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.

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Last updated 7th December 2019
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2019

December

7/12/19
DevonLive
The Heath Rail Link group hopes to re-establish passenger services on the disused line connecting Heathfield and Newton Abbot in Devon, 60 years after they ended.
7/12/19
The Guardian
Plaid Cymru wants to reopen the disused railway between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth to help establish a new link between north and south Wales.
6/12/19
Redditch Standard
A disused railway bridge carrying a cycle path is under threat of demolition after its owner, Redditch Borough Council, insisted it could not afford the cost of an annual survey.

2019

November

28/11/19
Northampton Chronicle
A transport group wants a disused railway line to be put to work as Northampton's own shuttle link to Brackmills.
25/11/19
Derbyshire Live
The disused Wingfield Station, one of the UK’s most at risk buildings, is about to be rescued and restored thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
18/11/19
LancsLive
Prime minister Boris Johnson has pledged to reopen the disused railway between Poulton and Fleetwood which he says could bring jobs and growth to the Fylde coast.
14/11/19
Edinburgh News
The old railway tunnel in Colinton - now open as part of a footpath - has been transformed by a local artist who was inspired by the works of Robert Louis Stevenson.
13/11/19
Business Up North
A donation from a housing developer has helped boost a study to recommend possible routes for the extension of the Nidderdale Greenway, along the trackbed of a disused railway.
8/11/19
Bristol Live
An application for permission to begin work on reopening the disused Portishead line has been submitted to Government chiefs.
6/11/19
Telegraph & Argus
Councillors are backing plans to look at extending the proposed Wharfedale Greenway - which will occupy a disused railway - through Ben Rhydding and Ilkley.
3/11/19
Hereford Times
Ambitious plans have been revealed to reopen the old railway between Worcester and Leominster for walkers, cyclists and horseriders as a working group sets out its aims for the route.

2019

October

30/10/19
Nottingham Post
The Grade II* listed Bennerley Viaduct has been included on a list of the most at-risk world monuments, alongside globally recognised sites such Notre Dame in Paris and Easter Island in Chile.
24/10/19
BBC News
A disused railway in the west of the Isle of Man could be turned into a safe walking and cycling route, according to the island's infrastructure minister.
24/10/19
The Railway Hub
Many small stations and railway lines closed under the Beeching cuts of the 1960s should be reopened, according to the Transport Secretary.
22/10/19
Bristol Live
North Somerset MP Liam Fox has called on the government to keep its promise to help fund the reopening of the Portishead line following 10 years of uncertainty related to spiralling costs.
21/10/19
Road.cc
Campaigners in West Yorkshire who want to turn Queensbury Tunnel into the UK’s longest cycling tunnel have accused Highways England of over-reaction in announcing emergency infilling works following recent heavy rain in the area.
16/10/19
Worcester News
The Shakespeare Line Promotion Group wants authorities to look into reopening the railway line between Stratford-upon-Avon and Honeybourne, saying it would provide better connectivity for growing populations in the area.
16/10/19
Swindon Advertiser
Swindon's heritage railway has kicked off the first phase of a major campaign to fund-raise for a long-awaited return to Cricklade, needing to raise £100,000 just for starters.
14/10/19
Telegraph & Argus
Work at the historic Queensbury Tunnel has had to be scaled down due to flooding after water was 'deliberately diverted', Highways England has alleged.
11/10/19
News & Star
The campaign group set up to reinstate the old railway between Carlisle and the Scottish Borders has been told plans to bring it to fruition are 'absolutely rock solid'.
11/10/19
ITV News
Keswick Town Council has passed a motion of no confidence in the Lake District National Park Authority over its decision to tarmac a section of former railway between Threlkeld and Keswick which was heavily damaged by Storm Desmond in 2015.
10/10/19
Southern Reporter
Kelso must make its voice heard loud and clear if it is to have any hope of bringing a railway back to the town, according to a local councillor.
8/10/19
Telegraph & Argus
Urban explorers have been condemned for 'compromising safety' after entering Queensbury Tunnel and capturing a collection of striking images showing the ongoing works to strengthen the structure.
7/10/19
Peeblesshire News
Around 1,700 people have taken part in the Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run which includes a subterranean lighting finale in the disused Neidpath Tunnel near Peebles.
6/10/19
Redditch Standard
Redditch Borough Council is facing criticism following its decision to demolish a disused railway bridge carrying a greenway, thus forcing walkers and cyclists to cross a busy commuter rat-run.
1/10/19
Wales Online
The village of Creigiau might once again host a railway station if a disused link to Cardiff city centre is revived as part of the South Wales Metro.

