Plans to build a heritage railway line connecting Elsecar and Cortonwood in South Yorkshire have taken a major step forward.
Staff and volunteers Elsecar Heritage Railway have constructed a level crossing at Tingle Bridge Lane that will eventually allow the line to double in length.
It means trains will travel through the coalfields where the 1984 miners’ strike began, with the railway hoping to re-brand the 2.5-mile route as the Coalfield Line.
Before the level crossing was built, the existing 1.25-mile line stopped at Hemingfield.
William Tilling, chairman of trustees at the railway, said: “This is such a major step forward.”
Mr Tilling said he hoped to extend the line by a further 1.25 miles to Cortonwood and build a new station called Cortonwood Colliery Station.
It was plans to close the mine at Cortonwood which sparked the miners’ strike in 1984.
Mr Tilling said: “Without this crossing it has been a bit like the Berlin Wall or the Red Sea.
“Without it we would not have been able to fulfil our ambition, which is to become the Coalfield Line and to be able to tell the story of South Yorkshire’s coalfields because Cortonwood is totally pivotal to that story.”