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 2015

Next step for viaduct's new role?29/12/15Yorkshire Evening Post
Plans to breathe new life into a disused viaduct in Holbeck could take a step forward in the new year.
Sign of the times18/12/15Louth Leader
A railway sign that stood proudly in North Thoresby has been returned to a site close to where it was originally located until the village station closed in 1970.
Positive outcome to tunnel report16/12/15Wales Online
A Scoping Study into the possible reopening of Rhondda Tunnel - commissioned by the Welsh Government and carried out by Sustrans - has found "many of the vital ingredients for success are in place".
Craft role for disused station15/12/15The Press & Journal
Plans to turn a disused Highland railway station into a craft centre have been recommended for approval despite a number of objections.
Rail return for ROF site?11/12/15The Westcountry
The former railhead at an old Royal Ordnance Factory could be reopened as part of plans to convert the site into a new enterprise zone.
Tunnel windfall benefits bats10/12/15Wales Online
The Rhondda Tunnel Society has received a £5,000 boost from a fund aimed at community groups which will be used to carry out a bat survey in the disused tunnel.
Surviving relic faces demolition10/12/15Loughborough Echo
The former Cavills Engineering Works, once a part of Charnwood Forest station, could be demolished after the local council received a development application.
Rail route in development plan09/12/15Get Surrey
A draft neighbourhood plan for Cranleigh includes the potential for reopening a former railway as a transport link to Guildford.
Police hunt halt arsonists08/12/15The Westcountry
Investigations are continuing into a suspected arson attack at Donyatt Halt which resulted a restored wooden platform shelter being burnt to the ground.
Contract pushes East-West forward04/12/15Railway Gazette
Network Rail has awarded an alliancing contract covering the design and construction for Phase 2 of the East West Rail scheme which involves the reopening of a disused railway between Bletchley and Bicester.

November 2015

Positive signals for box campaign29/11/15Spalding Guardian
The conservation group dedicated to saving the old railway signal box at Deeping St James has been granted charitable status.
Old station on the market24/11/15Shropshire Star
A Grade II listed former station in Ellesmere is up for sale as part of a 4.35-acre residential development site.
Underneath the arches18/11/15London SE1
Plans by the Department of Transport to turn disused railway arches below the former Waterloo Eurostar terminal into shops and restaurants have been approved by Lambeth Council.
Track commemorates quarry line14/11/15Northamptonshire Telegraph
The first stretch of track has been laid in Irchester Country Park as part of a heritage project showcasing the route of an old railway which once transported iron ore from the former Wembley Pit quarry.
Tracking Hull's history11/11/15Hull Daily Mail
Contractors have unearthed old railway tracks in Humber Dock Street during a £25m road improvement project.
'Ghost stations' plan faces legal challenge09/11/15The Telegraph
A company director is poised to launch legal action after claiming his idea to open the Tube's 'ghost stations' to the public has been 'stolen' from him by Transport for London.
Rail project descends into shambles06/11/15Rail Technology Magazine
Transport for London will have to find £2.73m of unbudgeted funding before it can start works on the delayed Croxley rail link, using a disused railway alignment in Watford, after Hertfordshire County Council tried paying part of its share with wasteland valued at £1.

October 2015

Platform set to reopen24/10/15Pocklington Post
The official opening of the newly-renovated platform at Stamford Bridge's former station will be held on the 50th anniversary of its closure.
Demolition for Sturmer bridge22/10/15Haverhill Echo
The end of the line has arrived for a disused railway bridge near Haverhill, having spanned a public footpath for more than 150 years.
Funding boost for Peckham 'high line'22/10/15Evening Standard
An ambitious plan to create London's first elevated green space, transforming Peckham's disused coal sidings, has moved closer with a £10,000 council grant.
Tunnel ownership could be transferred21/10/15Wales Online
Calls are being made for control of Rhondda Tunnel to be transferred to the Welsh Government so that decisions about its future can be made closer to the people it will affect.
Heritage railway bridges the gap18/10/15Northern Echo
The Wensleydale Railway's ambitious plan to extend deep into the Yorkshire Dales have taken another step forward with the purchase of a bridge currently spanning the A1.
Eyesore platform becomes eyecatching17/10/15Kirkintilloch Herald
Volunteers have continued the transformation of a disused village station, turning one of Milton of Campsie's platforms into a community asset.
Time to invest in old lines?17/10/15Express & Star
A Conservative think-tank has suggested that HS2 should be scrapped and its £50 billion cost spent on bringing old railway lines back into use.
End to East-West consultation15/10/15Mix 96
Public consultation on plans to restore the East-West rail link through Buckinghamshire is ending in advance of an application being made for a Transport and Works order.
No future for Stonehouse plan12/10/15Stroud News & Journal
Plans to reopen the Bristol Road railway station in Stonehouse have been dealt a fresh blow with Network Rail refusing to consider the investment in its latest round of funding.
Old line goes to 'rack and ruin'07/10/15Cambrian News
Network Rail has come under fire for allowing the disused line between Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog to become festooned with debris and litter.

