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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December 2010

Earby's new cycle routes28/12/10Lancashire Telegraph
Plans have been unveiled for two new cycle links - one using a disused railway trackbed - which council chiefs hope will encourage people in a West Craven town to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Survey closes viaduct25/12/10BBC News
A 19th Century viaduct in Cornwall is to be closed for two weeks for an in-depth assessment and structural survey, according to Cornwall Council.
Pressure to safeguard trackbed22/12/10The Citizen (Burnley)
Pressure is mounting on Lancashire County Council to accept responsibility for the disused railway line between Colne and Skipton so it can be reopened.
Wednesbury turntable found in Israel21/12/10Express & Star
A railway turntable manufactured in the Black Country has been dug up in Israel, where it is set to become a centrepiece at a museum.
Infilling Portway Tunnel11/12/10This is Bristol
A busy commuter road in Bristol will remain closed until next summer due to landslip problems created by a disused railway tunnel.
Leisure trail makes progress03/12/10This is South Devon
Work has started on the first stage of a recreational trail along the old railway line from Bovey Tracey.

November 2010

Trains return to disused line15/11/10This is Staffordshire
350 passengers were aboard the first train to travel the former line between Leekbrook and Cauldon which is reopening 75 years after its axe first fell.
Landmark bridge under threat11/11/10BBC News
A disused railway bridge at a Norfolk port may be beyond repair, an in-depth study has found.
Returned to nature10/11/10The News (Portsmouth)
The Hayling Billy Line, which opened in 1867 to connect Havant to Hayling Island, will be given the special designation of a nature reserve by Hampshire County Council.
Support for tunnels cycle path10/11/10This is Gloucestershire
A new five-mile cycle path along the Wye Valley has moved a step closer to fruition after Forest of Dean councillors voted to support it.
Clean-up for old cutting03/11/10Bolton News
A disused cutting is to get a makeover after members of the public were asked to vote on five eyesores in Bolton's Community Payback scheme.
Bid to secure old station02/11/10Bath Chronicle
Rail chiefs have applied for planning permission to safeguard the 170-year-old former Twerton Station, designed by Brunel, which has been targeted by squatters.

October 2010

Borders Railway reaches milestone27/10/10Border Telegraph
Advanced works for the reopening of the Borders Railway will be completed this week with the demolition of a bridge at Cowbraehill, north of Stow.
Estuary trail makes progress26/10/10This is Exeter
Work has started on a key section of the Exe Estuary Trail, along an old railway, to provide the "missing link" on the route between Exeter and Exmouth.
Bridge disaster commemorated14/10/10Free Press
The 50th anniversary of the Severn Railway Bridge disaster will be commemorated by an exhibition.
Tackling the NIMBY opponents10/10/
Supporters of a planned £750,000 cycle path using the disused railway through the Wye Valley have set up a group to highlight the benefits of the proposed scheme.
Survey of landmark bridge06/10/10BBC News
An inspection of a disused railway bridge in Great Yarmouth, which has become a town landmark, is taking place to find out the costs of restoring it.
Viaduct scheme 'still on track'04/10/10BBC News
Transport chiefs say they still want to reopen Belmont Viaduct in Durham despite their original plans falling through.

September 2010

Route clear for signal box30/09/10Daily Mail
A railway fanatic has dismantled Tetbury's former signal box and transported it 150 miles to be rebuilt in his Derbyshire garden.
Station faces brighter future28/09/10Edinburgh Evening News
A disused station is to be given a new lease of life by an enthusiast who has saved it from dilapidation.
Rail link plan moves closer26/09/10BBC News
Network Rail has agreed to pay for a final assessment of the plan to reinstate the Todmorden Curve, allowing trains from Burnley to head into Manchester.
Reprieve for Connect2 scheme?16/09/10Leamington Today
A project to build a foot and cycle path along the disused line connecting Kenilworth and Berkswell have survived council cutbacks for the time being.
Bridges make way for busway14/09/10Dunstable Today
The first of six disused railway bridges will be demolished next week as construction work on the busway linking Luton and Dunstable moves up a gear.
Hopes high for Colne-Skipton 13/09/10BBC News
A campaign to get the disused railway line between east Lancashire and North Yorkshire reopened remains on track, its backers have said.
Two disused bridges to go13/09/10Thorne & District Gazette
Roads are to close as Doncaster Council demolishes two old railway bridges near Sykehouse.
Demolition plan for disused span09/09/10Lancashire Evening News
Part of the landmark Vicars Bridge could be pulled down if plans are given the go-ahead by Preston Council.
Bowstring bridge memorial09/09/10This is Leicester
Leicester Civic Society has created a plaque to mark the city's bowstring bridge at Braunstone Gate which was demolished in December.
Trams to go back on track08/09/10Lancashire Evening News
Work to bring trams back to Preston for the first time in 60 years, using part of the disused Longridge branch, is due to start this week.
Frustration over slow viaduct progress02/09/10News & Star (Carlisle)
Campaigners who want to reopen Carlisle's disused Eden Viaduct as a cycle and footpath are increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress.
Project gets green light01/09/10Manchester Evening News
Councillors have agreed a plan for a footpath and cycleway is to be built between Montrose and the Northwater Viaduct along a disused railway line.
Crossrail contracts tunnel works01/09/
Crossrail has announced the shortlist for the refurbishment of the disused Connaught Tunnel.

