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.

Click here for our RSS feed.

December 2018

Station reopening on track29/12/18Shropshire Star
In 2019, the Llangollen Railway is set to extend its line into the heart of Corwen by relaying more of the former Ruabon-Barmouth railway.
Reversing Beeching cuts26/12/18i News
The Department for Transport is working with a number of groups to explore the possibility of reopening lines closed under the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.
New life for old line?20/12/18Gazette
A group of railway enthusiasts aims to reopen the Sharpness branch line as a tourist attraction, rebuilding some of its key structures.
Progress for coastal railway path18/12/18North Somerset Times
Plans to join up a coastal walking and cycling route from Clevedon to Brean via a disused railway have been given the green light, although funding hurdles remain.
Path planners seek permission09/12/18WW&S Mercury
Proposals to join up a coastal walking and cycling route from Brean to Clevedon via a section of disused railway have moved a step closer to becoming a reality.
Funds secured for path restoration06/12/18News & Star
A £7.9 million funding package has been agreed for work to reconnect the railway path between Keswick and Threlkeld in the Lake District - three years after two historic bridges were washed away by Storm Desmond.

November 2018

Housing tied to restored rail link30/11/18Evesham Journal
Campaigners believe that reopening the Honeybourne to Stratford-upon-Avon railway should be considered due to commitments made as part of a controversial housing development.
Curzon Street prepares for HS228/11/18Birmingham Live
Contractors have begun to break up a huge concrete slab at Curzon Street Station in Birmingham which is set to become the city's terminus for HS2.
History becomes a home25/11/18Northern Echo
Currently for sale at a guide price of £155,000 is a unique piece of history - the manager's house for the Hole of Paradise coal depot on the former Stockton and Darlington Railway.
Trespassers face hefty fines24/11/18Cambrian News
Passionate railway enthusiasts have been warned not to trespass on the eight-mile stretch of disused track between Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog, last used in 1998.
Hundreds sign for Woodhead reopening21/11/18The Star
Hundreds of people have backed a petition to restore the former trans-Pennine railway between Sheffield and Manchester, via the historic Woodhead Tunnel.
Bridge benefits from Council attention20/11/
Flintshire County Council Countryside Rangers have teamed up with colleagues from Flintshire Streetscene in a bid to restore the old Station Bridge in Holywell to its former glory.
Concern over tunnel collapse strategy13/11/18Halifax Courier
Disquiet is emerging in a West Yorkshire village as plans to allow the disused Queensbury Tunnel to collapse beneath it become clearer.
Cinema transformation for rail depot13/11/18The Business Desk
The disused Mayfield depot in Manchester is to be turned into an experimental cinema this Christmas, housed within three railway arches.
Monument restoration completed07/11/18Telegraph & Argus
A model of Bramhope Tunnel, built as a memorial to the 24 men who died during the tunnel's construction in the 1840s, has been completed by a specialist restoration firm.
Bridge plan for railway path01/11/18Pontefract & Castleford Express
A £500,000 bridge is being planned over a railway to link up the new cycle and walking route running along a disused line between Castleford and Wakefield.

October 2018

Survey calls for railway reopening24/10/18Cotswold Journal
A rail user group has carried out a survey which reveals the reopening of six miles of disused railway between Stratford and Honeybourne should be considered to ensure better transport links.
Tunnel safety concerns reported to HSE22/10/18Yorkshire Times
The Health & Safety Executive has been asked to investigate plans for work in Queensbury Tunnel which would involve the appointed contractor undertaking activities in an area designated as too hazardous to enter.
Study concludes reopening practical22/10/18Nation Cymru
The Welsh and UK governments have been urged to crack on with rebuilding the disused railway between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen after a feasibility study found it could be done.
Missing bridge will not derail reopening17/10/18Daily Post
Railway enthusiasts believe the removal of a bridge struck by a lorry last week will not affect their plans to revive a disused line across Anglesey.
Lorry stuck under disused bridge11/10/18Daily Post
Cranes will have to lift out the deck of a disused railway bridge on Anglesey after an articulated lorry got struck under it, closing the A5114 for several days.
Abandonment dishonours ten tunnel deaths10/10/18Telegraph & Argus
The Society fighting to save Queensbury Tunnel from closure say the ten men who died during its construction would "turn in their graves" if the historic structure is abandoned.