September 2015

Fire destroys listed engine shed20/09/15East Anglian Daily Times
Wivenhoe's disused engine shed, which dates back to 1902, has been gutted by fired.
Boris backs High Line park14/09/15City AM
London Mayor Boris Johnson has thrown his weight behind a project to turn disused railways in Peckham into an 'elevated urban park' to rival New York's High Line.
Tunnel plan premature11/09/15Rail
Reports that an outline planning application could be submitted later this year for a new cross-city rail link under Liverpool - using the disused Wapping Tunnel - have been described by industry sources as premature.
New route to Tintern?08/09/15Monmouthshire Beacon
A petition to create a cycle path on the disused line from Chepstow to Tintern is gathering momentum and the local council is looking favourably on the idea.
Planners urged to revisit loop07/09/15Bristol Post
Supporters of the Henbury Loop, using a disused line to create an orbital line around Bristol, urge planners not to discount the idea despite its poor business case.
Cash boost for railway path04/09/15Isle of Man Today
Braddan Commissioners have spent £42,000 repairing a pathway laid on the former Douglas-Peel railway line, saying no major work has been done on it for 20 years.
Group seeks better access04/09/15Southern Daily Echo
A public meeting is planned by a new group campaigning for better public access to former railway lines around Winchester.
Borders' prompts reopening hopes03/09/15The Guardian
Having waited 45 years to bring back the Waverley line, supporters are stressing the benefits of further rail development elsewhere in Scotland.
St Andrews encouraged by Borders victory03/09/15BBC News
The return of train services to the Borders has given hope to other rail campaigners including those who want to see the lines to Levenmouth and St Andrews reopened.
Station no longer stationary02/09/15Gloucester Citizen
A project will soon get under way to bring a neglected South Wales station to the Forest of Dean, as part of a heritage railway's £6million expansion.
Decrepit station set for transformation02/09/15Plymouth Herald
Plans to transform Saltash's decrepit station building into a thriving community hub have been backed by the town's councillors who agree the move is long overdue.

August 2015

High price of trackbed appeal31/08/15Daily Mail
A heritage railway trust is urging their fellow enthusiasts to buy a £425,000 house so it can relay track on a disused section of line that runs through the back garden.
Engineer boosts tunnel plan16/08/15Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
The campaign to turn Queensbury's disused railway tunnel into a cycleway has been boosted after an engineer declares the project to be viable following an inspection.
Underground theatre10/08/15The Stage
Brunelian railway tunnels under Bristol's Temple Meads Station, dating back 175 years, are to be transformed into a new performance space called the Lo-co Klub.
New push for Welsh railway path04/08/15Carmarthen Journal
A proposed cycle track connecting Llandeilo with Carmarthen along a disused railway could rival Llanelli's Millennium Coastal Path, according to campaigners pushing for its construction.
Horrible role for disused line02/08/15Gloucester Citizen
A disused railway at Tidenham will play a part in Fear Fest, a three-week-long interactive 'scare' experience at the end of October.
Green support lifts Leeds highline02/08/15Yorkshire Evening Post
The community campaign to create a city centre walkway from a disused railway viaduct is gaining traction.

July 2015

Cycling future for old railway?28/07/15Border Counties Advertizer
A new cycling initiative has been launched which could breathe life into the disused line between Llanfyllin and Oswestry.
Arup wins rail link design deal27/07/15Construction Enquirer
Arup has been appointed to undertake the outline design for the £60m first phase of Bristol's MetroWest project which will involve reopening 5km of previously disused railway by May 2019.
Viaduct path to reopen temporarily21/07/15Accrington Observer
The pathway across a disused viaduct in Lancashire is set to reopen briefly, 15 years after it was blocked due to the foot and mouth crisis.
Tavistock Station up for sale16/07/15Western Morning News
A former Westcountry railway station which was transformed into a pair of luxurious holiday-let cottages is on the market for almost £550,000.
Planners dash railway extension14/07/15Herald Express
Hopes for a £20million project to reinstate the former line between Buckfastleigh and Ashburton have been dashed after Dartmoor planners approved a development plan which will encroach on the trackbed.
Another boost for the Rhondda14/07/15South Wales Evening Post
Plans to reopen Rhondda Tunnel and turn it into a cycle path have taken another step forward with the results of a safety inspection.
Henbury loop decision slammed08/07/15Bristol Post
Campaigners have condemned a decision to drop plans for reinstatement of the disused Henbury loop line, needed to improve rail services around Bristol.
Robin Hood takes step closer08/07/15Hucknall Dispatch
A disused section of the Robin Hood line that has been out of use for more than 50 years is a step closer to reopening following announcements in the Budget.
Railway becomes canal again04/07/15BBC News
Work has begun to turn one of Gloucestershire's disused railways back into a canal more than a century after it was built on the line of a waterway.
New film recreates past01/07/
Work has been completed on a film that brings back to life Burnham-on-Sea's railway station in its Thirties' heyday.
Rhondda Tunnel on right track01/07/15Wales Online
On the eve of the 125th anniversary of its opening, the society aiming to use Rhondda Tunnel as a cycle path has received confirmation that a feasibility study has been commissioned.

