News stories

News stories

Against the odds, the UK’s network of disused railway lines continues to make the news as the 21st Century throws up a host of transport, environmental and health challenges.This news page will provide links to relevant stories.

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July 2024

Threat to York's railway heritage17/07/24York Press
A historic railway building could be demolished and another remodelled under plans for a new Network Rail Maintenance Delivery Unit.
Funds sought for railway extension16/07/24Northern Echo
The Wensleydale Railway has launched a fundraising appeal to reinstate services on the section of line from Leyburn to Redmire.
Greenway needed on transit route15/07/24West Leeds Dispatch
Plans for using a former Pudsey railway as part of the West Yorkshire mass transit network have been welcomed with caveats by a campaign group.
Bridge nominated for repairs award14/07/24Gloucestershire Live
Repair works to the Tintern Wireworks Bridge, which used to carry a railway, have been shortlisted for an award.
Link line bid under consideration12/07/24Leicestershire Live
An ambitious plan to reunite the two ends of the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire has been formally submitted to planning bosses.
Campaigners lose battle over Norfolk bridge10/07/24EDP24
National Highways has won its appeal over whether it should remove hundreds of tonnes of stone and concrete used to infill a historic railway bridge at Congham.
Rebirth for historic railway10/07/24Somerset Live
The new Pier to Pier Way, repurposing remnants of a light railway, is promising safe, scenic travel between Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon.
Money for Leamside development10/07/24Chronicle Live
The proposed Washington extension of the Tyne and Wear Metro are set to take a step forward with North East mayor Kim McGuinness announcing that £8M will be spent on the development of plans for the mothballed Leamside line.
New role for historic line04/07/24Teesdale Mercury
Work has begun to transform the former Teesdale section of the Stockton & Darlington Railway into a walking and cycling route, ahead of the railway’s 200th anniversary next year.

June 2024

Station reopen under consideration27/06/24BBC News
Council leaders have committed to spending £50,000 on developing a strategic outline business case to reopen the station at Pontrilas.
Community role for Birmingham sidings24/06/24Birmingham Live
The site of former railway sidings in Winson Green is set to be transformed into a “vibrant” new community as part of plans to provide 451 homes across seven residential blocks.
Housing key to railway extension18/06/24Manchester Evening News
A large housing development in Rochdale, set to be approved shortly, could unlock an extension of the East Lancashire Railway.
Station building up for sale18/06/24North Wales Live
The derelict station building at Pentre Berw on Anglesey, last used 72 years ago, will soon go up for auction.
Decision pending on Norfolk's infilled bridge07/06/24Lynn News
A decision on the future of the historic Congham bridge is due in July following the conclusion of a public inquiry.
Railway path nominated for award06/06/24Cornish Stuff
The Saints Trails Project, linking Perranporth with Goonhavern via a dismantled railway, has been shortlisted for the Infrastructure Project of the Year in the 2024 Constructing Excellence South West Awards.
Ambitious viaduct plan emerges06/06/24BBC News
Plans to extend a plant-filled sky park along an overgrown and unused section of Manchester's Castlefield Viaduct have been revealed.
Wider benefits from Devon reopening04/06/24BBC News
Bringing back train services to Bideford could provide a boost to transport further afield, a rail user group has said.
Extension considered to active travel route03/06/24Rhondda Herald
The next phases of a major new walking and cycling route in the Rhondda are set to go before councillors for approval, including a section along a disused railway.

May 2024

Designers sought for tunnel project28/05/24Architects' Journal
Merthyr Tydfil Council is seeking a design team for the transformation of Abernant Tunnel into a new active travel route, with the winners carrying out a £180,000 desktop study into refurbishment options for the 2,497-yard link between two South Wales valleys.
Tunnel celebrates visitor anniversary26/05/24Isle of Thanet News
The disused railway tunnel under Ramsgate is celebrating its 10th anniversary as one of the leading visitor destinations in south-east England.
More support to reinstate trans-Pennine line25/05/24Keighley News
Keighley Town Council has voiced its support for the restoration of the 12-mile Skipton-Colne railway, which was closed in 1970.
Bigger role for tunnel in vehicle innovation23/05/24Northampton Chronicle
Northamptonshire's Catesby Tunnel has officially become part of a global centre for the innovation and development of connected and self-driving vehicle technologies.
Doubt remains over tunnel's future22/05/24Yorkshire Post
150 years after work on its construction started, the future of Yorkshire's Queensbury Tunnel in still uncertain despite plans to convert it into an active travel route.
Inquiry considers Congham bridge's fate21/05/24BBC News
The Planning Inspectorate has begun a public inquiry into whether a historic Norfolk bridge should be restored three years after National Highways unlawfully infilled it.
Park path closer to fruition21/05/24Richmondshire Today
Good progress is being made to develop a multi-user route along the disused railway between Hawes and Garsdale, according to National Park bosses.
Sussex cycle route under consideration14/05/24More Radio
Wealden District Council and other partners are joining forces to explore the development of a new walking and cycling route alongside the disused railway between Uckfield and Lewes.
Progress for Peak rail return03/05/24Derbyshire Live
A group wanting to turn the Peak District's Monsal Trail back into a railway has said the project has taken a "significant step forward" following dialogue with the Department for Transport.
Frustration over railway reopening progress03/05/24DevonLive
The railway from Tavistock to Bere Alston could be rebuilt in five months, but it will take five years because of the paperwork, a public meeting has heard.