September 2018

Flooding halts tunnel works26/09/18Halifax Courier
Highways England has been forced to delay preparatory works for the abandonment of Queensbury Tunnel after part of the structure flooded to a depth of 11 feet.
MP backs railway path25/09/18Lichfield Live
Michael Fabricant MP has given his support to plans which would breathe new life into the disused line from Lichfield to Brownhills by converting it into a cycle route.
A 'green artery' for Camden 22/09/18The Telegraph
In an attempt to provide green space in a part of north London, campaigners are proposing to transform a disused railway line that's been left to ruin.
Bridge set for unexpected reopening22/09/18Hereford Times
A former railway bridge at Lydbrook, which was closed in 2016 over safety concerns, will reopen at the end of the month following a short-term fix to install a temporary walkway.
Cycle track for old line21/09/18Harborough Mail
Campaigners are within sight of their goal of creating a safe cycle route linking Lubenham to Market Harborough along a disused railway line after a draining 12-year campaign that went all the way to the Secretary of State for the Environment.
Flats approved above disused tunnel19/09/18Evening Times (Glasgow)
Property developers have been granted permission to build 34 flats on Yorkhill Street in Glasgow despite residents' claims that this could destabilise a disused railway tunnel beneath the site.
Careful renovation for station building15/09/18Todmorden News
The near-derelict Grade II-listed station building in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, is undergoing a complete restoration, courtesy of Network Rail, Historic England and experts from two local companies.
Work to begin on tunnel closure04/09/18Telegraph & Argus
Safety work on Queensbury Tunnel is due to start later this month, as preparations are made for abandonment of the historic structure.

August 2018

Scottish station on the market29/08/18Daily Mail
Rail enthusiasts looking for their dream home have the chance to buy the historic former station at Gartly which closed in 1968.
Drowned line resurfaces19/08/18Daily Post
The Bala and Ffestiniog Railway, which was flooded in 1965 when a reservoir was created at Capel Celyn, has re-emerged for its watery grave due to the recent period of exceptionally dry weather.
Tracks power on to Cricklade15/08/18Swindon Advertiser
Volunteers from the Swindon and Cricklade Railway have salvaged track panels from Didcot's old power station which will be used to extend their heritage line.
Boost for Black Country station plans15/08/18Birmingham Live
Regional transport chiefs have secured a 7-acre site at Darlaston which brings closer plans to reopen the town's station as part of a £18 million scheme which will include a second new stop at Willenhall.
Remembering Hull's railway navvies12/08/18Hull Live
Rarely-seen Victorian photographs recording the construction of the Hull and Barnsley Railway have gone on display as part of a pop-up exhibition at the city's Paragon Station.
Station under housing threat08/08/18Banbury Guardian
Residents fear that Brackley's former station could be demolished and the site developed for housing after the building was vacated and put up for auction.
Battle continues over Lord's tunnels07/08/18BBC News
A stretch of land at the Nursery End of Lord's cricket ground - sitting above disused Victorian railway tunnels - continues to be at the heart of a tussle between the MCC and a property developer.
Plans for Coventry railway path07/08/18Coventry Observer
Plans for a countryside walk and cycle route running over Coventry's former freight-only Loop Line have taken a step forward as part of the Charterhouse Heritage Park proposals.
Historic station on the market06/08/18The Star
Train buffs will get the chance to own a piece of Sheffield's railway history when the former Chapeltown Central Station goes under the hammer with a guide price of £250,000.
Funding boost for memorial's repair06/08/18Ilkley Gazette
A £35,000 grant has been secured to restore the Grade II listed Navvies Memorial which was built in tribute to the 24 men who died during the construction of Bramhope Tunnel.
£250k for tunnel studies03/08/18ITV News
Campaigns to reopen two disused railway tunnels and transform them into walking and cycling routes has been given a major grant by the Welsh Government.
Budget stretched on new Metro route02/08/18Express & Star
The projected cost of the planned Midland Metro line from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill - which will occupy a disused railway - has gone up 10 per cent, but backers are confident the scheme will still go ahead.

