THERE was a warm reception at the weekend from walkers and other visitors to Horton-in-Ribblesdale for the opening of a new cafe bar at the historic railway station.

Saturday's opening follows an extensive refurbishment of the station building by the Settle – Carlisle Railway Trust with the help of grant funding from the Railway Heritage Trust.

People walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks, which can start and finish in the village,  will now be able to enjoy a range of snacks including bacon rolls and afternoon tea with scones, or if they really feel like celebrating, a glass of special Penyghent ale.

For now, the cafe, which is run by volunteers, will be open at the weekends only, but there are plans for it to open more often later in the year.

The station platform reopened to trains in 1986 but the station building has remained locked up and unused for over half a century except for occasional parish council and community meetings.

Adrian Quine, trustee and executive director of the trust’s property company said it was good to see the building being used again. “Horton is a stunning example of Midland Railway architecture and it’s exciting to be bringing the station building back to life after it was closed in 1970," he said.

The building has many historic features such as original Midland Railway bench seating, decorative windows and a fireplace. Its restoration has seen the new café bar with cask ale in the former waiting room, plus additional seating in the former ticket office. A new kitchen has been created where hot meals will be prepared by a small team including volunteers from the Friends of the Settle – Carlisle line.

The menu includes freshly cooked bacon morning rolls, hot dishes at lunchtime, afternoon tea with scones, cream and jam plus puddings and snacks. There is also a fully licensed bar including a special ‘Penyghent cask ale on tap.

Tim Hedley-Jones, executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust added: “We are pleased to have supported this project by the Settle-Carlisle Railway Trust. When railway heritage structures are no longer needed for operational reasons, it’s important to find new uses for them. The new café will contribute to the local economy and community."

The café bar will be open initially at weekends from 10am to 6pm but there are plans to open during the week later in the year.

Work by Network Rail on the £4.2m installation of a new footbridge over the track at the station is due to be finished in July.