RAIL Minister Derek Twigg has confirmed the Penistone line, which runs from Huddersfield to Barnsley, is a Community Rail Route.
It means that the line could be eligible for more financial backing.
The decision could also help to come up with new ways of operating local branch lines, aiming to increase passenger numbers and revenue and reduce costs.
The announcement was made at the Community Rail Awards, held in Norwich, organised by the Huddersfield-based Association of Community Rail Partnerships.
Mr Twigg said: "I am pleased to announce the designation of three more lines as Community Rail Routes: Looe Valley, Tamar Valley, and the Penistone Line.
"The implementation of the Community Rail Strategy has yielded encouraging results so far, and I am confident it will continue to do so.
"The awards and festival celebrate the local involvement and innovation which can make local lines a success."
Clr William Newman, Barnsley Council's spokesman for development, said: "We welcome and will support the Penistone Community Rail project as a means of safeguarding and improving the quality of services provided by this local railway.
"A community led approach to this should see the emergence of a focus on improving rail access to the market, education, leisure and other services located in the centre of Barnsley and Penistone."
Malcolm Brown, area director for Northern Rail, said: "Northern have worked closely with the Penistone Line Partnership and have seen excellent growth this year."