July 2018

Support for reopening of railhead31/07/18The Courier
Angus MP Kirstene Hair has thrown her support behind the reopening of Montrose's disused railhead which would create a mass freight connection to and from the North Sea.
Demolition for historic Wolverton30/07/18Rail News
The Victorian buildings at Wolverton works are set to be demolished despite Historic England leading a legal challenge to save them.
Landmark point for tunnel project26/07/18EM Business Link
A trailblazing scheme which is transforming Northamptonshire's disused Catesby Tunnel into a hi-tech vehicle testing facility has reached a key stage with the completion of retaining structures for the main building.
East West Rail progress with further proposals26/07/18Rail Technology Magazine
Network Rail has submitted its final proposals for the continuation of a scheme which could connect cities including Oxford and Cambridge via a disused line.
Report published into tunnel risks19/07/18Telegraph & Argus
A report has been published into the short-term risks presented by the disused Queensbury Tunnel, following claims that its condition presents a threat to the local community.
Bid to bring coastal line back to life15/07/18The Courier
A coastal path along the dismantled Mearns railway could be upgraded after a steering group was set up to explore ways of financing the project.
Opening celebrations for Britannia Greenway09/07/18Rossendale Free Press
Bacup has been celebrating the opening of the Britannia Greenway, part of a major new cycling and walking route being developed to link areas throughout East Lancashire using disused railways.
Council backing for tunnel campaign05/07/18BBC News
The reopening of Rhondda and Merthyr tunnels for use by walkers and cyclists has been backed by their local councils.
Lakes path secures more funding05/07/18Cumbria Crack
A six-month fundraising campaign to raise funds for the reconnection of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is now complete and the Lake District Foundation has raised more than £102,000.
Influential voices heard in tunnel campaign01/07/18Halifax Courier
MPs, local councillors and a former Olympic champion are amongst those who have signed an open letter to the Cycling Minister asking for a temporary halt to Queensbury Tunnel's proposed abandonment.

June 2018

Plans to reopen historic station25/06/18Stray FM
Goldsborough Station on the Knaresborough-York line could be reopened as a park and ride facility to serve a new housing development.
MP intervenes in tunnel campaign24/06/18Telegraph & Argus
Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, has called on Transport Secretary to release more funding so a proper assessment of Queensbury Tunnel can be made.
Call to reopen Ironbridge-Birmingham line24/06/18Shropshire Star
A railway linking Ironbridge and Birmingham should be reopened as part of work on a power station site, according to a local Councillor.
Opposition to cycle path plan24/06/18South Wales Argus
Plans to transform the former railway between Little Mill and Usk into a new cycle path have been outlined, but concerns have been raised by The Woodland Trust.
Path under sale threat23/06/18West Leeds Dispatch
A Councillor in Pudsey is appealing for help to protect a popular footpath along a disused railway embankment by registering it as a public right of way.
Station reopening under consideration21/06/18Glasgow Live
Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council are looking into the potential of reopening Finnieston Station which ceased operation in January 1917.
Extension planned for Crab and Winkle20/06/18Kent Online
Plans are being developed for an extension to the popular walking route along the trackbed of the former Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, one of the earliest lines to be built in Britain.
Homes planned for Shropshire station19/06/18Insider Media
The grade II-listed former station building in Ellesmere could be transformed into apartments as part of a wider redevelopment in the town.
Bridge plan moves forward12/06/18Free Press
A new scheme to fill the missing link between Rhyl and Kinmel Bay cycling routes could involve the restoration of a disused railway bridge.
Heritage line presses north09/06/18BBC News
Trains have returned to a section of England's highest railway line for the first time in more than 40 years, with the opening of an extension to Slaggyford of the South Tynedale narrow-gauge line.
Plans to extend railway trail06/06/18Telegraph & Argus
Parish councillors in the Worth Valley have been asked to support the early stages of plans for a major expansion of the Great Northern Railway Trail, creating connections to Keighley, Halifax and Bradford.
New study boosts St Andrews link03/06/18The Courier
The campaign to reopen the railway into St Andrews has taken a step forward thanks to the findings of a report by the Playfair Consultancy Group which reveals widespread support for the proposal.