April 2024

Clearance work starts on Northumberland railway29/04/24Chronicle Live
Work has started to transform part of the dismantled Alnwick-Cornhill railway into a greenway for walkers and cyclists.
Delays possible to tunnel repairs27/04/24Tenby Observer
A scheme to reopen a landslide-hit coastal path and tunnels near Saundersfoot may be hindered by people putting others at risk by repeatedly cutting open safety fencing, a local councillor has warned.
New home for retired signal box26/04/24Rail Advent
The Wensleydale Railway is rebuilding a Victorian signal box that used to serve a station on the line from London Liverpool Street.
Old station on the move25/04/24Cambridgeshire Live
Work has begun to move the disused Wansford Road station, brick by brick, to a new home at the Nene Valley Railway.
Heritage line reunification proposed22/04/24BBC News
Plans for a new viaduct to reunite two halves of the Great Central heritage railway have been announced following the removal of bridges and an embankment in the 1970s.
Hub plan for former train shed19/04/24Chronicle Live
Plans to transform an old railway building into a community hub have been submitted to North Tyneside Council.
Fresh moves to restore Devon railway18/04/24DevonLive
Torridge councillors have joined a new alliance dedicated to reinstating the rail link between Bideford and Barnstaple.
"Chaotic" railway strengthens Leamside case18/04/24Chronicle Live
A North East council boss has claimed that delays on changes to the timetable on the East Coast Main Line make the case for reopening the Leamside Line even stronger.
Dorset bridge receives attention17/04/24Dorset Echo
A rural road on the outskirts of Weymouth will be closed for almost a month so that National Highways can carry out works to a historic railway bridge.
Delays to Cinder Track improvements17/04/24Yorkshire Post
Plans to extend and resurface part of the Cinder Track, occupying the disused railway between Scarborough and Whitby, have been delayed after councillors raised ‘serious concerns’ about accessibility.
Cash funds path improvement works16/04/24Ross-shire Journal
A number of paths in Ross-shire, some of them occupying dismantled railways, have benefitted from an upgrade thanks to cash from the Highlands & Islands Transport Partnership Path Improvement Fund.
Repairs confirmed for Sussex bridge14/04/24The Argus (Brighton)
The 140-year-old railway bridge at Barcombe, which National Highways was going to infill with hundreds of tonnes of stone and concrete, will now be refurbished following the transfer of its ownership to the County Council.
Public return to the Dunston Staiths11/04/24Chronicle Live
Dunston Staiths, which used to carry multiple railway tracks, have reopened to coincide with the launch of the Tyne Derwent Way, a £1.5M redevelopment of a trail which connects Gateshead Quays with Gibside in the Derwent Valley.
Northumberland greenway progresses04/04/24Chronicle Live
Ambitious plans to create a 97-mile greenway for walkers and cyclists along the former Alnwick-Cornhill line have been hailed as a "gold-plated opportunity".

March 2024

Funds for Bucks railway path27/03/24Rail Advent
Buckinghamshire Council has secured funding to improve the trackbed of a disused railway so that it is suitable as a cross-town walking, wheeling and cycling link in Buckingham.
Progress on Staffordshire reopening26/03/24BBC News
Preparatory works are underway to bring the disused Leek-Stoke line back into use for passenger services.
Council considers future of infilled bridge25/03/24Yorkshire Post
A campaign group has voiced concerns over the infilling of a Victorian railway bridge in Yorkshire, claiming National Highways has misrepresented its condition.
Ramp installation at iron giant24/03/24BBC News
Bennerley Viaduct, which spans the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire border, will be closed on the Notts side for about ten weeks whilst a new ramp can be installed.
Footbridge heads for refurbishment22/03/24Derbyshire Live
A historic railway footbridge at Darley Dale Station will undergo restoration following investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Viaduct restoration reaches conclusion21/03/24New Civil Engineer
Restoration work to a historic viaduct in Dudley is nearly finished, marking a significant milestone for Transport for West Midlands' Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension.
Minister seeks to save old bridge20/03/24Belfast Telegraph
Stormont's Agriculture Minister Andrew Muir has called on Ards and North Down Council to intervene to save a picturesque disused railway bridge from potential demolition.
New role for old station08/03/24Salisbury Journal
The disused Breamore railway station has been converted into rooms for overnight stays.
£600K price for station home08/03/24Eastern Daily Press
A unique opportunity to own some Victorian railway history has emerged as the converted station at Coltishall has come up for sale.
Funds secured for reopening investigation05/03/24BBC News
The proposal to reopen the disused Leamside line has secured £350,000 government funding for a "strategic outline case".
Leamside reopening is a local matter04/03/24Chronicle Live
Rail Minister Huw Merriman has stated that a decision on the restoration of the disused Leamside line is up to leaders in the north-east.
Path extension proposed via old line04/03/24Plymouth Live
Plans to extend a popular Plymstock off-road walking and cycling path via a disused railway have been submitted for a council's consideration.
Alliance pushes for new rail link01/03/24Crediton Courier
The Northern Devon Railway Development Alliance has been launched with the aim of securing a new rail link between Bideford and Barnstaple, and an upgrade of the North Devon line between Exeter and Barnstaple.