August 2010

Busway problems to go to court31/08/10Hunts Post 24
BAM Nuttall, contractor for a guided busway along a disused railway line, can expect a £45 million bill from Cambridgeshire County Council that could take years to collect through the High Court.
Busway misguided by cost fears30/08/10Manchester Evening News
A controversial £76 million guided busway plan using a disused railway trackbed in Greater Manchester has been put on hold.
Off-road Montrose link revealed27/08/10Press & Journal
Plans for a new footpath and cycleway connecting north Angus to Aberdeenshire have been unveiled.
Hope for path link proposal25/08/10South Wales Argus
A new walking and cycling path along a former railway trackbed could be created between Chepstow and Tintern if a planning application gets the go ahead.
All aboard to save historic footbridge25/08/10Southern Reporter (Borders)
What is thought to be Britain's only surviving wooden railway footbridge still in its original locationwill be the subject of a special open day in the Borders this weekend.
Red tape ties up reopening23/08/10Daily Post (North Wales)
Plans to extend the Llangollen railway to Corwen along a disused trackbed look set to disintegrate if action is not taken promptly and red tape cut through.
Appeal helps station restoration23/08/10Border Counties Advertiser
An appeal has so far raised over £2,000 towards the restoration of Oswesrty Station and work has started on the platform.
Dinting sidings up for auction19/08/10Bagshaws
Nine acres of former railway yard and museum, including the former station house and goods shed, will be sold by auction of 20th September.
Preservation call for old box16/08/10The News (Portsmouth)
Havant's Grade II-listed disused signal box may be lost unless urgent support is offered to restore it.
Historic bridge needs repairing15/08/10BBC News
The 130-year-old Friargate bridge in Derby faces ruin if it is not the subject of a refurbishment project.
Buildings demolished for marina03/08/10North-West Evening Mail
Sandstone railways buildings which experts says are a "significant part of Barrow's history" are about to be demolished.

July 2010

Appeal success over misguided busway27/07/10BBC News
Campaigners have won the right to an appeal against the building of a £20 million rapid bus transit route in Hampshire, along a disused railway trackbed.
Tracking rail relics27/07/10Lakeland Echo
The Keswick Railway Path is getting a boost thanks to new panels revealing a wealth of history about its operational life and wildlife.
Smardale Gill needs urgent repairs27/07/10Westmorland Gazette
A Grade II listed viaduct is in urgent need of repair after suffering serious frost damage during the unusually hard winter.
Trail plans successfully opposed25/07/10North West Evening Mail
Farmers and landholders have successfully opposed plans for a 10-mile walking and cycling trail that would have passed through their land along an old railway trackbed.
New owners for old bores16/07/10BBC News
Two disused railway tunnels near Bath have been handed over to the cycling charity Sustrans.
Council welcomes cycle plan11/07/10Hereford Times
Bromyard Town Council has welcomed plans to convert the disused railway from Worcester across the Welsh border into a cycle route.
Sneak a peak at Two Tunnels07/07/10This is Bath
Guided walks are being organised through a mile-long disused railway tunnel which will be at the heart of Bath's four-mile Two Tunnels Greenway.
Greenway officially opens05/07/10NW Reg Dev Agency
The £1.4 million Padiham Greenway, running along a former railway line through the centre of Padiham, has been unveiled.

