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 2012

Cardiff 'Crossrail' on disused line?31/12/12Wales Online
A host of new suburban railway stations - some on a reopened line - could form part of a £200m Cardiff 'Crossrail', helping to solve the city's traffic gridlock.
Metro to bring reopening13/12/12This is Bristol
The first phase of the long-awaited Greater Bristol Metro, including the introduction of passenger services on the Portishead line, is expected to open in 2017.
Missing link almost filled08/12/12The Argus (Brighton)
A 40-year dream and a £6million project to reconnect Sheffield Park to East Grinstead by rail is just metres from the finish line.
Jail for tunnel drugs factory owners03/12/12Daily Mail
Four men involved in a massive cannabis growing operation, based in a disused railway tunnel in North Wales, have been given prison sentences.
Going underground03/12/12Daily Mail
A disused underground station that was used by thousands of Londoners during the Blitz has been opened up for rare public viewing.
Historic railway reopens 01/12/12This is Plymouth
Two special guests will help celebrate the reopening of a Plymouth branch line 50 years after it was closed by Dr Beeching's axe.

November 2012

Path moves a step closer30/11/12This is Bath
The latest connection in the £1.9 million Two Tunnels cycle path has been swung into position: a missing bridge over Millmead Road.
Three more years27/11/12News & Star
British Railways Board (Residuary) wants "temporary" security fences that keep people off Carlisle's Eden (Waverley) Viaduct to remain in place for another three years.
Light and sound display installed23/11/12BBC News
An interactive light and sound display is being installed along the length of the disused Combe Down Tunnel in Bath as part of the ongoing Greenway project.
Platform plan moves rail link forward21/11/12This is South Wales
Plans to extend a heritage railway into Carmarthen - attracting thousands of visitors and bringing huge economic benefits - have taken another step forward.
Home signal for Sheringham box21/11/12BBC News
A 106-year-old railway signal box has been returned to a Norfolk level crossing, 40 years after volunteers removed it to ensure its survival.
Land sale key to reopening20/11/12This is Sussex
A parcel of land that holds the key to restoring the rail link between Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough is being sold off to the highest bidder.
Date set for Two Tunnels opening20/11/12This is Bath
6th April will mark the official opening of a new cycle route through Bath's Combe Down and Devonshire tunnels.
Rail project is back on track20/11/12This is Staffordshire
A green campaigner has lost her bid to derail plans for a railway to be reopened through her village.
Viaduct reopening going nowhere09/11/12In Cumbria
Carlisle's disused Waverley Viaduct looks set to remain sealed off after talks to progress its use for pedestrian traffic fizzled out.
Borders Railway delivery plan finalised06/11/12Network Rail
Network Rail will begin construction of the Borders Railway in early 2013 following the completion of a project transfer agreement between Network Rail and the Scottish Government.

October 2012

The line that was built to last27/10/12Scotland on Sunday
With the Borders railway reopening proving as contentious as its closure, can the benefits ever outweigh the costs in an age of austerity?
'High Line' idea for Castlefield Viaduct27/10/12The Independent
Residents of Castlefield are campaigning to create their own High Line Park on the top of one of the Manchester's derelict Victorian railway viaducts.
Improvements to Wye bridges?17/10/12This is Gloucestershire
Three rail and tramway bridges, providing a link between communities split by the River Wye, could be given a new lease of life.
Rail link proposal moves forward16/10/12Oxford Mail
Plans to reopen the rail link from Oxford to Bedford via Bicester have taken a step forward with the setting up of a Joint Delivery Board to oversee the project.
Gauging support for rail path11/10/12This is Exeter
A meeting is to take place as part of a campaign to create an Otter Valley cycleway along the disused railway line between Feniton and Sidmouth.
Call for railway revival09/10/12This is South Wales
A campaigner is appealing for people to sign his petition asking the Welsh Government to consider reopening the Carmarthen-Aberystwyth line.
A "Low Line" for London?08/10/12Design Week
A proposal to turn a disused tunnel into an urban mushroom garden has won the Landscape Institute's international competition to design a High Line for London.
Bridge brings people together06/10/12Wales Online
An old railway bridge that has fallen into disrepair will be given a new lease of life as part of a scheme to improve access between two Cardiff communities.
Inquiry into Croxley link03/10/12Watford Observer
A public inquiry will start next week into a railway project which will bring back into use a disused trackbed in Watford.
Station on the move03/10/12South Wales Argus
An old railway station in Monmouthshire is to get a new lease of life at one of the world's leading museums.
Campaign targets railway reopening02/10/12EDP24
Campaigners remain hopeful that the King's Lynn to Hunstanton railway could be restored, as an exhibition celebrating its history opens.