2019

September

30/9/19
Yorkshire Evening Post
Construction work has started on a scheme to transform Leeds' disused Monk Bridge Viaduct into a High Line-style greenway and pedestrian path, while the archways beneath will be home to bars, restaurants and shops.
25/9/19
The Star
The National Grid wants to remove eight pylons east of the Woodhead Tunnel and replace them with an underground cable along the Trans Pennine Trail, putting paid to any chance of reopening the old line between Sheffield to Manchester.
24/9/19
Border Telegraph
It has been revealed that Scottish Ministers don't have the power to extend the Borders Railway to Carlisle whilst the UK government has cast doubts over its likely benefits.
16/9/19
LancsLive
A procession of more than 400 cyclists and walkers has celebrated the opening of a new section of the East Lancashire Cycleway, passing through two disused railway tunnels which have been out of use for more than half a century.
13/9/19
The Guardian
The Victorian Society has thrown its weight behind a campaign to bring new life to the 1.4-mile long Queensbury Tunnel, including it amongst the Top 10 Most Endangered Buildings in 2019.
11/9/19
Eastern Daily Press
The prospect of restoring Hunstanton's rail link to cut congestion and bring economic benefits has been handed a boost, with Norfolk County Council set to explore whether it would be viable to reopen it.
10/9/19
News & Star
A ten-year campaign to reopen Carlisle's Eden Viaduct as a public walkway may take a step forward as councillors discuss the next steps.
10/9/19
LancsLive
Members of the public have been given the opportunity to explore the disused Miley tunnel in Preston which is being monitored during major overhead roadworks.
9/9/19
Northern Echo
The founders of a campaign to save the world’s oldest Railway Institute at Shildon say they are moving in the right direction.
9/9/19
Northern Echo
A feasibility study looks set to be commissioned into the provision of a multi-user cycle route alongside a reinstated Hawes-Garsdale line.
9/9/19
Manchester Evening News
Bolton Council has been criticised by a heritage campaigner after it ignored his alternative proposal for a historic loco works which is set to be demolished for a new road.
6/9/19
Bristol 24/7
In its 40th anniversary year, the Bristol and Bath Railway Path is set to receive a £1.1 million programme of improvements, focussed on a stretch between Fishponds and its start in St Philip’s.
2/9/19
The Press & Journal
A new long distance bike trail connecting the very north of mainland Scotland to the north of England - partly using disused railways - has been launched.

2019

August

30/8/19
Eastern Daily Press
Years after closure, a trust is aiming to reconnect two of Norfolk's heritage railways by putting Fakenham and Melton Constable back on line.
30/8/19
Bristol Live
A decade-long scheme to reopen the railway between Portishead and Bristol will take a huge step forward next month when North Somerset Council submits a Development Consent Order to the Government.
29/8/19
North Wales Live
A group hoping to reopen a former railway on Anglesey has hit back at claims that the area would be better served by converting it into a dedicated traffic-free route for cycling and walking.
20/8/19
Warrington Guardian
Council officers will examine whether a new mass public transport system in Warrington will need to use a disused railway line over the Manchester Ship Canal.
17/8/19
Yorkshire Post
A campaign group has raised the possibility of the former rail link between Harrogate and Ripon being reinstated.
8/8/19
The Herald (Scotland)
The Scottish Government has announced that it will spend an estimated £70m bringing trains back to Levenmouth, in another reversal of the Beeching-era cuts that decimated much of the country's rail network.

