Back in 1844 no less a figure than poet William Wordsworth campaigned against plans to create a railway line from Kendal to Windermere, arguing it would violate the beautiful Lake District landscape.

Despite his opposition, the line was opened from Oxenholme in 1847 and the hamlet of Birthwaite was transformed into the town of Windermere, bringing prosperity to the area and helping to boost the tourism industry.

Now there are ambitious plans to electrify the ten-mile Lakes Line at a cost of up to £20million.

This week transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin indicated the Government’s support in principle for the scheme, which could be in place by 2016.

It is argued the investment would mean longer trains and more frequent services; shorter direct journeys between the Lake District and Manchester; and a ‘greener’ and more reliable service than the current diesel operation.

Electrification, say its supporters, would also increase the number of visitors coming to the Lake District and secure the future of the railway line.

The project would also bring much-needed construction jobs in the short term and could help attarct new businesses to the area.

These are powerful arguments, put forward by supporters, who include local MPs, Cumbria Tourism, Network Rail and the Lakes Line User Group.

Some detractors say the potential cost of the scheme is too high - and that overhead power lines will look ugly.

It is true that this would be a costly scheme. But usage of the line is increasing, with one in five international visitors using it to arrive in the area.

It is important that South Lakeland keeps up to date and electrified trains create a better first impression than diesels.

As for overhead wires, the railway is already in place - such lines are unlikely to make a huge difference to its overall visual appearance.

Wordsworth got it wrong back in 1844.

Cumbria relies heavily on tourism for jobs and its economic health and this level of investment in its transport infrastructure should be welcomed and encouraged.

Local people should support this initiative - and campaign for it to be extended to the Furness Line too.