June 2010

Alnwick railway makes progress30/06/10Northumberland Gazette
Ambitious plans to re-establish a railway line between Alnwick and Alnmouth are being recommended for approval, 42 years after the last train blew its whistle.
Village green plan fails30/06/10The News (Portsmouth)
Hampshire councillors took just ten minutes to unanimously reject an application to have land along the disused Fareham to Gosport railway line designated as a village green.
Town at cycle route heart25/06/10Malvern Gazette
An ambitious plan to put Bromyard at the centre of a cycle trail using disused railways to cut across north Herefordshire has received the backing of the town council.
Old station plan on right track24/06/10Dewsbury Reporter
47 years after it closed, Earlsheaton Station and the tunnel leading to it could become part of a new rambling route from Dewsbury to Ossett.
Bids for Borders railway20/06/10Transport Scotland
Delivery of the Borders Railway has moved a step closer as Transport Scotland announced its intention to invite three organisations to tender for the contract.
Gosport-Fareham appeal dismissed09/06/10BBC News
An appeal against a decision to allow a rapid bus route to be built on a disused railway line in Hampshire has been thrown out by the Court of Appeal.
Hopes for Peak District station07/06/10Yorkshire Post
A visitor centre could be created at Millers Dale Station on the Monsal Trail if a funding bid for up to £3 million is successful.
Picnic on the bridge04/06/10CycleSheffield
Fledborough Viaduct, spanning the River Trent, has opened for walkers and cyclists, forming part of a route from Clumber Park to Lincoln.
Report supports Two Tunnels01/06/10This is Bath
A project to restore Combe Down and Devonshire tunnels for use by cyclists has been praised by a London-based think tank.

May 2010

Civil role for Mayfield?24/05/10England's NorthWest
Plans to redevelop Manchester Mayfield Station could include office space for more than 5,000 civil servants - a project being described as 'Whitehall of the North'.
'New approach' to Folkestone harbour18/05/10Kent News
Cyclepaths, footpaths and an enlarged beach feature in new plans for Folkestone harbour, with the railway viaduct reopened as a 'green walkway'.
Viaduct plans go off the rails13/05/10Wigan Today
A heritage group, campaigning to turn Haigh Viaduct into a footpath, has had its hopes dashed by Wigan Council on cost grounds.
Council set to buy viaduct?05/05/10News & Star
The historic Eden (Waverley) Viaduct in Carlisle is a step closer to reopening after city councillors promised to push ahead with discussions to buy it from BRB(R).

April 2010

Campaign to reopen Carlisle viaduct30/04/10News & Star
Campaigners calling for Waverley Viaduct to be reopened to the public will address the council next week, keen to see it made safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
Bats get desirable residence19/04/10BBC News
Bats are to be given a new home in a redundant railway tunnel on a cycle track in Caernarfon.
Closed line to become brideway14/04/10Westmorland Gazette
A disused Cumbrian trackbed is to be given a new lease of life as a wheelchair-friendly footpath.
Summer start for cycle path project06/04/10This is Somerset
Work on a cycle path linking Midsomer Norton and Radstock will begin this summer after an agreement was signed by Sustrans and Bath & North East Somerset Council.
LibDems promise Cumbrian reopenings05/04/10News & Star (Cumbria)
The Liberal Democrats have vowed to reopen the Penrith-Keswick and Carlisle-Galashiels lines if the party comes to power.
Campaigners hold council talks04/04/10East Riding Mail
Railway enthusiasts want to breathe new life into a section of the disused Driffield-Malton line on which no trains have run for more than 50 years.