2019

July

24/7/19
Yorkshire Post
Permission has been granted for track to be relayed and minor locomotive movements undertaken at the former Wensleydale Railway station at Aysgarth.
23/7/19
The Business Desk
Businesses in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle have welcomed proposals that could see the reopening of St James Station, located in a cutting between Central and Brunswick stations.
23/7/19
The Mail
A plan to convert a disused Cumbrian railway into a cycle route has been given a boost after it was raised in the Commons by the local MP.
17/7/19
Ilkeston Advertiser
Plans to reopen Bennerley Viaduct as a public walkway are set to be approved by Erewash Borough Council.
15/7/19
The Guardian
The campaign to turn Queensbury Tunnel into England’s longest cycle tunnel has received a boost in the form of a defiant landowner who refuses to let Highways England abandon it.
12/7/19
Tavistock Times
Members of West Devon Borough Council have been told that the costs of reinstating the Tavistock to Bere Alston rail link is now in the region of £70 million and adequate funding is not currently available.
10/7/19
Wales Online
Plans to revive a disused railway line between Cardiff and Llantrisant have been revealed as a next phase of the South Wales Metro project.
2/7/19
Evening Times (Glasgow)
Some of Glasgow's famous disused railway arches could soon be given a makeover, transforming them into a thriving home for businesses.
1/7/19
Southern Reporter
Campaigners have welcomed the allocation of £10m for a study into the viability of extending the Borders Railway south-west to Carlisle as part of the Borderlands growth deal.

2019

June

29/6/19
Yorkshire Times
Efforts to create a foot and cycle connection between Bradford and Halifax - via Queensbury Tunnel - look set to shift up a gear with the publication of an ‘advocacy document’ to support funding bids.
28/6/19
Hull Live
Thirty years after Melton Halt railway station closed, the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership is looking at reopening it to serve a Business Park.
26/6/19
Bristol Live
More than a decade after plans to reopen the railway to Portishead were taken up by Bristol and North Somerset councils, the scheme is now ready to be submitted to Government for formal approval.
24/6/19
Gloucestershire Live
Planners have given the go-ahead to demolish a historic railway bridge in order to provide access to a new housing estate in Ross-on-Wye.
22/6/19
East Lothian Courier
Remains of an early Scottish waggonway have been unearthed near Meadowmill in a find which has been described as having 'huge significance'.
13/6/19
Bristol Live
Ambitious plans for the future of public transport around Bristol - combining trains, buses and cycle/walkways - are set to take a huge leap forward.
13/6/19
Coventry Live
A date has finally been set to remove a disused railway bridge in Nuneaton after years at the centre of frustrating traffic congestion when wagons have become wedged beneath it.
11/6/19
Manchester Evening News
Manchester's Mayfield Depot could be transformed into a huge new music, theatre, film, food and arts venue, managed by some of the people behind Parklife and the Warehouse Project.
11/6/19
Nottinghamshire Live
Work to transform the iconic Bennerley Viaduct into a public walkway could start this autumn.
11/6/19
Otley Observer
Otley Town Council has approved funding for a bat survey in support of the Wharfedale Greenway which aims to transform a disused railway line into a walking and cycling route between Pool-in-Wharfedale and Menston.
10/6/19
Doncaster Free Press
The biggest upgrade of the East Coast Main Line in a generation will see signalling equipment removed from a disused tunnel at King's Cross prior to track being relaid through it.
6/6/19
DevonLive
The two final stages of the Wray Valley Trail that links Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead via on old branch line should be complete by the end of the year.
6/6/19
Telegraph & Argus
Campaigners fighting to save Queensbury Tunnel from abandonment have asked supporters to 'stand up and make our voices heard' after plans to infill the historic structure were officially lodged by Highways England.
5/6/19
Edinburgh Evening News
A disused railway station could be restored as a centrepiece of the regeneration of Granton.
2/6/19
Craven Herald & Pioneer
A campaign to reopen the former railway line between Skipton and Colne has received another boost after it was announced as a winning project in the Great British Transport Competition.
1/6/19
DevonLive
Plans have been submitted to lay a section of track on a former railway in North Devon which was closed back in 1970...but it would only be 10 metres long!

2019

May

31/5/19
County Times
A campaign has been launched to reopen the former Horsham to Guildford railway line which has been shut since the 1960s.
14/5/19
Daily Mail
Scrapping the controversial HS2 project would free-up enough cash to bankroll 28 critical transport projects across Britain, including the reopening of several disused railways.
13/5/19
Southern Reporter
UK Government ministers have confirmed their commitment to carrying out a study into the feasibility of extending the Borders Railway into England and are calling on their Scottish counterparts to do likewise.
1/5/19
Bristol Live
Steeped in history, Bristol's Clifton Rocks Railway could become the city's newest visitor attraction after being bought by a new owner who has plans to reopen it as a museum.

