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 2016

Lottery saviour of railway's history29/12/16Eastern Daily Press
The industrial past of a former Norfolk railway line is to be brought back to life, having served as an important link between Norwich and the Midlands for more than 100 years.
Heyday returns for Scottish platform29/12/16The Scotsman
A derelict platform in the bowels of Glasgow Central Station is to be restored to its heyday to enhance popular behind-the-scenes tours of the complex.
Goldthorpe's railway transformation23/12/16Sheffield Telegraph
Goldthorpe Railway Environmental Improvement Project is to benefit from a grant of £40,000 which will help to turn a former trackbed - frequently blighted by fly-tipping - into a community space.
Support grows for Oxfordshire reinstatement22/12/16Oxfordshire Guardian
A petition calling for the reinstatement of the disused railway between Witney and Oxford - first put forward by the Green Party - has gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
The boy in the dark22/12/16Wales Online
A book has been published by Stephen Mackey whose childhood adventures in Rhondda Tunnel inspired the ongoing campaign to reopen the structure.
Consent sought for viaduct works13/12/16Place North West
The Historical Railways Estate has applied for planning permission and listed building consent to carry out a programme of repairs and clean-up works on Castlefield Viaduct, one of Manchester's most recognisable heritage structures.
Tunnel campaigners launch ePetition08/12/16Telegraph & Argus
The group working to save the disused Queensbury Tunnel from abandonment and turn it into a cycle path has launched an ePetition to demonstrate public support for the idea.
No way through for viaduct path07/12/16The Press (York)
A lengthy wrangle over a footpath providing access to Tadcaster Viaduct has ended in defeat for County Council officials and rights-of-way campaigners.

November 2016

Extension for Tetbury path28/11/16Wilts & Gloucs Standard
A cycle path that runs from the site of Tetbury's old station will be extended following an agreement to route it along a privately-owned section of disused railway.
Works reveal disused bridge27/11/16Liverpool Echo
A buried railway bridge - blessed with ornate ironwork - has been unearthed as part of a major road scheme in Liverpool.
Festival to celebrate golden age of steam16/11/16The Courier
A major festival will offer an insight into the coming of the steam age to Strathearn and the stunning impact railways had on local towns and villages.
East-West Rail to be delivered13/11/
The Transport Secretary has confirmed the Government's commitment to reopen 11 miles of disused railway between Bletchley and Claydon Junction as part of a strategic east-west link.
Bus plan for old station11/11/16Wilts & Gloucs Standard
A campaign group pushing for a new transport hub at Cirencester's old railway station has welcomed support from a Cotswold MP who says he is 'appalled' by the town's bus facilities.
Greenway paths pushed forward09/11/16Larne Times
Northern Ireland's Infrastructure Minister has allocated £8,000 to Mid and East Antrim Council to take forward plans to develop local greenway paths, many of which will occupy former railway lines.
Transforming Goldthorpe's 'black hole'09/11/16The Star
Plans have been revealed to transform an eyesore former railway cutting - plagued by litter and fly-tipped furniture for decades - into a beauty spot.
Green light for tram line?01/11/16Lancashire Evening Post
After years of stalling, Preston's tram plans could finally move forward after Council officers recommended a pilot scheme on a section of disused railway.

October 2016

Park plan for old viaduct25/10/16Yorkshire Post
Ambitious plans to transform one of Leeds' disused railway viaducts into a public park are set to be showcased. Under the scheme the viaduct's arches would provide new commercial space for shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
Historic status for disused tunnel20/10/16Halifax Courier
A disused railway tunnel under Queensbury, which a campaign group is hoping to reopen as a cycle path, has been designated as a Historical Engineering Work by the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Report offers hope for tunnel path09/10/16BBC News
Converting the disused Queensbury railway tunnel into an underground cycleway could cost a tenth of official estimates, according to campaigners.
Tunnel vision is racing success08/10/16Peeblesshire News
Organisers have hailed as a success the first ever Tweed Valley Tunnel Run which passed through a specially-illuminated Neidpath Tunnel.
Historic station to become transport hub05/10/16Londonderry Sentinel
The Grade II listed Old Waterside Station has been confirmed as the site of Londonderry's new transport hub after it was confirmed as the public's preferred location as part of a consultation process.