March 2010

A new era through reopened tunnels?28/03/10Wales Online
Disused tunnels that criss-cross the South Wales Valleys should be reopened to unite communities and unleash a new era of carbon-free travel, according to a green transport campaigner.
Tram demonstration at tunnel entrance?26/03/10Lancashire Evening Post
Plans to run a tram demonstration along part of the disused Longridge line could be on the move within a month according to the scheme's leaders.
Greenway delay due to bad weather19/03/10Spenborough Guardian
The worst winter in 30 years has delayed the reopening of the Spen Valley Greenway - a footpath laid on the trackbed of a disused railway - until later this year.
Honeybourne line back on track?12/03/10This is Gloucestershire
Network Rail is considering reopening a disused line running from Cheltenham to Stratford-on-Avon.
Work starts on Two Tunnels09/03/10Bath Chronicle
Work has finally begun on a £1.9 million scheme to create a new four-mile cycling and walking route through Combe Down and Devonshire tunnels to the south of Bath.
Borders rail link gets underway03/03/10BBC News
The project to reopen the railway between Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders has officially started.
Bridge plans unveiled03/03/10BBC News
Whitstable residents are being asked for their views on bridge designs for the Crab & Winkle cycle path which will follow the disused Canterbury to Whitstable railway.
Old bridge at hub of cycle track plan01/03/10This is Lincolnshire
An anti-social behaviour hotspot under a disused Lincoln railway bridge could be transformed into the starting point for a new cycle track.

February 2010

Cycle path back on agenda28/02/10Gazette & Herald
A proposal to build a cycle path along the old Malmesbury to Dauntsey railway line has been resurrected as funding for the project is now available.
Call to reopen Plymouth-Exeter line22/02/10This is Plymouth
Countryside campaigners have called for a feasibility study to be carried out into reopening the former Southern Railway route from Exeter to Plymouth.
Cycle track builds head of steam21/02/10Wilts & Gloucs Standard
A project that could see a cycle track built along the former Malmesbury to Dauntsey railway line has been revived.
MPs want track reopened19/02/10This is South Devon
MPs want to see the former railway between Paignton and Brixham reopened but have been told they haven't a 'hope in hell' of it happening.
Decision due on cyclepath bridge18/02/10Kenilworth Weekly News
Plans for a bridge forming part of a major footpath and bicycle track along a disused railway could get the go-ahead next week.
Progress at last for Two Tunnels17/02/10This is Bath
Council officials are about to sign the paperwork which will allow work to start on the £1.9 million Two Tunnels path, involving a pair of disused tunnels to the south of Bath.
Bus route or village green?09/02/10The News (Portsmouth)
A bid to block a £20m bus route along a disused railway by getting key areas of land designated as village greens could go before a public inquiry.
Bike route secures planning permission06/02/
Whitstable's cyclists will soon be able to enjoy a traffic-free route down a disused trackbed after the project was granted planning permission by Kent County Council.
Station homes unveiled02/02/10Southern Daily Echo
Dozens of villagers have attended a public exhibition on plans to transform a former railway station in Sutton Scotney.

January 2010

Petition launched to keep rail bid alive29/01/10Get Surrey
The high costs involved in reopening the old Cranleigh-Guildford railway are likely to cause Waverley Borough Council not to support any further investigation work into its revival.
Cyclists urged to support Two Tunnels27/01/
Cyclists are being urged to take part in a show of support for the Two Tunnels project which has reached a crucial point in its approval process.
Will Skipton-Colne return?27/01/10Pendle Today
How closure an important trans-Pennine rail link affected the community it served.
Ramblers reverse 'perverse' decision26/01/10Grough
Walkers, cyclists and horseriders will be able to use a disused railway trackbed near the North York Moors national park after ramblers won a long-running legal battle.
No light at the end of the tunnel25/01/10This is Bath
The lights in two old railway tunnels which will be at the heart of a new cycle path will have to be switched off for four hours each night to protect bats.
Celebration for new cycleway25/01/
A 'party on the path' is being held this weekend to celebrate the opening of a new cycleway in Dorset, along the route of the disused Bridport branch.
Disused tunnel reaches end of the line22/01/10Hexham Courant
An abandoned railway tunnel near Corbridge, which opened in 1834 on the Newcastle to Carlisle line, could soon be infilled and sealed at a cost of £450,000.
Objectors step up Woodstock station fight18/01/10Oxford Mail
Developers are determined to demolish the former Blenheim & Woodstock railway station despite having two planning applications refused.
Group tours former station12/01/10BBC News
Councillors and business people hoping to get Wellington railway station reopened have had a fact-finding tour of the former station site.
Cycleway plans still on track10/01/10Gloucestershire Gazette
The wheels are still in motion to create an off-road cycleway between Uley, Dursley and Cam - along a disused trackbed - but the plans could take several more years to complete.
Hospital expansion into disused tunnel?08/01/10Health Insurance Bulletin
Discussions are continuing over a new development at Wellington Hospital in London which could see an expansion into the disused Lords Tunnel.