2019

April

28/4/19
Derbyshire Live
Enthusiasts are hoping to breathe new life into the three-mile Maerdy branch line in Rhondda Cynon Taff, 55 years since passengers last trundled along it.
18/4/19
Derbyshire Live
The span of a disused railway bridge, now forming part of the 17-mile High Peak Trail, has been destroyed after it was struck by a lorry.
12/4/19
North Wales Live
A member of the Welsh Assembly believes that a railway bridge, damaged when a lorry got wedged underneath it, should be reinstated to help local enthusiasts revive the disused Anglesey Central Railway.
9/4/19
West Bridgford Wire
Cyclists and Council members have come together to celebrate the official opening of a new £250,000 greenway along a disused mineral railway which will improve access and boost wildlife at Cotgrave Country Park.
9/4/19
Yorkshire Evening Post
Two disused railway viaducts in Leeds - Holbeck and Monk Bridge - could become New York-style 'highline' routes within the next decade.
8/4/19
Nottinghamshire Live
Plans have been submitted to turn Bennerley Viaduct into a public footpath for walkers and cyclists after £485,000 in funding was secured.
8/4/19
Go London
A disused Victorian viaduct in Hammersmith is being lined up as London’s answer to New York’s High Line linear park, with a competition launched to find ideas to restore the structure for public use.
6/4/19
Telegraph & Argus
Three of Bradford’s MPs have backed the campaign to preserve Queensbury Tunnel as a major cycle route.
4/4/19
Road.cc
A new cycle route along a disused Leicestershire railway - which was intended to serve as a memorial for a 13-year-old boy killed while cycling - has been blocked by local landowner.
1/4/19
Hull Live
A huge Victorian railway goods station in Hull has been revealed for the first time in decades as nearby buildings are demolished to make way for a redevelopment of the site.
1/4/19
The Scotsman
The campaign to extend the Borders Railway to Hawick or Carlisle has received a major boost with the Government announcing its backing for a feasibility study.

2019

March

14/3/19
Nottinghamshire Live
Subject to planning and listed building consent, work to install a walkway across Bennerley Viaduct could begin by the end of the summer, with a funding target of £690,000.
14/3/19
Lynn News
Restoring the rail link between Lynn and Hunstanton could potentially save lives by reducing road congestion, local councillors have heard.
14/3/19
This is Wiltshire
Thousands have signed a petition to protect a cycle path along a disused railway between Chippenham and Calne following the revelation that Wiltshire Council is considering its closure to cut costs.
12/3/19
Daily Record
Proposals to introduce a more direct rail link between Perth and Edinburgh - by reopening a line that closed in 1970 - are to be examined by Transport Scotland.
10/3/19
North Wales Live
Reopening the disused line between Caernarfon and Bangor would cost £16m per mile but bring more than 7,000 people within walking distance of a main line station, according to a new report.
6/3/19
Leicester Mercury
A prospective local Councillor in Leicester has suggested that the city’s disused Glenfield Tunnel could be brought back into use as a cycle and walking route.
3/3/19
Keighley News
Judith Cummins, the MP for Bradford South, has accused Highways England of trying to 'kill off by stealth' plans to reopen Queensbury Tunnel as a foot and cycle path.
1/3/19
BBC News
After 45 years rebuilding the railway line between Llangollen and Corwen, volunteers say they only need £10,000 to finish the final stretch.
1/3/19
The Scotsman
Plans to restore a hidden derelict platform beneath Glasgow Central are 'on the right track', Network Rail has revealed as Scotland’s busiest station prepares to star in a new BBC series.

