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 2014

Costing for High Line style park21/12/14Greener Leith
A new report has put a £4.8m price tag on a proposal for a new 'raised park' that could be built on 550m of disused railway in Leith.
Plans for Peckham's 'High Line'18/12/14Now Here This
The disused Rickett coal sidings, alongside the existing Queens Road Peckham to Peckham Rye railway, could be turned into a 1km linear park similar to one in New York.
Hope diminishes for disused stations13/12/14Wales Online
Campaigners have expressed disappointment as Wales' new draft National Transport Plan defers proposed new railway stations including four on the disused Llantrisant-Beddau line.
Study for Nottingham tram extension?13/12/14Nottingham Post
Plans to spend £20,000 on a study into the extension of Nottingham's tram network to Kimberley look set to be approved. The proposed route would use the trackbed of a disused railway.
Could Rhondda breathe again?03/12/14BBC News
The longest disused tunnel in Wales could be dug out and reopened to become a tourist attraction.
Haggerleases route makes progress02/12/14Teesdale Mercury
Work is expected to take place this winter on the first stages of a £2 million walking route along an old railway in Teesdale.
Midlands rail link revealed01/12/14Express & Star
A light rail service taking train passengers on a disused railway between Dudley and Sandwell could be opened within five years under a £20 million flagship project.

November 2014

Sponsor a sleeper27/11/14Fleetwood Weekly News
A community campaign to help revive the disused railway to Fleetwood " one sleeper at a time " has been launched.
Room with a view25/11/14Daily Mail
A disused railway linesman's hut in Scotland has gone on sale for £10,000.
Scottish stations to reopen20/11/14Edinburgh Evening News
Mothballed stations are set to reopen after more than half a century thanks to obligations written into the new ScotRail franchise.
Reinstatement plan highlighted17/11/14Western Morning News
The disused Bere Alston-Tavistock railway is a step closer to being reinstated after Devon County Council submitted an environmental study to the Planning Inspectorate.
Plans submitted for viaduct reopening11/11/14Rossendale Free Press
Transport charity Sustrans has submitted an application to Rossendale Council's planning committee to reopen the disused Lumb Valley Viaduct as a cycle way.
Station anniversary marked06/11/14Burton Mail
A ceremony has taken place to mark 120 years since the first train passed through the former Rolleston Station.
Plan progress after limbo period02/11/14Cycling Weekly
Five years after it was first proposed, a plan for a cycle path along the Wye Valley's disused railway is gathering further support.

October 2014

St Fagan's Station still in storage30/10/14South Wales Argus
A historic railway station that was to get a new lease of life at one of the world's leading museums is still in storage two years after it was dismantled.
Council backs freight idea28/10/14BBC News
A disused railway station could be reopened for freight services into mid Wales under plans being considered by Ceredigion Council.
Plan for viaduct path27/10/14Worcester News
Could Worcester's disused viaduct become a new 'green' path for cycling and pedestrians?
Work to dismantle box underway22/10/14BBC News
Work has started to remove the disused signal box in Deeping St James after which it will be placed in storage until a new site can be found for it.
A Grand new cycle track17/10/14Halifax Courier
Residents in West Vale and Greetland have recaptured the spirit of the Grand Depart by gathering on West Vale Viaduct to open a new cycle way.
Track complete in two months08/10/14The Scotsman
A ceremony has been held at Shawfair Station to mark the official start of track laying on the £353 million Borders Railway, occupying the trackbed of the former Waverley line.
Colne-Skipton revival boost06/10/14Lancashire Telegraph
Campaigners hoping to reopen the Colne-Skipton railway are celebrating another step forward as Lancashire County Council chiefs meet with counterparts from North Yorkshire to discuss the idea.

September 2014

Catesby on the fast track?25/09/14Racecar Engineering
A top secret project to create the ultimate aerodynamic test facility through the disused Catesby Tunnel has been revealed.
Avoiding Sleaford22/09/14Sleaford Target
A disused railway has been brought back into service to reduce the number of trains travelling through Sleaford.
Underground sell off21/09/14The Independent
Transport for London is planning to invite companies to bid to convert abandoned tube stations and tunnels into tourist attractions including hotels, shops and museums.
Remembering Welshpool's railway09/09/14News North Wales
The old railway line through Welshpool is set to be "brought back to life" by a walking tour through the town connecting 12 information boards.
New users for rail tunnel 03/09/14Southern Reporter
A new multi-use path between Lyne Station and Peebles is to be created, bringing Neidpath tunnel and viaduct back into use.
New route to Hayle01/09/14The Cornishman
The £811,000 project to provide safer access to Hayle Station has seen an existing footpath replaced and the disused harbour branch transformed into a cycleway.