May 2018

Steaming back to Helston27/05/18The Packet
The age of steam travel has returned to Helston for the first time in more than half a century after one mile of former branch line was relaid.
Hope rekindled for line reopening17/05/18Cambrian News
After a recent setback, the Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway Society has been revitalised and hopes to begin the long task of restoring the old line.
Tunnel abandonment process started17/05/18Telegraph & Argus
A group fighting to save the historic Queensbury Tunnel says its campaign is at a 'critical' stage after the first abandonment documents are lodged with Bradford Council's planners.
Tunnel fit to be reopened17/05/18BBC News
Rhondda Tunnel has taken another step towards its reopening after a Balfour Beatty engineer deemed it to be in a "very good condition".
End of the line for Portishead?16/05/18Bristol Live
Plans to reopen the Bristol to Portishead rail line have suffered a potentially fatal blow as central government has refused to fund the scheme.
Brunel relics scuppers road scheme12/05/18BBC News
Work on a Devon road project has been suspended following the discovery of a 'nationally significant' underground reservoir, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as part of an 'atmospheric railway'.
Renewed calls for Woodhead reopening08/05/18The Star
The founder of Grand Northern Railways wants to move electricity cables from the 1954 Woodhead Tunnel to create a roll-on, roll-off railway service for lorries which would improve congestion on Peak District roads.
Another landmark for Rhondda Tunnel02/05/18Rail Engineer
The campaign to reopen a disused railway tunnel as a foot and cycle path has passed a crucial milestone with the completion of a detailed examination into its condition.

April 2018

Campaigners refocus on Snowdonia line30/04/18Daily Post
Rail enthusiasts are set to launch another attempt to reopen the disused line from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Trawsfynydd after losing their licence to clear the route due to damage being caused to a bridge.
Kenilworth Station reopens after delay29/04/18BBC News
Trains are stopping again at Kenilworth Station, two years after the promised reopening date and decades after campaigning got underway.
Community rallies behind bridge campaign24/04/18Cumbria Crack
Local people are actively supporting the fundraising campaign to reinstate the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path which lost two historic bridges to severe floods in 2015.
Tunnel infilled to safeguard road18/04/18Dunfermline Press
A disused railway tunnel underneath the approach roads north of the Forth Road Bridge has been infilled to ensure its continuing structural integrity.
Box restored in history project17/04/
Plans to reintroduce a historic replica of a Burnham-on-Sea signal box have been approved by town councillors.
Expansion plans deserve deep study11/04/18Highland Radio
The pressure group 'Into the West' is calling for a comprehensive look at the prospects for extending rail services in the north-west of Northern Ireland, with Derry at its core.
Rhondda Tunnel sees the light10/04/18Wales Online
The concrete cap covering Rhondda Tunnel's ventilation shaft has been removed prior to it being used as the means of access for an upcoming structural examination.
Auction to benefit bridge replacements08/04/18Cumbria Crack
The Lake District Foundation is hosting a 'money-can't-buy' auction to raise funds for the reinstatement of bridges on the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path.
Bridge future looks brighter03/04/18FoD & WyeV Review
A Lottery bid of nearly £1.76m could pave the way to finally reopen an old railway bridge across the Wye as a footpath, but it might take another three years.
Station transformed to host path01/04/18Kent Live
New pictures have captured the stunning transformation of Folkestone Harbour's former railway station as part of a network of seafront paths.

March 2018

Quarry firms consider Peak line reopening27/03/18Derbyshire Times
Proposals to revive the former Midland main line through the Peak District will be subject to a feasibility study this year, but the passenger service some have called for will not be included.
Booming support for path reconnection26/03/18Cumbria Crack
Lake District businesses are coming out in force to support the rebuilding of two Thomas Bouch bridges on the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path which were destroyed by Storm Desmond in 2015.
Station plan for Willenhall07/03/18Express & Star
Willenhall is in line to get a new station as part of a £4 billion transport plan which could see disused railways brought back into public use.
Hope to save railway alignment07/03/18Northampton Chronicle
A pressure group has objected to a long-awaited plan to ease congestion in St James because it would damage their hopes for a Northampton-Bedford rail link.