2019

February

27/2/19
Nottingham Post
The viability of plans to bring Bennerley Viaduct back into public use will be known in March when a decision is made on a funding application.
27/2/19
Teesdale Mercury
Long-awaited plans to create a 12-mile walk along the old railway line from Barnard Castle to Bishop Auckland have been dropped from a flagship policy.
23/2/19
Road.cc
Highways England has announced a £17 million investment in walking and cycling projects in Cornwall, including a multi-use trail along a disused railway between Perranporth and Newquay.
20/2/19
The Gazette
Competing visions have been laid out about whether the disused railway line between Fleetwood and Poulton should be restored for use by trains or trams.
20/2/19
Rail Technology Magazine
Shepton Mallet railway station could be restored after the local authority unveiled a new long-term vision for its rail route.
15/2/19
Pontefract & Castleford Express
A new walking and cycling route is set to be built along a disused railway track between Green Row Bridge at Methley Junction and Castleford, following approval from Leeds City Council.
10/2/19
Keighley News
A new partnership has been set-up to extend the popular Great Northern Railway Trail to Keighley and Denholme via sections of disused trackbed.
6/2/19
FoD & WyeV Review
Walkers and cyclists could soon be passing through the 1,188 yard long disused Tidenham Tunnel as part of a ‘Wander Wye’ path bid to link Tintern to Chepstow.
5/2/19
Telegraph & Argus
Turning Queensbury Tunnel into a cycling route would bring 'national and international' attention to Bradford, campaigners have told Council bosses.
5/2/19
Daily Echo
A £5 billion rail network expansion programme to reach the most disconnected and disadvantaged communities by reopening closed lines and repurposing freight routes has been proposed by campaigners.
2/2/19
Teesdale Mercury
County officers are planning to create five public rights of way along the old railway line to Barnard Castle which, for the most part, will be three metres wide and stretch more than two kilometres.

2019

January

30/1/19
Telegraph & Argus
Bradford Council will support plans to turn Queensbury Tunnel into an underground cycle way, but says it currently cannot commit to undertaking the project with its tightening budget.
23/1/19
Kent Online
Network Rail has announced that it will soon begin to clear the northern section of the disused Folkestone Harbour branch as talks continue with local stakeholders about potential uses for it within the community.
21/1/19
Ilkley Gazette
Ambitious plans for a four kilometre cycle track on the former trackbed of the Arthington to Burley railway have been submitted to Bradford Council.
21/1/19
Rail Technology Magazine
East West Railway Company has announced it is seeking specialist partners to deliver the central section of its reinstated line between Cambridge and Bedford, after publishing a prior information notice.
17/1/19
Yorkshire Post
The Environment Agency is investigating concerns that a stream could be polluted by an operation to pump around 6.6 million gallons of floodwater out of Queensbury Tunnel.
16/1/19
Fife Today
Campaigners seeking to restore the rail link to St Andrews in Fife have marked the 50th anniversary of its closure.
15/1/19
The Courier
Friends of the Earth Scotland is calling for an evaluation of the costs, environmental and health benefits that could be gained from reopening disused railways in Angus.
15/1/19
Halifax Courier
The cost of abandoning Queensbury Tunnel has risen to more than £4 million as a result of logistical difficulties caused by flooding.
13/1/19
Derbyshire Live
Millers Dale Station on the former London-Manchester main line through the Peak District will reopen as a cafe and visitor centre in the spring following a £230,000 project.
13/1/19
Westmorland Gazette
Plans to reopen a scenic path on the route of a disused railway line near Ulverston have won the support of councillors and the local MP.
9/1/19
Yorkshire Post
The disused Goldsborough Station is set to be transformed into a new park and ride facility called Flaxby Parkway Station, 60 years after passengers last used it.
7/1/19
Huddersfield Examiner
Planning chiefs have been urged to look to their consciences after they approved a controversial scheme to infill a disused railway cutting in Heckmondwike for a housing scheme.
5/1/19
Shropshire Star
Campaigners believe DfT funding is the key to unlocking a proposal to reopen the railway that ran from the Ironbridge Power Station to Telford.
3/1/19
Bucks & Winslow Advertiser
Buckingham Town Council is investigating the possibility of making the path along an old railway track through the town into a formal right of way.
3/1/19
BBC News
Three years after a study earmarked five disused railway tunnels in Wales for reopening as cycling and walking routes, one is now in use and work is underway to open two more by 2021.
1/1/19
Southern Reporter
A special service will run from Edinburgh to Tweedbank to mark the 50th anniversary of the Waverley line's closure, as the campaign to reopen more of it gains momentum.

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