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 2011

Trackbed provides school route30/12/11News & Star
Funding has been secured for a £50,000 improvement of a path in Harrington (Cumbria) that will provide a safer route to school for children along a disused railway.
Viaduct's anniversary event28/12/11Journal Live
Celebrations are being lined up for the 150th anniversary of Kielder Viaduct, a bridge reputedly designed by a mathematician.
Council fights for listed status27/12/11Eastw'd & Kimberley Advertiser
Kimberley Town Council is fighting on to get an old railway building listed after an appeal was rejected.
Plea to halt bridge plan22/12/11Belper News
Civic chiefs are urging councillors to postpone their plans to demolish a disused railway bridge over the A610 between Ambergate and Ripley.
Barriers stay for another year19/12/11News & Star
Steel security fences to keep people off Carlisle's disused Eden Viaduct can stay for another year.
Former station on track for top award19/12/11This is Plymouth
The former Tavistock North station has been nominated within numerous categories for the National Railway Heritage Awards.
History repeats itself18/12/11Watford Observer
When work starts on the Croxley Rail Link to extend the Metropolitan underground line into Watford town centre it will be resurrecting a historic route dating back to the turn of the 20th Century.
More buses to replace trains14/12/11Manchester Evening News
Work will begin in January on a scheme to improve services on a busy bus route by opening a special line on part of a disused railway.
Viaduct to stay fenced off?12/12/11News & Star
Steel security fences to keep people off Carlisle's disused Eden Viaduct look set to stay in place for another year while plans are developed to reopen it as a footpath.
Tunnel route may have to close08/12/11Grough
National Park bosses are warning cyclists and walkers that parts of a trail along an old railway may have to be closed at short notice over winter.
On track for expansion08/12/11Barnstaple People
The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust is two steps closer to restoring the disused line to Blackmoor Gate thanks to a £36,000 grant and an acquisition of land.
Open again for goods07/12/11BBC News
A disused freight line between Newton Abbot and Heathfield has been reopened to transport timber from Devon to north Wales.
Rail revival stops housing plan06/12/11Birmingham Mail
Proposals to reinstate a disused railway line in Sutton Coldfield have been boosted after councillors rejected a plan to build houses on a station site.
New cycle track section opens04/12/11Inverness Courier
Another section of the Caledonia Way, built on a former railway trackbed and destined to be one of the UK's finest long-distance cycle routes, has been opened.
Plea to keep signal box02/12/11Tunbridge Wells People
Parish councillors in Hawkshurst have slammed plans to move the village's former signal box to the Rother Valley Railway.
Bonus for Queensferry bike track02/12/11Queensferry Gazette
Steps to create a bike track on a disused railway in Queensferry have moved up a gear after the project received funding of over £6000.
East-West link gets go-ahead01/12/11Bucks Herald
A disused line between Oxford and Bedford will be restored after the Chancellor confirmed that he will fund the £250 million East-West Rail scheme.

November 2011

Car park role for old tunnels?30/11/11The Guardian
The MCC is debating redevelopment options for Lord's cricket ground which could see two disused railway tunnels used as car parks.
Repairs for viaduct cycle path28/11/11The Courier
A damaged pedestrian barrier has been repaired and remedial works carried out on sections of the combined foot and cycleway between Montrose and North Water Viaduct.
Viaduct fencing decision delayed14/11/11News & Star
Councillors in Carlisle are to visit the disused Eden (Waverley) Viaduct before they decide if controversial steel security fences can stay.
Fund boosts Moorland railway01/11/11This is Staffordshire
The company behind plans to reopen a mothballed railway line in the Staffordshire Moorlands has secured £1.65 million from the Government's Regional Growth Fund.
Blow to Portishead link01/11/11This is Bristol
Plans to reopen Portishead's desperately needed rail link have received a major blow after a bid for £43 million of government funding was turned down.