September 2012

Tunnel residents still in limbo30/09/12Liverpool Echo
People forced out of their properties after a former railway tunnel collapsed have said they are no nearer knowing when their lives will return to normal.
Network Rail to take station site control?26/09/12Uckfield News
Uckfield Town Council is supporting a bid by Network Rail to take ownership of the town's old station site and former goods yard, as the campaign to reopen the Uckfield-Lewes line steps up a gear.
Viaduct provides Tadcaster connection26/09/12The Press (York)
A disused viaduct has been temporarily reopened after Tadcaster's main road bridge was closed by flooding, splitting the town in two.
Walkway plan for rail route23/09/12Henley Standard
A cycle and walking route could be created along a former railway line from Watlington to Junction 6 of the M40, more than 20 years after it was first suggested.
Cycle link plan to be explained20/09/12Sidmouth Herald
A campaign for a cycleway to link Sidmouth with Ottery St Mary and Feniton along a former railway line will shift up a gear next month with an exhibition.
Clash over support for rail proposal20/09/12East Anglian Daily Times
Campaigners against the construction of a heritage railway through a stretch of Suffolk countryside have accused developers of corralling support for the proposal.
Rail bridges to aid cut-off villagers?20/09/12Teesdale Mercury
Two former railway bridges could bring an end to an eight-mile trek to the post office for people living in a hamlet that has been cut off from their nearest village for three years.
Trail plans blasted by steam railway20/09/12This is Cornwall
New plans for the development of a multi-use trail along an old railway trackbed would obstruct the extension of one of Cornwall's most popular tourist attractions, according to objectors.
Landmark bridge bites the dust19/09/12In Cumbria
A railway bridge which spanned the old Whitehaven to Sellafield railway line for more than 150 years has been removed after becoming unsafe.
Station reopening hopes driven forward18/09/12This is South Wales
A campaign to reopen a Pembrokeshire station is a step closer after supporters were given ideas from a successful railway users group.
Mapping plans for four rail trails16/09/12This is Derbyshire
National Park chiefs in the Peak District are pressing ahead with plans to develop more old railway lines into cycle paths, forming a 60-mile loop.
Viaduct to become London's High Line?07/09/12BBC News
A disused railway bridge in east London could become a unique park if plans for a major transformation get the go-ahead.
Best foot forward04/09/12BBC News
A new cycle path along the trackbed of the Great Western's former line between Plymouth and Tavistock has been officially opened.

August 2012

Demolition brings 'Niagara Falls'28/08/12Belper News
The demolition of an old railway bridge spanning the A610 at Sawmills has created a 'Niagara Falls' flooding problem according to local people.
Work starts on viaduct restoration25/08/12Daily Echo
Work to make the disused Hockley Viaduct fit for foot and cycle traffic has got underway.
Safety threat to old station23/08/12BBC News
The Cornish town of Padstow may lose its Victorian railway station building because of safety concerns, the local council has warned.
Tunnel collapse homes condemned?23/08/12BBC News
People evacuated after part of the disused Dingle Tunnel collapsed beneath their homes in Liverpool may never be able to return, the council has said.
Cycle path future for old line?11/08/12BBC News
Parts of an old Shropshire railway line could be reopened as a new traffic-free cycle path as soon as next year.
Views sought on railway paths08/08/12Grough
Peak District National Park bosses are seeking the views of walkers and cyclists about how they should manage four trails that offer 34 miles of recreational routes on former railway lines.
Tunnel collapse families still homeless07/08/12Liverpool Daily Post
Two weeks after part of Dingle Tunnel collapsed, evaculated families are still waiting for a structural engineer to inspect their homes.