February 2018

Could railway return to town?24/02/18The Sentinel (Staffs)
A planning application has been submitted to reinstate the railway into Leek, involving the laying of a single track on the former trackbed.
Attention turns to another Welsh tunnel22/02/18Facebook
Local Council and Welsh Government officials have visited the disused Merthyr Tunnel to look at the possibility of reopening it as part of a cycle path.
Uncertainty over viaduct's future13/02/18Nottingham Post
Hopes for multi-million-pound restoration work on the historic Bennerley Viaduct have been dashed after Sustrans decided not to resubmit a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding.
MP's tunnel intervention08/02/18Telegraph & Argus
Bradford West MP Naz Shah has written to Secretary of State for Transport asking him to suspend the imminent abandonment of Queensbury Tunnel.
Planners set to reject cutting infill07/02/18Telegraph & Argus
Plans to infill a disused railway cutting in Heckmondwike for housing look set to be turned down due to concerns over their possible detrimental affect on locals.
Housing plan for disused cutting02/02/18Huddersfield Examiner
Plans have been revealed to tip more than 130,000 tonnes of rubble into a disused railway cutting in Heckmondwike with the intention of building a new housing estate on the site.
Norfolk votes for cycle paths02/02/18Lynn News
Council chiefs have voted to bring disused railways back into use as cycle and walking routes, bringing health benefits and reducing traffic congestion.
Highline team in crowdfunding bid02/02/18Ham & High
The team behind plans to turn a 1.2km disused railway into a garden walkway are crowdfunding for building costs after a study gave it the thumbs up.
Pennine link study likely02/02/18Yorkshire Post
A study into the potential reopening of the former rail link between Skipton and Lancashire is expected to be announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

January 2018

Henbury East station proposed30/01/18Insider Media
North Bristol could be about to get a new railway station as part of the reopening of a disused spur.
Okehampton to be reconnected30/01/18The Herald (Plymouth)
The Transport Secretary has ordered Great Western Railway, the franchise holder, to prepare for running regular scheduled train services to/from Okehampton.
Shared path proposal gains traction27/01/18Hertfordshire Mercury
Proposals to turn a disused railway in Bengeo into a path for cyclists and pedestrians are gaining hundreds of backers.
Path plan for Norfolk's railways23/01/18Eastern Daily Press
A report to county councillors has recommended spending £350,000 on a feasibility study into the transformation of disused railway into an integrated cycling and walking network.
Bridge replacement costs escalate19/01/18Place North West
A project to replace a disused railway bridge in Liverpool has seen costs grow by more than £1m due to delayed service diversions and 'unforeseen issues'.
Devon reopening moves forward17/01/18The Herald (Plymouth)
Passenger trains could soon run over the four-mile section of disused railway from Newton Abbot to Heathfield after Network Rail agreed to lease the line to a campaign group.
Network Rail asked to reconnect Helston10/01/18The Packet
A vision of reconnecting Helston to the rail network is gaining ground after the Town Council agreed, in principle, to give its backing to the idea.
Political support for tunnel revival09/01/18Telegraph & Argus
The Conservative group on Bradford Council has thrown its weight behind a campaign to reopen Queensbury Tunnel as a cycle path.
New link completed06/01/18Evesham Journal
Volunteers on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway have celebrated the last rails being laid on the disused section of line connecting Broadway Station with Cheltenham Racecourse.
Vehicles restricted on Cinder Track04/01/18Yorkshire Coast Radio
Motor vehicle access is being restricted on a section of the former Scarborough to Whitby railway, just north of Ravenscar, due to a small landslip.
Progress for light rail innovation hub03/01/18Dudley News
Plans for Dudley's multi-million pound innovation hub have been submitted. The facility will lead the worldwide development of very light rail technology and include a 2km test track along a section of disused railway.
Government policy prompts reopening hope03/01/18Pocklington Post
Leading members of the Minsters Rail Campaign say they have renewed optimism about the reinstatement of the Beverley-York line following the Transport Secretary's suggestion that some disused railways should be reopened.
Campaigners prepare for failure03/01/18Daily Post
Rail enthusiasts fear a project to reopen the seven-mile line from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Trawsfynydd is on the brink of collapse after permission to access the track was withdrawn.
Path plan makes progress03/01/18Free Press
Long-standing plans to build a shared-use path along the trackbed of the disused Wye Valley railway have moved a step closer after they were supported by Monmouthshire County Council.
Big bill for bridge repairs02/01/18Eastern Daily Press
A report has identified defects to structures on two disused Norfolk railways, with six needing £640,000 of repair work over the next five years.
Petition launched for tram extension02/01/18The Gazette
A petition has been launched calling for a new study to be commissioned into an extension of Blackpool's tram network from Fleetwood to Poulton along a section of disused railway.
New push to make cycle tunnel a reality01/01/18The Guardian
A campaign has accelerated to turn Yorkshire's disused Queensbury Tunnel into England's longest cycle tunnel, instead of using £3m of public money to close it for ever.