October 2011

Rail link reinstatement approved31/10/11BBC News
The Todmorden Curve could be restored after being allocated £8.8m by the government.
Support grows for East-West rail plan29/10/11The Bucks Herald
A £250 million proposal to restore a disused line from Oxford to Bedford will be discussed in parliament during November.
Velorail moves a step closer19/10/11Daily Post
Plans to reopen a disused North Wales railway for pedal-powered trains are a step nearer after the first vehicle was delivered.
Inspector to rule on Trail route17/10/11Telegraph & Argus
A decision over a proposed extension to the Great Northern Trail, a £3 million path connecting Cullingworth with Queensbury, is due to be made public.
Appeal for your vote15/10/11NatWest
A project to extend a permissive path along the former Somerset & Dorset trackbed is seeking support for its NatWest CommunityForce application.
On the danger list13/10/11Country Life
The old railway station at Wansford has been named on the list of most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings.
Back on the rails again09/10/11Yorkshire Post
The stripping back of some redundant offices in York has revealed two intact gems - the oldest railway hotel in the world and one of the oldest stations, dating from 1840.
Axe falls on busway scheme06/10/11BBC News
Plans to turn a seven-mile pedestrian route, laid on a disused trackbed through east Belfast, into a busway have been dropped.
Relaid line essential to Borders' economy04/10/11BBC News
Detailed negotiations are taking place with Network Rail to try and ensure the disused railway into the Borders is reopened on time and within budget.
Amlwch rebirth takes step forward03/10/11Daily Post
Reopening the disused railway between Llangefni to Amlwch as a heritage line could give Anglesey a much needed economic boost, according to tourism chiefs.

September 2011

Twyford bridge work begins28/09/11Bicester Advertiser & Review
Work to reopen a bridge over a disused railway, which has forced residents to take a diversion of more than two miles, has got underway after a year's wait.
Old station voted top green spot26/09/11South Wales Argus
Tintern's former station has clinched top spot in a competition to find the UK's best green space.
£630,000 cycle route established24/09/11BBC News
A pathway along a disused railway line, forming part of the Five Arches Project, has been officially launched as a link between Radstock and Midsomer Norton.
Eyesore trackbed to become path?23/09/11News Post Leader
An old railway line, now a hotspot for fly-tipping and flooding, could be opened to the public.
Bikers protest against cycle path22/09/11Ivybridge Gazette
Cyclists are to protest against a proposed cycle path, campaigning instead for an alternative that uses the old Plymouth to Yealmpton railway trackbed.
Road saved from falling into tunnel20/09/11Bristol 24/7
Bristol's Bridge Valley Road will finally reopen on Sunday after an 18 month battle to stop the gorge above it from collapsing into a disused railway tunnel.
Residents defeat trackbed housing18/09/11Bucks Free Press
A council has rejected a scheme for two new homes in Wooburn Green saying it would have compromised future plans for a rail or cycle link between Bourne End and High Wycombe.
Transit route ready in 201217/09/11BBC News
A £20 million rapid bus transit route in Hampshire, occupying a disused railway line, will be completed early next year, Hampshire County Council has confirmed.
Tunnel ride launch for Five Arches07/09/11Two Tunnels
Cyclists can join celebrations for the opening of Somerset's latest traffic-free path by first enjoying a ride through Combe Down Tunnel.
Tourist plans for disused Tube stops06/09/11BBC News
A former banker is hoping to transform some of London's abandoned Tube stations into tourist attractions.
Bridge awaits installation01/09/11Kenilworth Weekly News
A new bridge will be installed across the A429 as part of a Connect2 scheme that will bring life back to a disused railway.

August 2011

Cycle path on awards track30/08/11South Wales Argus
A conservation group in Usk is shortlisted for a national award having clearing 1000m of disused railway to create a walking and cycling route.
Dales bridge boost21/08/11The Northern Echo
The Wensleydale Railway is in discussions with Network Rail in a bid to obtain an unwanted bridge which would allow it to lay rails on the disused trackbed towards Aysgarth.
New home for old signal cabin17/08/
A signal cabin that used to control trains at Bundoran Junction in Kilskeery has been moved to a new home on the Downpatrick and County Down Railway.
Keep Off!09/08/11News & Star (Carlisle)
Steel security fencing, installed to keep walkers off a disused viaduct over the Lune in Carlisle, may be left in place until 2014.
Misguided busway opens on old line06/08/11BBC News
An over-budget and long-delayed guided busway has finally begun carrying passengers on a disused railway line through Cambridgeshire.
Go-ahead for viaduct path04/08/11Coventry Telegraph
A new £1 million cycle path along a disused viaduct in Rugby is getting the go ahead, despite losing out on some of its funding.
Path plan wins council approval04/08/11Southern Reporter
Plans to turn six-and-a-half miles of former railway trackbed between Leadburn and Eddleston into a multi-use path have been given the go-ahead by Scottish Borders Council.
Railway shed homes approved02/08/11Keighley News
Developers will be allowed to bulldoze a 130-year-old engine shed at the site of Denholme's former station despite heritage experts' fears it is the last remaining building of its type.
Seafront buffers coming home?01/08/
Two history enthusiasts have launched a project to return bufferstops to Burham's seafront.