June 2015

Major milestone for station plan22/06/15North Somerset Times
A six-week consultation period will allow the public to comment on the proposed siting of Portishead's new station, as part of the reopening of the town's branch line.
Coming back to life21/06/15Rochdale Online
A subway dating from 1889 is soon to reopen at Rochdale Station, creating a shorter access route to train and tram services from the Park and Ride car park.
Bridges sacrificed for Thameslink11/06/15Local London
Demolition work has begun to untangle a mess of disused railway lines and bridges near Millwall as part of the £6.5bn Thameslink programme.
Some hope for Waverley11/06/15In Cumbria
A campaign to reopen a disused railway viaduct is edging closer to success despite plans to keep steel security fences that prevent access to it.
Waverley reopening a step closer11/06/15BBC News
The new Borders Railway has reached another major milestone with its official transfer into the ownership of the ScotRail Alliance.
Housing threat to restoration plan07/06/15Heart Torbay
A final appeal is being made to planners at Dartmoor National Park to think about the long term future of the disused railway at Ashburton which campaigners want to restore.

May 2015

First pictures from Rhondda inspection10/05/15Wales Online
Official pictures showing the inside of the Rhondda Tunnel have been released following the first organised inspection of the structure in more than 40 years.
Bringing back the railway05/05/15Leek Post & Times
Trains could be running into Leek once again if plans put forward to build houses near the town are given approval.
Official study into tunnel plan04/05/15South Wales Evening Post
A feasibility study on plans to create a cycle path through the disused Rhondda Tunnel will be carried out by the Welsh Government.

April 2015

Next step for disused tunnel26/04/15Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
Imminent work to drain Queensbury's flooded railway tunnel could be the first stage of an ambitious project to create a new underground cycleway.
Tunnel sees the light20/04/15Wales Online
The group behind plans to reopen Wales' longest disused railway tunnel have been buoyed by encouraging words following the first inspection of the tunnel in more than 40 years.
Ghost station uncovered19/04/15BBC News
Engineers on the Thameslink Programme have discovered a south London "ghost" station which only served passengers from 1902 to 1915 before shutting for good.
Green way goes railway13/04/15Insider Media
Green services provider Glendale has completed a £120,000 clearance programme that will allow 3.3 miles of disused railway to reopen, connecting Portishead and Bristol.
Plea for planning decision10/04/15Coastal Scene
Campaigners hoping to rebuild Southwold Station have hit out at a two-year council delay on whether or not to approve their plans.
Box goes up in smoke08/04/15Leicester Mercury
An old railway signal box, which survived for the best part of a century at a Leicestershire colliery, has been torched by vandals at a railway museum.
Dream home for a trainspotter08/04/15Belfast Telegraph
Saintfield's former station, which has been lovingly transformed into a perfect family home, has gone on the market for £750,000.
Campaign to save rail yard02/04/15Daventry Express
Residents have won a stay of execution for the old Great Central station yard at Woodford Halse which had been put up for auction and subsequent development.

March 2015

Tunnel plan steps forward24/03/15STV Dundee
A new study has found Dundee's Law Tunnel to be in good condition, paving the way for a ventilation pipe to be installed in an effort to improve air quality.
Bike loop "threat" to reopening20/03/15Matlock Mercury
Proposals to build a cycle loop around the Peak District have been criticised for threatening rare animal habitats, as well as long-running plans to reopen a disused railway.
Protection for oldest tunnel19/03/15BBC News
Fritchley Tunnel, believed to be the world's oldest railway tunnel dating from 1793, has been scheduled as an ancient monument.
Rhondda reopening gains traction18/03/15Wales Online
After an announcement that Rhondda Tunnel would be inspected for the first time in 30 years, the Welsh Assembly Minister for Economy, Science & Transport in to meet the campaign group hoping to reopen it as a cycle path.
A brighter future13/03/15Evening Times (Glasgow)
The disused Westburn Viaduct over the Clyde near Glasgow has been transformed thanks to a dramatic lighting scheme.
Flowing again12/03/15BBC News
A Birmingham canal has reopened after the completion of repairs to fix a leak into a disused railway tunnel.
Landmark viaduct to become public walkway11/03/15Scunthorpe Telegraph
Torksey's historic viaduct over the River Trent is to host a permissive path after West Lindsey District Council granted the scheme planning permission.
Uncertain future for disused tunnels05/03/15Ham & High
Disused railway tunnels along the Highgate section of the Parkland Walk Nature Reserve could be opened up to create a cycle route.
Another High Line moves forward04/03/15Evesham Journal
Worcester could be set for its own High Line - making use of a disused viaduct - under a radical £12 million plan to open up part of the city.
Bid to stop trackbed development01/03/15Shropshire Star
A campaign to prevent building work from taking place on part of the old line which once linked Shropshire with Staffordshire is building a head of steam.