September 2016

Thieves target former station26/09/16Northern Echo
Volunteers and staff at Richmond's old railway station are reeling after lead on the roof was targeted by thieves, but say they were lucky to escape major water damage.
All clear for Gwynedd railway20/09/16BBC News
Work to clear an eight-mile stretch of railway between Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog is set to start, with a view to volunteers eventually reopening the line.
Support grows for path network13/09/16BBC News
Proposals to build a 600-mile network of paths through Northern Ireland's rural landscape - much of it along disused railways - looks set to receive political support.
Up in smoke10/09/16Ipswich Star
A severely-damaged Victorian goods shed, which was wrecked in a fierce blaze, has been demolished due to the risk it would have collapsed onto a busy railway line.
Growing support for reinstatement07/09/16Oxfordshire Guardian
A petition in support of reinstating the railway between Witney and Oxford is gaining traction as it pushes towards it 1,000-signature target.
New life for old arches05/09/16Belfast Media Group
Funding has been secured for the opening of eight disused railway arches in Belfast - known as the Lanyon Tunnels - for use as commercial properties and a base for community-oriented projects.
Reprieve for threatened cutting05/09/16Bolton News
A disused railway cutting at the centre of a long-running planning row is, for the time being, safe from developers after Bolton Council threw out an application to fill it in.

August 2016

Hope for tram scheme31/08/16Hereford Times
Campaigners hope that trams could take traffic away from the centre of Hereford within three years by using a disused railway line to the south of the city.
Langholm inclusion in Borders study19/08/16Dumfries & Galloway 24
Studies into extending the Borders Railway towards Carlisle will look at an option of bringing the route through Langholm and Eskdale.
Structure sees daylight again17/08/16Liverpool Echo
Work to replace an old railway bridge that carries a busy road into Liverpool are making progress as part of a £32 million project to improve links to the docks.
Seeing the light08/08/16Wales Online
There could soon be light at both ends of Rhondda Tunnel after the local council granted a licence to the society hoping to reopen it as a tourist attraction.
Uncertain future for station07/08/16Telegraph & Argus
A former station building at Windhill near Bradford could be demolished if plans for a new housing development go ahead.
Heritage station takes shape04/08/16Gloucestershire Live
A date has been set for the completion of a new station at Broadway, as part of an extension to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
First users for new path04/08/16South Wales Evening Post
A new £300,000 cycle path, running along a section of former railway, has been officially opened in Carmarthenshire, boosting links between Pembrey and Kidwelly.

July 2016

No way across31/07/16Gloucestershire Live
Metal fences are being erected to stop walkers using a disused railway bridge over the River Wye which is awaiting repairs likely to cost around £700,000.
Rhondda society investigates toll tunnel31/07/16Wales Online
The Rhondda Tunnel Society has undertaken a survey which found visitors would be willing to pay a toll to travel through the tunnel as a means of paying for its upkeep if it is reopened.
Hopes for second Brighton line19/07/16Brighton & Hove Independent
Campaigners for a second Brighton mainline - incorporating parts of a disused railway - are hopeful the new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, will support their position.
Tyneside eyes disused lines14/07/16Sunderland Echo
Ambitious plans to expand Tyne and Wear's rail and Metro networks have been drawn up by public transport bosses, including the reopening of several disused lines.
Light dimmed for Queensbury Tunnel07/07/16Telegraph & Argus
A campaign to turn a derelict railway tunnel under Queensbury into a cycle path has run into difficulties after Highways England said the cost of repairs would run to £35 million.
Permission granted for reinstatement06/07/16North Devon Gazette
A £16.5 million project to restore part of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway could be 'shovel ready' in just over two years after North Devon Council granted planning permission.

