Line grows in popularity

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The Derby to Matlock rail line has been highlighted as one of the country’s most popular branch lines.

The line has seen growth in passenger numbers of 86 per cent since 2007-08.

The rise in popularity of branch lines reflects the impact of the staycation trend over recent years as increasing numbers of people choose to holiday in the UK.

Many of the fastest-growing branch lines connect to tourist destinations and show spikes during the summer months as train companies put on more services to cope with demand.

However, train companies also report that growing numbers of local residents are opting to use trains that run on branch lines to get to and from work or simply to get out and about.