February 2015

Award for viaduct repairs27/02/15Lancaster Guardian
A prestigious national award for the £1 million restoration of the historic Crook O'Lune (East) Viaduct has been marked with a plaque.
Historic railway sheds face demolition27/02/15BBC News
The historic railway works at Wolverton in Buckinghamshire are set to be knocked down to make way for 300 new homes.
End of the line?20/02/15Daily Post (North Wales)
An historic railway building in Bangor could be bulldozed to make way for two new blocks of flats.
Fish moved for tunnel leak investigation19/02/15Birmingham Mail
A bid to rescue fish from a canal is due to be launched as engineers investigate a leak into a Disused railway tunnel.
Trains arrive in Corwen again13/02/15Shropshire Star
It was 1964 when main line services ended on the Dee Valley line as part of the Beeching cuts, but this weekend will see trains start operating again to the new terminus at Corwen.
Political support for Rhondda reopening12/02/15South Wales Evening Post
A grassroots campaign to bring local regeneration by relinking two South Wales valleys through a disused railway tunnel has been backed by Plaid Cymru members in the Welsh Assembly.
Old line spared housing development08/02/15Bucks Free Press
Controversial plans to build more than 20 homes on the old railway line between Bourne End and High Wycombe have been dismissed by planning officials.
All aboard for the rail revolution08/02/15Advertiser & Review
The East West Rail scheme is a major project to promote economic growth by establishing a strategic railway that will ultimately connect East Anglia with Central, Southern and Western England.
Cycle path plan for abandoned tube tunnels05/02/15The Guardian
Dubbed the London Underline, a congestion-busting idea has been mooted to convert the capital's abandoned tube tunnels into subterranean cycleways.
Bishop-Barnie path work starts05/02/15Northern Echo
Work on the first stage of a £2 million project to turn an old Teesdale railway line into a walking route is finally underway.
Transformation planned for Bennerley Viaduct05/02/15Nottingham Post
Plans are on track to turn a 19th century viaduct in the Nottinghamshire countryside into a modern cycle and walking path.
Work starts on station subway04/02/15Rochdale Online
A disused subway into Rochdale Station, blessed with wonderful architecture, is being revamped to create a new access route.

January 2015

Mothballed line set to reopen?29/01/15BBC News
A West Midlands railway line which has been closed to passengers for 50 years could be reopened in a £20 million scheme.
Derbyshire rail trail proposal24/01/15Matlock Mercury
Planning chiefs are to decide whether to install a multi"user path along sections of the Midland's former main line through the Peak District, including Haddon Tunnel.
Inquiry to look into viaduct fight22/01/15Ripon Gazette
A public inquiry is being launched into the blocking of a footpath over Tadcaster Viaduct that has been regularly used by walkers, cyclists and schoolchildren for many years.
Merseytravel plans St James reopening21/01/15Liverpool Echo
A plan to reopen Liverpool's St James Station, which has been disused for almost a century, will be considered during the next financial year.
Sign of the times12/01/15Bristol Post
A replica of the original Victorian sign that stood outside the top station of the Clifton Rocks Railway has been installed by the volunteers who look after it.
Clearing the way09/01/15Bristol Post
Work is soon to start on clearing vegetation along the disused section of the line to Portishead as part of multi-million pound plans to get trains serving the town again by 2019.
Curve plan offers better services08/01/15Norwich Evening News
A study into rail service improvements has suggested the reintroduction of hourly trains between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft via a disused curve.
Trams or trains for Dudley?06/01/15Halesowen News
Plans for a mile-long tram route in Dudley could scupper any chance of reintroducing trains on the mothballed Black County Line.
Going green05/01/15London Evening Standard
A disused railway track in Peckham could be turned into London's first elevated green space under plans to create a version of New York's High Line.
Rhondda builds head of steam04/01/15Wales Online
Ambitious plans are developing to reopen Wales' longest tunnel for tourism purposes as its owner prepares to inspect the structure for the first time in years.