During the construction of the railway, in 1861, an act of Parliament was passed that would increase the importance of the Eden Valley Line.
This was the act permitting the construction of the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway, which by 1865 had been opened.
It was not until the late 1850s that a line through the Eden Valley was proposed again.
Firstly a new trans-pennine railway line was proposed, reviving the earlier schemes; the South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway (SD&LUR) was to run from the Stockton and Darlington Railway to Kirkby Stephen and then to Tebay.
Additionally the Yorkshire and Glasgow Union Railway was planned to run west from Thirsk through Wenslydale to Hawes, then north through the Mallerstang Valley to Kirby Stephen, and then through the Eden Valley to Clifton via Appleby-in-Westmorland.
but the end of the Railway bubble of the 1840s meant that they were not built.
In 1948 the railways of Britain were nationalised and the line became part of British Rail.
By 1976 all that was left was 6 miles (9.7 km) of track between Appleby in Westmorland and Flitholme.
7 km running northwest from Appleby the railway reached Kirkby Thore station, then just over 2 km west-northwest to Temple Sowerby station south of the village of the same name.
The river Eden was crossed once more at Skygarth viaduct which had four lattice girders each of whence the line ran roughly west to Cliburn railway station 1 km north of the village of Cliburn.
However between 19 the entire line closed to passengers.
At the same time the Stainmore railway also closed completely apart from a short section of track eastwards from Kirkby Stephen East railway station to Merrygill Viaduct for the quarry nearby. The line from Clifton to Appleby was also closed, and, from 1963 points east of Appleby could only be reached via the junction with the Settle and Carlisle railway at Appleby.
A second line, the Eden Valley Railway would branch from the first at Kirkby Stephen and then go to Clifton via the upper Eden Valley.