June 2016

High Line inspires Southwark29/06/16Southwark News
A joint venture by Network Rail, Southwark Council and a local hotel will transform disused railway arches into a "creative enterprise zone".
Homes block former freight route28/06/16Coventry Telegraph
Planning chiefs have approved plans for six new houses to be built on a disused railway that served as a goods avoiding line around Coventry.
Reopening delayed by track issues26/06/16Bristol Post
Technical difficulties with the track design through the Avon Gorge have led to a delay in the Portishead reopening scheme being submitted for Government approval.
Campaigners hit out at forecasts26/06/16Rail
Campaigners seeking to reopen the disused Thornton North Junction-Methil line say that "ludicrously pessimistic" passenger forecasts for the Borders Railway could threaten the project.
Arches give way to progress22/06/16Rail Technology Magazine
Four arches on part of a disused Manchester railway are being demolished as progress is driven forward with the Ordsall Chord.
Cash secured for tunnel scheme22/06/16Daily Post
Gwynedd Council have secured sufficient funds to go ahead with the opening of Tregarth Tunnel as part of a cycle route between Bangor and Bethesda.
Rail line recycled15/06/16The Herald (Plymouth)
One of Plymouth's former railway lines will soon welcome its first two-wheeled commuters as plans to convert it into a cycle path move forward.
Expansion plan for Birmingham13/06/16International Railway Journal
The new West Midlands Combined Authority is drawing up a 10-year investment plan to expand the local rail network, including bringing a disused line back into service.
New homes prompt transport focus07/06/16Bucks Free Press
Reopening the old railway between High Wycombe and Bourne End may not be "pie in the sky" as plans are developed to build thousands of new homes over the next 20 years.
Revival plan for Luggershall service03/06/16Andover Advertiser
Councillors have worked together to draft proposals for the £4 million reopening of the Andover-Ludgershall line, aimed at providing better transport links for local satellite developments.

May 2016

Rail scheme takes tourists for a ride28/05/16ITV News
A scheme to transform a disused Carmarthenshire railway into the UK's first ever velorail attraction has been given a funding boost.
Colne-Skipton greenway takes shape19/05/16Pendle Today
The man behind a proposed project to connect Colne with Skipton - alongside a restored rail link - believes the creation of a route for cyclists and pedestrians is very realistic.
Restoration scheme proposed15/05/16Gloucester Citizen
Rail services between Cirencester and Kemble could return 50 years after they ended under ambitious plans linked to a housing development.
Closing the gap11/05/16Gloucester Citizen
More than three decades of work to restore train services between Cheltenham and Broadway is a step closer after volunteers raised almost £500,000 in a month to lay the final mile of track.
Flight of fancy?08/05/16BBC News
A group campaigning for the disused railway between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen to be reinstated has flown its route to take aerial shots for a feasibility study.
Uncertain future for Latchford link05/05/16Warrington Guardian
The future of a disused railway at Latchford remains unclear, with plans for a residential and industrial development yet to be submitted to the local council.

April 2016

Go ahead for Portishead stations19/04/16North Somerset Times
Construction of two new stations at Portishead and Pill should begin next year after a council agreed to buy land which will be used to create them.
Old railway, new tech13/04/16Buxton Advertiser
Rural villages are benefiting from high-speed broadband connections after fibre optic cables were laid along the disused railway from High Peak Junction to Whaley Bridge.
Bridging the gap13/04/16Retford Times
Walkers can now enjoy a leisurely stroll across the Lincolnshire-Nottinghamshire border following a £400,000 restoration of Grade II* listed Torksey Viaduct.
Rail reinstatement under threat12/04/16Leek Post & Times
A proposed housing development aimed at raising funds to bring trains back into Leek is set to be derailed after planning officers recommended refusal of the application.
Tram plan reinvigorated11/04/16Lancashire Evening News
Developers behind plans for a new tram line along the disused Preston-Longridge railway are urging the town to back the scheme.