July 2011

Housing plan for station site17/07/11Telegraph & Argus
A timber firm has made a new bid for permission to build more than 70 homes on the site of Denholme's old railway station.
Viaduct plan moves closer to fruition11/07/11Romsey Advertiser
Civil bosses are putting £500,000 on the line to transform the disused Hockley Viaduct at Winchester into a landmark cycle path.
Leuchars link for siding trail10/07/11The Courier
The RAF's Leuchars Conservation Group has joined forces with the local community council in a project to transform a disused railway siding into a nature trail.
Bid submitted for line reopening06/07/11Lancashire Telegraph
Campaigners fighting for the reinstatement of the railway between Colne and Skipton have lodged a bid for £40million to fund the project.
Line clearance boosts velorail plan06/07/11Caenarfon & Denbigh Herald
Pedal-powered velorail cars could be travelling up and down the disused line between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd by September.
Village fears bridge will be closed01/07/11Bicester Advertiser & Review
The village of Twyford could become cut off if a disused railway bridge is not repaired.

June 2011

New tunnel vision30/06/11Sheffield Telegraph
Campaigners are preparing to mark the 30th anniversary of the last train running through Woodhead Tunnel with a rally above its midpoint.
Cycle path nears completion29/06/11Montrose Review
Work is almost complete on a new £229,000 foot and cycle path which links Montrose with North Water Viaduct partly via a disused railway.
Boats may arrive at train station27/06/11The Forester
The platform of Newent's old railway station could be welcoming narrowboats instead of trains if a canal restoration scheme gets the go-ahead.
Tunnel works 'avert disaster'27/06/11Jack Bristol
Bridge Valley Road in Bristol will reopen in the autumn after engineers backfill a failing disused railway tunnel which supports it.
Cycle path for Brunel route19/06/11BBC News
Work is underway on a new 17-mile cycle path following the trackbed of an old Great Western branch line through a tunnel at Grenofen.
Station to become a home19/06/11The Journal
A businessman hoping to restore the disused station at Whittingham has told how it went up for sale just days after he had set his heart on owning it.
Tunnel vision on sticky wicket09/06/11London Evening Standard
The MCC is scaling back a plan to create a grand entrance to Lords cricket ground involving three disused railway tunnels.
Fishguard station to reopen?08/06/11BBC News
A railway station which closed almost 50 years ago may be reopened after a town secured five extra services a day.
High Line park section opens07/06/11The Guardian
A fabulous scheme to create a high-level park through the west side of Manhattan has taken another step forward.

May 2011

Bike path delay25/05/11Forest Today
Transport group Sustrans has vowed to fight on to secure a cycleway along the disused rail line between Chepstow and Tintern after planning delays led to a funding cut.
Official opening for Monsal tunnels25/05/11BMC
The Monsal Trail has been officially reopened to create an impressive route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders through four former Midland Railway tunnels.
Row over planning delay18/05/11Free Press
Monmouthsire council's planning department has been accused of jeopardising plans for the Wye Valley Cycle Path after the project lost the Lottery funding awarded to it.
Race to save slice of Halifax rail history17/05/11Halifax Courier
The search is on for ways to prevent a 160-year-old railway warehouse from falling down.
Rail tunnels reopen for park's cyclists12/05/11Yorkshire Post
Four former railway tunnels, which have been closed since the demise of the Midland Railway's main line through the Peak District in 1968, have been reopened for walkers and cyclists.
Scenic viaduct to reopen08/05/11BBC News
Kielder Viaduct is to form part of a path taking people around Europe's largest man-made lake.

April 2011

Go-ahead for Two Tunnels bridges26/04/11Bath Chronicle
​Two new bridges, vital for a new foot and cycle path in Bath, have been given planning permission.
New life for Connaught Tunnel26/04/11BBC News
A disused tunnel in east London, built in 1878, is being brought back to life for the Crossrail project.
Viaduct campaigners want head of steam20/04/11Hampshire Chronicle
Campaigners want action to ensure a scheme to convert Hockley Viaduct at Winchester into a cycle route does not run out of steam.
Reminder of long-lost terminal19/04/11EDP24
An amateur group unearthing the remains of Norwich's two long-lost railway stations has found 150 feet of a platform wall at the former City Station site.
Strawberry line tunnel reopens14/04/11BBC News
An old railway tunnel in North Somerset, which had to be closed in December when hazardous icicles formed inside, has reopened after £30,000 of repairs.
May launch for cycle routes13/04/11Oxford Times
Wallingford residents and visitors will soon be able to take advantage of new cycle routes around the town., one involving an old railway alignment.
Community hub conversion12/04/11Lancashire Telegraph
A project to transform a disused railway station into a heritage centre has been officially unveiled.
Coaches to return to museum10/04/11BBC News
Two Mark 1 carriages are being moved hundreds of miles to The Heritage Centre in Bellingham - a former station on the Border Counties Railway - for use as an exhibition/learning space and tea room.
Wheels of fortune04/04/11Yorkshire Post
Over the past 15 years, a quiet revolution has been taking place along Yorkshire's roads, country lanes and disused railway tracks.