July 2012

Plans signal new role for box29/07/12Berwick Advertiser
New plans have been submitted to restore and extend the disused Bendor signal box to provide residential accommodation.
Tunnel collapse brings disruption to city23/07/12Liverpool Echo
Homes had been evacuated and a major road closed after part of the disused Dingle Tunnel - on the former Liverpool Overhead Railway - gave way.
Offenders praised for walkway clean-up19/07/12This is Lancashire
A disused railway line through Little Hulton and Walkden has been cleaned up by a team of community payback offenders.
Cycle link to the seaside17/07/12This is Bristol
A new cycle path along a disused railway trackbed could be created between Yatton and Clevedon in an attempt to encourage more people to use public transport.
Work starts on second bridge15/07/12This is Bath
Work has begun on a second footbridge being built along the former Somerset and Dorset line as part of Bath's ambitious Two Tunnels project.
Old bridge to be dismantled15/07/12This is Derbyshire
A disused railway bridge near Ambergate is to be dismantled by Derbyshire County Council after a long history of accidents.
Rail plan hope for Portishead05/07/12This is Bristol
The £100million Bristol Metro train network, which proposes reopening the Portishead branch, is to go ahead with the first services running by 2016.

June 2012

Dance future for goods shed?26/06/12This is South Wales
A former railway goods shed could become the unlikely new home for performing arts groups across Llanelli.
Bridge checked ahead of path plan19/06/12This is Plymouth
A disused railway bridge over the River Plym has been given the once over by specialist contractors in the hopes of turning it into a footbridge and cycle path crossing.
Drugs factory found in disused tunnel14/06/12Telegraph & Argus
More than 500 cannabis plants have been found in a disused railway tunnel near Bradford during a routine inspection.
Views sought on reopening14/06/12BBC News
Campaigners who want to reopen the line between Radstock and Frome in Somerset are seeking support for the idea.
Light rail for old island lines?09/06/12County Press
Campaigners battling to expand the Isle of Wight's rail network by running trams over existing disused lines have welcomed a pilot 'tram-train' project in South Yorkshire.
Bridging the gap06/06/12The Scotsman
Disused railways which used to run across Leith could be brought back into use as a footpath if funding can be secured for the project.

May 2012

Viaduct route approved31/05/12Romsey Advertiser
Hockley Viaduct is a step closer to hosting a cycle path after Winchester City Council unanimously granted planning permission.
Head of steam24/05/12This is Hull & East Riding
Enthusiasts are going full steam ahead in their efforts to reopen part of the former Malton-Driffield line as a tourist attraction.
Steam arrives at reborn station24/05/12BBC News
The restoration of Whitecroft Station in the Forest of Dean has been celebrated with a steam locomotive trip.
Planning decision protects proposed path16/05/12This is Somerset
A controversial scheme to build homes on former railway land in Shepton Mallet has been thrown out, protecting the route of a proposed railway path.
Returning to service13/05/12BBC News
Fishguard and Goodwick railway station in Pembrokeshire is set to see passenger use again after closing 48 years ago.
Disused tunnels go to pot08/05/12North Wales Chronicle
Two people have been arrested on suspicion of growing cannabis in a pair of disused tunnels at Bangor, Gwynedd.
Mural supports railway fight07/05/12BBC News
A 40ft mural has been unveiled in Portishead in support of the campaign to reopen its disused railway.
Suffolk line to be restored?04/05/12BBC News
Railway enthusiasts are hoping to restore part of the Southwold-Halesworth railway which closed to traffic more than 80 years ago.
Play marks rail anniversary03/05/12Times & Star
A play will be staged in Keswick on Sunday to mark the 150th anniversary of work starting on the Cockermouth Keswick and Penrith Railway.
New viaduct replaces old01/05/12About My Area
Walkers, cyclists and horse riders are invited to join the fun at the opening of the new Woolfold Viaduct in the Kirklees Valley.