February 2024

Tunnel closure following rockfall.24/02/24Wales Online
Pembrokeshire County Council has ordered the closure of a disused tunnel linking Coppet Hall car park and The Strand in Saundersfoot due to a rockfall above one of the entrances.
SOS to save Heighington station24/02/24Northern Echo
An appeal to save the world’s oldest railway station has been launched by the Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway.
Countdown to Levenmouth reopening23/02/24The Courier
Clocks are ticking until the reopening of the Levenmouth rail link on 2 June.
Heritage scheme set to fail23/02/24Your Local Paper
A project to convert the old ticket office at Norfolk's Middleton Towers station into a community asset won't go ahead unless volunteers come forward to help.
Northumberland path makes progress18/02/24BBC News
A section of the disused Alnwick-Cornhill line, which closed 71 years ago, should soon be reopened as part of a walking and cycling route.
Housing threat to old line15/02/24Bolton News
More than 100 homes could be built on a disused railway near Bolton just a year after a different housebuilder's plans were rejected.
Plaudits for station revamp12/02/24The Freepress
The blood, sweat and tears of railway enthusiasts over many years has been recognised with a national award for their restoration of Corwen Station.
Eyewatering infill removal cost09/02/24News & Star
Campaigners have challenged the quality of repair work carried out to Great Musgrave bridge as the £352K cost of removing its infill emerges.
Shepton railway path work starting07/02/24Somerset Live
Work is underway on a new section of the Strawberry Line active travel route which will eventually stretch from Shepton Mallet to the Somerset coast, mostly along the trackbed of the former Cheddar Valley railway line.
Homes threat to old line07/02/24Harborough Mail
Harborough District Council has granted permission for 15 park homes to be built on a section of disused railway near the town.
Reopening study should be published05/02/24Telegraph & Argus
Bradford Council is urging Government to share the findings of a business case review into reopening the Skipton to Colne railway as a boost to the Aire Valley.
Wortley curve sold to Network Rail03/02/24BBC News
A disused stretch of railway which once linked Bradford and Wakefield has been bought at auction by Network Rail.

January 2024

Uncertainty over strategic Yorkshire link30/01/24Yorkshire Post
It would be “inappropriate” for Bradford Council to buy the disused Wortley Curve at the current time, a Councillor has been told, as the site heads to auction.
Demolition for old station building29/01/24Northumberland Gazette
Demolition work is set to begin on a historic former station building in Bedlington as part of a scheme to reopen a Northumberland railway to passengers.
Concern over loss of railway path27/01/
Plans to remove a popular section of cycling and walking path in Edinburgh to make way for a new north-south tram route have been branded a “travesty” by a local councillor.
Record numbers visit railway path24/01/24BBC News
Record numbers of people are using a country park established on a disused railway connecting Cheshire with the Wirral.
Disused station on the move20/01/24Cambridgeshire Live
The boarded-up Wansford Road Station in Cambridgeshire is to be moved stone by stone to a new site on the Nene Valley Railway.
High cost for Wales reopenings18/01/24BBC News
Reopening railways shut in the 1960s, that have left large towns without a direct rail link, would cost £2bn, according to Transport for Wales.
Step forward for Island line16/01/24BBC News
The disused Hayling Island railway is to be upgraded to create an all-weather route for cyclists and walkers.
Cambridgeshire reopening in the spotlight12/01/24Cambridgeshire Live
Calls for the reopening of the Cambridge-Haverhill railway have been made by Railfuture East Anglia.
Summer start for new line?12/01/24Bristol Live
Construction work on the proposed Portishead railway could start in August after plans were given unanimous backing by North Somerset Council.
Tunnel rescue reported11/01/24STV
A man has been rescued by fire crews after falling into a disused railway tunnel in Glasgow.
Improvements for coastal railway path09/01/24Yorkshire Post
The Cinder Track, following the disused railway between Scarborough and Whitby, is to be upgraded and widened for walkers and cyclists.
Progress with Plymouth path08/01/24Plymouth Live
The former railway line from Colesdown Hill to Elburton Road is next in line to be made into a route that is accessible to walkers and cyclists.
Tendering for railway path imminent06/01/24Bury Times
An unimpeded pathway along the former Bury-Bolton railway is taking steps forward with the drawing up of construction tender documents.
End of the line for old box02/01/24BBC News
The oldest working signal box in Cornwall - built 144 years ago at Par - is to close in the spring.