August 2014

Path likely over disused viaducts29/08/14Bolton News
The final stage of a new cycle path over Burnden and Darcy Lever viaducts has received approval from local councillors.
Critical support for viaduct scheme28/08/14News & Star (Carlisle)
Success seems ever more likely for a hard-fought campaign to reopen the disused Eden Viaduct in Carlisle following positive noises from the Highways Agency.
Trackbed faces uncertain future26/08/14Bucks Free Press
Concerned residents have reacted angrily to plans which could see 22 homes built on the former railway linking Bourne End to High Wycombe.
PM support for Witney campaign20/08/14Oxford Mail
The Prime Minister has expressed support for a group wanting an updated feasibility study into the reopening of the line between Witney and Oxford.
Consultants benefit from reopening18/08/14Bristol Post
Councillors have earmarked £50,000 towards the cost of consultants who will draw up a business case for a level crossing as part of the proposed reopening of the Portishead line.
Disused line to the seaside?18/08/14Advertiser & Review
The relaid East West Rail route could eventually extend from coast to coast, a new report suggests.
Nothing to commend them17/08/14The Rail Engineer
How a Ministerial visit to Queensbury Tunnel could bring salvation from the threat of concrete infilling.
Whitehall lobbied over viaduct's future17/08/14News & Star (Carlisle)
A long-running campaign to get Carlisle's disused Eden Viaduct reopened has reached the desk of a senior Government figure.
Artwork changes tracks17/08/14BBC News
An artwork symbolising one of Northamptonshire's disused railway lines - the former Nene Valley line between Northampton and Peterborough - is now towering over Stanwick Lakes.
Former stations up for sale14/08/14Daily Mail
A stunning collection of converted railway stations and crossing keeper's cottages are on sale across the country with prices as low as £180,000.
New life for old carriage12/08/14Northern Echo
Hopes of turning an old railway coach into a community centre at Leeming Bar are pressing ahead.
Another Borders milestone reached12/08/14Borders Railway
The Borders Railway project has reached another major construction milestone after the first section of concrete slab track was laid in the disused Bowshank Tunnel.

July 2014

Cycle routes campaign launched31/07/14Shropshire Live
The National Trust has announced plans for two new cycle routes, taking riders through beautiful Shropshire countryside along former railway lines.
Study to explore tram extension29/07/14Nottingham Post
A study into the potential of Nottingham's tram network being extending to Kimberley - along a disused railway - is to be launched.
Tunnel refurbishment completed28/07/
Work to renovate a Victorian railway tunnel in east London has been completed as it prepares to become part of the Crossrail network.
Viaduct campaign exhausts legal avenues17/07/14Accrington Observer
Campaigners fighting to reopen the Martholme Viaduct footpath in Lancashire have been warned they have no legal basis or County Council backing.
Town centre station preferred08/07/14Bristol Post
Councillors are urging transport chiefs to rebuild Portishead's railway station on the original site in the centre of the town, claiming it remains the best option.
Tavistock route moves forward08/07/14Plymouth Herald
A reopened railway connecting Tavistock to Plymouth has moved a step closer after councillors backed further development of the £33 million line.
Petition backs Wye Valley path02/07/14South Wales Argus
Calls for a cycle path to be built from Chepstow to Tintern along the disused railway are gathering pace with an online petition which has attracted over 1,800 signatories in two months.

June 2014

End of the line for old bridge30/06/14Somerset County Gazette
A disused railway bridge is to be taken down and replaced by a section of new road.
Corridor of power19/06/14Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A government minister is to visit Queensbury to hear about ambitious plans to reopen a Victorian railway tunnel as a cycleway.
Reopening campaign gaining support18/06/14East Anglian Daily Times
The campaign to reinstate the Colchester-Cambridge line continues to gather pace with claims that authorities are "very much in favour" of part of the project.
Best foot forward17/06/14Witney Gazette
Campaigners for better transport links in West Oxfordshire have walked part of the former Witney railway line to highlight their campaign for a study into its reopening.
Enthusiasts call for line revival15/06/14Newbury Today
A pressure group, campaigning for the restoration of disused, hyper-local rail lines to reduce traffic congestion, is holding a public meeting in Newbury.
Fresh blow to reopening campaign09/06/14News & Star (Cumbria)
Calls to reopen the Penrith-Keswick line have suffered another setback with the Government stating that it is not a priority for the future.
Tram future for Deepdale railway03/06/14Lancashire Evening Post
Plans have been tabled for the first phase of a tram line into Preston which could involve reopening the former railway through the Deepdale tunnels.
Campaign to reopen viaduct02/06/14Lancashire Telegraph
A petition to reopen Lancashire's Grade II listed Martholme Viaduct has been launched, 13 years after the structure was blocked off.