March 2016

Scotland takes the High Line25/03/16Edinburgh Evening News
Could Edinburgh or Glasgow benefit from campaigns to create High Line-style public spaces on disused railway viaducts?
Brexit threat to light rail scheme20/03/16Express & Star
Plans for a £28 million light rail system - taking passengers on a disused line into Dudley for the first time in 50 years - could be thrown into doubt if Britain comes out of the EU, according to transport bosses.
Relaying the track15/03/16Northamptonshire Telegraph
Plans to reinstate a section of former railway between Rushden and Higham Ferrers have been submitted by the Rushden Historical Transport Society.
Campaign to reopen Somerset station11/03/16BBC News
A campaign has been launched to reopen Wellington Station in Somerset which closed during the Beeching era.
Gong for restored underpass10/03/16Rochdale Online
Work to refurbish and reopen a disused underpass at Rochdale Station after 36 years of closure has won a North West Civil Engineering award.
Disruption due to bridge removal08/03/16Liverpool Echo
A major road into Liverpool will be closed for six months whilst the City Council carries out improvement work which includes replacing a disused railway bridge.
Reopening proposal for former station07/03/16South London Press
Camberwell Station, which closed 52 years ago, could be reopened in a bid to improve the surrounding area's poor rail connectivity.
Wolverton demolition moves closer05/03/
Property developer St Modwen, which owns the historic railway works at Wolverton, has sought permission to build a discount supermarket on a parcel of land on the south-eastern corner of the site.
Tourism plan for old shed01/03/16Hinckley Times
Plans to turn a disused goods shed near Market Bosworth into a tourist attraction have been included in a housing development scheme.

February 2016

Tunnel project stalled by bureaucracy19/02/16BBC News
Campaigners working to reopen the historic Rhondda Tunnel for walkers and cyclists have criticised the Welsh government for delays in the project.
Rail path steps forward18/02/16Wharfedale Observer
Progress has been made with plans to create a Wharfedale Greenway along sections of disused railway after two Councils agreed to make their land available to the project.
Chase lines become cycle paths13/02/16Cannock Mercury
Plans have been revealed to transform disused coal board railway lines which run through the Cannock Chase district into cycle routes.
Railway path reconnection update12/02/16Cumbria Crack
Plans are emerging for the restoration of the railway path between Keswick and Threlkeld where two Thomas Bouch bridges were washed away and another badly damaged during December's storms.
Underneath the arches11/02/16Homes & Property
Around 800 new homes are being planned for Bermondsey as London's network of 10,000 neglected railway arches start to be transformed.
Belfast tunnels set to open08/02/16Belfast Telegraph
Eight disused railway arches - known as the Lanyon Tunnels - could be brought back to life as part of a commercial development.
Reaching the summit04/02/16Oxfordshire Guardian
A call to reopen the disused railway from Witney to Oxford has been voiced ahead of a summit of West Oxfordshire leaders who will debate local transport links.
Campaigner has 2020 vision03/02/16The Courier
Trains could travel on the disused line to Leven in as little as four years if a campaign is given the right support, it has been claimed.
End of the line at Weymouth02/02/16Dorset Echo
The historic Weymouth Tramway is to be put permanently out-of-use after councillors agreed that it was a danger to the public and constrained the town's development.

January 2016

On track for parks project29/01/16Llanelli Star
A £300,000 walking and cycling project is underway in Carmarthenshire, set to enhance visitor experience by rejuvenating a disused railway line.
Appeal for trail support28/01/16BBC News
The Peak District National Park Authority has launched its first major fundraising campaign to help towards the cost of maintaining 34 miles of trails along former railways.
Rail group seeks reinstatement27/01/16Evesham Journal
Campaigners are calling for the six miles of former railway between Stratford and Long Marston to be restored, linking it to the Cotswold line at Honeybourne to benefit local residents.
Study launched into railway path24/01/16Halifax Courier
Calderdale community group Ryburn Valley Greenway has unveiled a feasibility study into the proposed traffic-free, off-road route for cyclists, walkers and horse riders along the old branch to Rishworth.
Viaduct path closed for six weeks21/01/16Inside Moray
The old railway viaduct over the River Spey at Garmouth will be closed to walkers and cyclists as work to replace some of the structure's timbers gets underway.
Political support for heritage scheme19/01/16Stroud Life
Plans to reopen the Sharpness railway as a tourist attraction have been backed by the local MP.
Bat search in the Rhondda19/01/16Wales Online
The Rhondda Tunnel Society and Acer Ecologists have carried out the first of two bat surveys to gauge the extent of any wildlife that makes its home in the tunnel.
Support for Carno's return06/01/16BBC News
A 14-year campaign to reopen a station on the Aberystwyth-Shrewsbury line has taken a step forward after an independent report supported the idea.