March 2011

Montrose path work gets under way23/03/11Montrose Review
Work has begun on the Angus footpath and cycleway to North Water Viaduct.
Delight as cycleway wins go-ahead23/03/11Yorkshire Post
Campaigners are celebrating after a planning inspector approved a controversial £400,000 footpath and cycleway along a disused line between Bilton and Ripley.
Bonanza for cyclists23/03/11Southern Reporter
Off-road cyclists will soon be able to bike from Peebles to Cardrona and Innerleithen without touching tarmac, thanks to a disused railway trackbed.
Park plan for disused viaduct22/03/11Birmingham Mail
Plans are being pushed forward to turn an old viaduct in Digbeth into a green space for residents.
Shares to fund railway expansion17/03/11This is Staffordshire
The Churnet Valley Railway announce plans to reopen lines into Leek, Stoke and Alton Towers.
Longridge's station gong?17/03/11Longridge & Ribble Vly News
Longridge's popular centre, The Old Station, is one of four landmark building projects in East Lancashire to be shortlisted for architectural awards.
Tram preparations begin on old trackbed16/03/11Manchester Evening News
Work has started on the Metrolink extension between Sale and Manchester Airport, with dozens of trees chopped down along a disused line.
Charity ride to open new path11/03/11Shropshire Live
A new footpath between Bridgnorth and Coalport, which follows an old GWR railway trackbed, is to be officially opened on Sunday 27th March.
Threatened bridge gets revamp08/03/11BBC News
A disused railway bridge in Great Yarmouth which was believed to be beyond repair could be restored following a £295,000 lottery grant.
Battle commences over viaduct path02/03/11Clitheroe Advertiser & Times
A valuable link between footpaths in Read and the Ribble Valley - crossing Martholme Viaduct - could be reopened if enough evidence can be gained from local users.

February 2011

Safety survey for Sawmills bridge27/02/11BBC News
A disused railway bridge in Derbyshire, which has seen more than 20 serious accidents, could be raised or demolished.
Monsal Trail closure extended26/02/11BBC News
Cyclists and walkers are being warned a new section of a popular Derbyshire footpath, along an old railway trackbed, is to be temporarily closed to allow it to be resurfaced.
New pathway launched25/02/11The Star (South Yorkshire)
A walking and cycling path along a 700m disused railway embankment has been opened in South Yorkshire with the help of local primary school children.
Temporary reprieve for Devizes tunnels24/02/11Gazette & Herald
Wiltshire Council has postponed work to infill two railway tunnels in Devizes after an outcry by residents who were concerned about access for lorries.
Ministerial visit for Two Tunnels21/02/11This is Bath
?Transport minister Norman Baker is inspecting work on a £2 million cycle path in Bath, using the trackbed of the former Somerset & Dorset railway as well as Combe Down and Devonshire tunnels.
Woodstock station may be saved01/02/11Witney Gazette
Campaigners may have won the battle to save the former Blenheim & Woodstock railway station which has been the focus of a developer's attention.
Tunnel vision knocks walkers off track01/02/11Yorkshire Post
Walkers and cyclists who use a popular Peak District trail have been warned that part of the route will be closed for about six weeks as part of a project to reopen four disused railway tunnels.

January 2011

Railway museum to close its doors24/01/11BBC News
A museum dedicated to the railway heritage of Pontypool is closing due to financial pressures.
Amlwch branch study begins23/01/11BBC News
A study on reopening a railway line that closed to passenger traffic more than 35 years ago is to begin on Anglesey.
Court rejects bus scheme appeal19/01/11Portsmouth News
The Supreme Court has thrown out an appeal against a controversial £20 million bus scheme which, according to a campaigner, will harm wildlife through a disused railway corridor.
Knock gets a clean-up14/01/11Belfast Telegraph
The old platform at Knock Station has long been lost beneath the encroaching grass and brambles but now it has finally seen the light again.
Station listing thwarted09/01/11WW&S Mercury
Attempts to secure a listing for the disused western terminus of the Bristol-Portishead railway have failed.
Two Tunnels moves closer06/01/11This is Bath
Work is about to start on widening a path through the south of Bath so it can be part of a £1.9 million walking and cycling route along a former trackbed.
Apprentices benefit from former line05/01/11Wirral News
A new generation of apprentices will learn railway engineering skills on a disused line which runs along the southern boundary of Birkenhead Docks.