April 2012

Thieves derail restoration plans29/04/12This is Staffordshire
Moorland and City Railways is pressing ahead with plans to reopen a line in Staffordshire despite thieves stealing 600m of track.
Viaduct could be demolished29/04/12Free Press
The director of the company which owns the slowly-collapsing Monmouth Viaduct says there is no solution in sight for the structure and it may have to be destroyed.
Tunnel works pick up pace27/04/12London24
Works to prepare the disused Connaught Tunnel for a new life as part of Crossrail are now well under way.
Transit route goes live21/04/12BBC News
A £20m rapid bus transit route along a disused Hampshire railway has opened and is carrying its first passengers.
Calling time on old viaduct21/04/12South Wales Argus
A farmer has called for an old railway viaduct " that is so dilapidated it is slowly collapsing into his land " to be torn down or restored.
Darlington mecca for railway tourists?20/04/12Northern Echo
A group has been set up to establish Darlington as the ultimate destination for railway tourism by 2025 - the 200th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.
Tynemouth back on the rails15/04/12The Guardian
Work is nearly finished on the restoration of Tynemouth Station which was once so sumptuous that it formed a destination in itself.
Brompton Road resurrection?13/04/12BBC News
An entrepreneur announces plans to reopen the disused Brompton Road underground station as a tourist attraction.
Enthusiasts hope for line revival12/04/12BBC News
The stretch of disused railway line in Leiston, which was closed in 1968, could be reopened for tourist purposes.
Praise for Two Tunnels bridge opening10/04/12This is Bath
A new 20-tonne bridge at Oldfield Park has been opened, part of a project to create a foot and cycle path via two disused tunnels.
Rescue for tunnel explorer08/04/12BBC News
A woman has been rescued from a disused railway tunnel after falling and breaking her leg.
Gates for station gardens08/04/12BBC News
A pair of old level crossing gates that were once synonymous with an Essex resort have been given a new home.
Viaduct plan comes off the rails01/04/12Journal Live
Ambitious plans to reopen Durham's Belmont Viaduct for walkers and cyclists have failed because the local council could not secure access across a plot of land.

March 2012

Power restored to Brunel's terminus28/03/12This is Bristol
The original Temple Meads Station is to be reborn as the new home for the high-speed electric train service to and from London.
New arrivals at old station?27/03/12Derry Journal
A rail group has welcomed a move by Derry City Council that could see the Old Waterside Railway Station become the hub for rail travel in the city.
Old crossing gate in restoration project25/03/12Louth Leader
An old level crossing gate in Mablethorpe has been given a facelift thanks to some local residents.
Old line to become heritage site17/03/12Huddersfield Examiner
Part of the former Meltham railway is set to be turned in to a heritage walking trail.
Could housing plan scupper rail link?15/03/12Bucks Free Press
Rail campaigners fear a building plan for 26 homes will threaten the possible restoration of the old line between Wycombe and Maidenhead.
End for Peak pylon eyesore?14/03/12Bakewell Today
Pylons could be coming down in one of the Peak District's most dramatic valleys if plans to bury them beneath the former Woodhead trackbed are approved.
Plans for another misguided busway13/03/12Manchester Evening News
A new 13-mile bus route, known as the Leigh Guided Busway, will feature a four-mile section along a disused railway.
Bus lane to open on old line12/03/12The News (Portsmouth)
Next month will see buses start to run along a £20m Bus Rapid Transit route, built on the disused railway between Fareham and Gosport.
Flood scheme approved12/03/12This is Gloucestershire
More than 150 people have objected to Severn Trent's proposals to dig up a disused railway embankment near a water treatment plant and deposit excavated material at a nearby site.
Viaduct path blocked off12/03/12Wetherby News
Tadcaster residents say they are shocked and angry that a popular path over the town's disused viaduct has been closed to the public.
Disused line to boost tourism08/03/12This is Hull & East Riding
The Yorkshire Wolds Railway wants to reinstate a mile of track on the old Malton-Driffield line so people can relive the age of steam.