May 2014

Transformation begins of Laira Bridge29/05/14The Herald (Plymouth)
A tired and neglected railway bridge looks set for a new lease of life as work begins on giving it a new purpose.
Researcher pleads guilty on tunnel charge28/05/14The Oxford Student
Police have been accused of a breach of academic liberty after an Oxford academic was arrested for breaking into a disused railway tunnels for his PhD research.
Cycle path finished by Christmas26/05/14BBC News
The 14-mile Stafford-Newport cycle path, costing £2 million and occupying a disused railway trackbed, will be completed later this year, a decade after work on it started.
Buffers get council's green light21/05/
Sedgemoor District Council has approved a planning application to install a set of old buffers in Pier Street, where the town's former railway line used to end.
Cycle path could still happen15/05/14South Wales Argus
A proposed scheme to build a cycle path along the disused Wye Valley Railway could still happen more than three years after it was put on hold.
Ministerial boost for tunnel campaigners14/05/14Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A Government transport minister has pledged to visit the disused Queensbury Tunnel which campaigners hope could become a cycleway.
Debate rages over arches' future06/05/14Nottingham Post
The future of Popham Street's imposing railway arches is uncertain after council officers decided to demolish the buildings that surround them in a bid to combat arson.
Learning lessons from past reopenings05/05/14Bristol Post
Investigations are due to be carried out on the three-mile section of disused line between Pill Junction and Portishead, exactly 50 years since the last passenger train ran along it.
Clean-up a rail good deed05/05/14Lancashire Evening Post
A rubbish hotspot on a disused railway line has been given a spruce up thanks to volunteers from Network Rail and other local organisations.

April 2014

Group's vision includes tunnel27/04/14Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A community heritage group with bold ambitions for the regeneration of Queensbury is to hold its first public meeting in a bid to start pushing its plans forward which include reopening a disused tunnel.
Station goes back in time26/04/14BBC News
Scruton Station, which was lost under trees and brambles following its closure 60 years ago, has been reopened thanks to a £180,000 restoration.
Last signal for disused box?21/04/14Nottingham Post
Network Rail plans to knock down the disused signal box at Netherfield Station as it modernises the rail network across the UK.
Buffer plan for resort10/04/
A group of historians have appealed for help in finalising a unique project that celebrates Burnham-on-Sea's railway heritage.
Boxes face uncertain future03/04/14BBC News
Five more traditional signal boxes are set to become forgotten relics as work to bring in new technology closes the Lincoln to Spalding line.
Black Country line made into cycle path01/04/14BBC News
A disused railway in Wolverhampton is being converted into a new cycle route and footpath.
Connaught Tunnel prepared for Crossrail01/04/14Newham Recorder
A Victorian railway tunnel, disused since 2006, is being brought back into use for Crossrail and work is taking place to deepen, strengthen and widen the structure.

March 2014

Campaign boost for old tunnel30/03/14Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A campaign to reopen the crumbling Queensbury Tunnel for cyclists has stepped up a gear and hopes that it gets a boost when Yorkshire goes cycle crazy for the Tour De France.
Your chance to buy a station30/03/14East Anglian Daily Times
Most people would hesitate before snapping up a home alongside a railway line but no trains have stopped at Long Melford since March 1967.
New role for Leamside?27/03/14Shields Gazette
Communities in South Tyneside could be linked up by the future Metro system under ambitions plans involving reuse of the Leamside line.
Bridge added to Two Tunnels21/03/14Bath Chronicle
Sustrans has reopened a former railway bridge over the Bath-Bristol main line, allowing walkers and cyclists on the Two Tunnels path to cross the tracks in safety.
Focus on disused Dales station20/03/14Darlington & Stockton Times
A community group restoring Aysgarth Station has received a profile boost from a York photographer who was crowned the winner of a competition.
Viaduct vision 'moving forward'17/03/14Yorkshire Evening Post
Hopes of turning a historic Leeds viaduct into the ultimate symbol of the city's capital-of-connectivity ambitions could soon be moving forward.
Calls to reopen Peak District route16/03/14Buxton Advertiser
Campaigners have launched an online petition calling for the reopening of the former Midland line between Buxton, Bakewell and Matlock.

