it would unlock the potential for tourism in the area, which lies at the heart of Hadrian’s Wall Country.

Last year, rail operator Northern Rail warned that the scheme could cost up to £28m, with work to be carried out from project design and management, to civil engineering, signalling and risk management.

Following a meeting with rail minister Paul Maynard last week, Mr Opperman said he was confident that a more cost effective solution was being sought.

Mr Opperman said: “The problem, as always, has been the cost. If one approaches this from a requirement for a state of the art, brand new station, then the original Network Rail estimate of upwards of £28m is clearly a big ask in these straitened times.

“However, I have been impressed by the way in which Network Rail is trying to come up with innovative, and potentially more cost effective, solutions.”

A report by Network Rail last summer concluded that the project is feasible, with an estimated 25,000 trips per year starting and finishing at Gilsland.