February 2012

Bristol rail campaign launched23/02/12This is Bristol
Bristolians are being asked to get on board with a campaign to transform local rail services by reopening disused stations and the line to Portishead.
Step forward for line reopening23/02/12Northumberland Gazette
An ambitious scheme to reopen the disused Alnmouth-Alnwick railway has reached an important milestone which could see trains operating later this year.
Best hoof forward20/02/12This is Scunthorpe
An old railway line which runs from Epworth to Haxey could be used to create a route for horse riders that would reduce the risk of road accidents.
Crime fears allayed over tunnel16/02/12Yorkshire Post
Cyclists have welcomed plans to open a disused railway tunnel to improve links between Wakefield and Dewsbury despite misgivings by some that it will attract anti-social behaviour.
New link for railway path?11/02/12Gazette & Herald
The Mayor of Marlborough has asked for a link from the estates in the north of the town allowing access onto the old railway path that provides an off-road route to Swindon.
Footbridge work to end08/02/12Dorset Echo
A new bridge in Weymouth will finally be lifted into place this weekend filling a 25-year-old gap in a disused railway alignment which now serves as a footpath.
Pedal power for old Welsh line03/02/12BBC News
Trials involving a velorail vehicle are due to take place on a disused rail line in Gwynedd as a way to boost tourism in the area.
Bomb experts examine tunnel02/02/12Construction Index
A team of bomb disposal specialists is examining the disused Connaught Tunnel, part of the Crossrail route, for any ordnance which failed to detonate during World War II.

January 2012

Bitter blow for viaduct plan27/01/12This is Devon
A £390,000 bid to restore Coles Mill Viaduct has been turned down by the Heritage Lottery.
Bridge to link with new green route26/01/12This is Bath
Work has begun on a new bridge for walkers and cyclists which will open up a former rail route from Bath into the countryside south of the city.
£400,000 to create walking mecca26/01/12Teesdale Mercury
An extension of the Tees Valley Railway Path is being planned in a move that would link Middleton-in-Teesdale with Barnard Castle.
Cycle route may be "spectacular"24/01/12Bakewell Today
Plans are in place to complete a further section of the popular Monsal Trail cycle route through a disused tunnel behind Haddon Hall.
Four lines to become paths17/01/12BBC News
Nottinghamshire County Council is planning to turn four disused railways into routes for walkers and cyclists, having acquired them from Network Rail.
Work begins on old railway17/01/12BBC News
Work has started on clearing a trackbed for a new heritage line in Gloucestershire.
Tunnel lights to go out16/01/12Dewsbury Reporter
Lighting designed to make a disused railway tunnel safe for walkers will have to be switched off every night to protect bats.
Government queries station plan13/01/12Cambridge First
Cambridgeshire County Council has submitted detailed responses to government questions about the possible reopening of a disused station in the city.
Misguided reopening attracts riders12/01/12BBC News
The one millionth passenger has boarded Cambridgeshire's guided bus service - running along a disused railway - five months after the service opened.
More riders hit the trail11/01/12The Star
A milestone number of walkers and cyclists have used a reopened trail through four disused railway tunnels in the Peak District.
Restoration for Jersey railway?10/01/12BBC News
A Jersey politician said he would like to see the island's old railway line relaid.
Train to the office10/01/12Birmingham Mail
While many offices can boast great town centre locations and comfortable working environments, one workplace in Sutton Coldfield has its own disused railway line.
Walk marks viaduct anniversary03/01/12This is Northumberland
More than 60 people gathered on New Year's Day to step out on a walk celebrating the 150th birthday of the Kielder Viaduct.
Station plan good news for Fishguard02/01/12BBC News
Rail campaigners say the opening of a disused station near Fishguard will make train services more attractive for many people in north Pembrokeshire.