February 2014

Big sale for Tube station28/02/14International Business Times
An abandoned London Underground station used as a World War II command centre has been sold for £53 million, to an anonymous buyer.
Rebirth plan for disused railway21/02/14BBC News
Plans for a metro-style train system in Cardiff could see a transport corridor developed along the old line from Fairwater to Creigiau.
Tunnel vision for Pennine cyclists20/02/14BBC News
Europe's longest underground cycleway could be built in West Yorkshire if campaigners succeed in their aim to get an abandoned railway tunnel converted into a cycle path.
Guinness record for old bore20/02/14Derby Telegraph
Fritchley's disused railway tunnel, part of the Butterley Gangroad and dating back to 1793, has been officially recognised as the oldest in the world.
Cycle path dream19/02/14St Helens Reporter
Plans to transform an overgrown railway trackbed running from the Dream statue into a cycle path have been given the green light.
Birstall branch path approved15/02/14Batley & Birstall News
Plans to create a dedicated walking and cycling route along the former line to Birstall have been the green light.
Distant signals for Haywards Heath15/02/14Mid Sussex Times
Plans are on track for steam trains to roll regularly into Haywards Heath railway station for the first time since the 1960s, although not for ten years or so yet.
Old station in the way?13/02/14Daily Mail
A Dartmoor man who lives in Brentor's old railway station fears the spectre of the line's possible reopening following the Dawlish collapse could hit the sale of his home.
Protecting Stephensons' heritage12/02/14BBC News
Thirty railway bridges, viaducts and tunnel portals have been listed to help preserve them ahead of electrification of the Midland Main Line.
Makeover for historic bridge12/02/14The Press (York)
The restoration of a 60-year-old railway bridge is underway with plans for its makeover to be unveiled later this year.
Cycle role for Darcy Lever?11/02/14Bolton News
A new walking and cycling route - possibly incorporating the eye-catching Darcy Lever Viaduct - will be created along the disused Bolton to Bury railway, after councillors gave plans the green light.
Tavistock chosen as Dawlish alternative10/02/14BBC News
Network Rail has revealed the disused line through Tavistock would be its preferred choice of an alternative to the storm-battered railway line at Dawlish.
Another call to reopen Woodhead10/02/14Bolton News
Business leaders are pushing for a road and rail tunnel under the Pennines as a "radical solution" to the longstanding problems travelling from Bolton to South Yorkshire.
Could old lines fix Dawlish problem?07/02/14BBC News
With the main line through Dawlish cut by raging seas, could two disused railways further inland offer a solution?
New life for industrial giant?07/02/14Yorkshire Evening Post
Following 20 years of ambitious plans, recession-hit schemes and unmet goals, south Leeds residents are bidding to bring Farnley Viaduct back to life

January 2014

Cycleway future for decaying tunnel?22/01/14Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A derelict railway tunnel under Queensbury, blocked for decades, could soon become one of the longest underground cycleways in Europe, linking Halifax to Bradford.
Ground movement blamed on old tunnel21/01/14Evening Times (Glasgow)
Glasgow City Council has been urged to take swift action to address subsidence problems possibly caused by a disused railway tunnel.
Tram route on old lines?09/01/14Nottingham Post
Plans to extend Nottingham's tram network to Kimberley, via disused railways, are rolling forwards.
Investors back Coventry HS2 link09/01/14Coventry Telegraph
Chinese investors are backing plans to reopen an old railway line which would link Coventry and Warwickshire to HS2.
End of the line in sight08/01/14Border Counties Advertiser
Volunteers have been rejuvenating the old railway between Gobowen and Oswestry and, thanks to their dedicated work, the dream of reopening is becoming a reality.
New role for old goods shed08/01/14Stourbridge News
A former railway goods shed in Lye is to get a new lease of life as a waste transfer station.
Reopening decision shortsighted08/01/14BBC News
Campaigners lobbying to reopen the disused railway between York and Beverley have criticised its omission from a new 20-year development plan.
Reversing a mistaken closure?07/01/14Daily Post (North Wales)
Rail enthusiasts are keen to reopen the Bangor-Caernarfon line which was closed in 1972.
Start due on railway path02/01/14Bristol Post
Work to create a new public footpath along the route of a now defunct railway line between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare could start in the spring.