Restoring Your Railway Fund

Supporting the restoration of rail lines and the reopening of stations.

Investing in transport links is essential to levelling up access to opportunities across the country, ensuring our communities are better connected, local economies flourish and more than half a century of isolation is undone.

Published in 1963, the Beeching Report was followed by the closure of almost 2,500 stations and around 5,000 miles of track. While most of the closures took place in the 1960s, some continued well into the 1970s. Many communities still remain isolated from the rail network following the closure of their local railway line or station more than 5 decades ago.

The Department for Transport launched a £500 million Restoring Your Railway Fund in January 2020, to deliver on the government’s manifesto commitment and start reopening lines and stations. We invited MPs, local councils and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use this funding to reconnect their local communities.

The fund was split into 3 categories to support projects at different phases of development.

The Ideas Fund

The Ideas Fund was set up to provide development funding for early-stage ideas to explore options to restore lost rail connections to communities.

There were 3 rounds of the Ideas Fund, with 141 unique bids received, sponsored by 210 MPs. Thirty-eight bids have received funding to develop a strategic outline business case.

Advanced Proposals

Advanced Proposals funding was established to support lines and stations already considered for restoration and those submitted to the fund that were beyond early development.

Advanced Proposals include the Dartmoor Line between Okehampton and Exeter, which officially reopened for year-round services on 20 November 2021, marking the first reopening under the programme.

The New Stations Fund

The New Stations Fund was launched to support proposals for new stations and the restoration of old station sites.

The New Stations Fund has delivered 8 new stations across England and Wales since its inception in 2014. With Restoring Your Railway funding, 6 more are due to be delivered in 2024 and a further 2 proposals are being developed.

From November 2021, the Restoring Your Railway Fund is not accepting new proposals. The focus is now on realising the benefits of existing schemes to regenerate local economies and improve access to jobs, homes and education.


If you have any enquiries, contact



Published 19 February 2020
Last updated 18 June 2022 + show all updates
  1. Restoring your Railway Fund programme update added.

  2. Added news story on the reopening of the Dartmoor Line.

  3. First published.