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 on this icon for our RSS news feed
Last updated 6th April 2012
Other years 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2008

2009

December

15/12/09
This is Local London
A rail firm has announced radical plans to link High Wycombe to Heathrow Airport and restore the old line to Maidenhead.
Bridge to remain closed
13/12/09
Norwich Evening News
An old railway bridge carrying the Marriott's Way over the River Wensum in Hellesdon will remain closed for six weeks longer than expected because of its poor condition.
12/12/09
Journal Live
A long-running bid to reinstate a historic Northumberland rail link is building up a head of steam, with the submission of plans.
10/12/09
This is Kent
Campaigners have vowed to appeal after their plans to create a wildlife reserve on a former railway line were refused.
9/12/09
BBC News
A Victorian railway station in Raglan, which has been closed for half a century, is poised to become an exhibit at a Welsh museum.
7/12/09
BBC News
Plans have been drawn up for a civil service campus at the abandoned Mayfield railway station, close to Piccadilly, in Manchester city centre.
4/12/09
The News (Portsmouth)
Work on the controversial Gosport-Fareham bus route, to be build on a disused railway trackbed, has been halted after a Gosport woman won the right to appeal against the scheme.
2/12/09
Northern Echo
The rocketing cost of reopening Durham's spectacular Belmont Viaduct as a cycleway and footpath has led council chiefs to consider dropping the scheme.
1/12/09
Lancashire Telegraph
Rail campaigners have urged county council bosses to safeguard the old Colne-Skipton trackbed.
1/12/09
Banffshire Journal
Plans to develop a Banffshire Way walking route on some of the area's former railway lines is gathering support.

2009

November

28/11/09
BBC News
The business secretary Lord Mandelson has backed a move to reopen the railway line between Beverley and York, campaigners have said.
27/11/09
BBC News
Plans to reopen four old railway tunnels on the Monsal Trail in the Derbyshire Peak District have been given the go-ahead.
26/11/09
Hampshire Chronicle
Restoration work to save the Hockley Viaduct - the longest brick structure in Hampshire - has been delayed whilst the local council awaits the results of ecological surveys.
19/11/09
This is North Devon
Work has finally begun to repair the crumlbing Coles Mill Viaduct which could help transform tourism and regeneration in the area.
18/11/09
Devon 24
Two enthusiasts have been working hard to return an old railway signal to its former glory.
17/11/09
North-West Evening Mail
The Lake District National Park Authority is asking for public opinion on a suggested traffic-free route to link Coniston and Foxfield via an old railway, but farming families are against the idea.
17/11/09
Banffshire Journal
Walkers could be making tracks to Banffshire if ambitious plans to transform a disused railway line into a new path become a reality.
14/11/09
Journal Live
Calls for a disused railway line in Northumberland to be protected from housing development because of its potential as a future transport link have been rejected by a planning inspector.
12/11/09
Craven Herald & Pioneer
Plans to restore the Skipton-Colne rail link are realistic according to politicians from all parties who joined industry experts at the reopening campaign group's third annual conference.
10/11/09
Grough
Four old railway tunnels could be reopened as part of a £3.785m new cycle trail across the Peak District National Park, linking the stations in Matlock and Buxton.
10/11/09
This is Leicester
A woman has braved freezing temperatures and spent 12 hours chained to a bowstring bridge in Leicester in an effort to save it from demolition.
8/11/09
South Wales Argus
A former Monmouthshire railway station building could find a new home and a new lease of life at the National History Museum in St Fagans.
6/11/09
BBC News
The Welsh Assembly Government has asked Network Rail to conduct feasibility studies into the reopening of two disused lines.
1/11/09
This is North Devon
Councillors have given the thumbs up to getting the old railway link from Bideford to Barnstaple back on track at a possible cost of £80 million.

2009

October

17/10/09
Think is Lincolnshire
Walkers who use a scenic path along a disused railway between Woodhall Spa and Horncastle are to benefit from a £200,000 upgrade.
17/10/09
North-West Evening Mail
The public is being asked for views on plans to create a traffic-free route to link two South Lakeland villages via a disused railway.
16/10/09
About My Area
A disused railway line which once took coal from pit to port has been given a new lease of life as a community expressway, giving cyclists and pedestrians a fast track across Newcastle.
16/10/09
Chard & Ilminster News
A railway cycle path project between Ilminster and Chard - which was heavily defended during the Second World War to try and stop any German invasion - has won a high-profile award.
15/10/09
The Sentinel (Staffs)
Moorlands and City Railways Ltd has bought about 20 miles of disused railway line between Stoke and Cauldon Low quarries which it plans to reopen.
14/10/09
The News (Portsmouth)
The future of a high-speed £20 million bus link between Fareham and Gosport, along a disused railway line, is to be decided at a London court.
14/10/09
Holyhead & Anglesey Mail
Plans have been approved to reconstruct part of an historic railway in Bethesda despite concerns from local residents.
14/10/09
East Grinstead Courier
Progress on the Bluebell Railway's East Grinstead extension has been on display as hundreds of visitors walked the route the new tracks will take.
8/10/09
Shropshire Star
Cambrian Railway bosses have criticised proposals to build a supermarket and cinema in Oswestry, claiming it will destroy part of the town's railway heritage.

2009

September

24/9/09
Daily Mail
The iconic Euston Arch could once again be the spectacular gateway to the London station after its remains were found in the River Lea.
23/9/09
This is Bath
Shoppers in Bath are being given the chance to learn about the history and heritage of the city's former Green Park Station which served the Somerset & Dorset Railway.
22/9/09
BBC News
The dismantling of a disused but listed bowstring bridge in Leicester's West End will get underway in October following a delay caused by engineering works.
22/9/09
News & Star (Carlisle)
A disused former rail yard in Carlisle could be transformed by a major housing development.
17/9/09
Express & Star
Plans to reopen a long-disused freight line between Walsall and Stourbridge could become a reality within 10 years, taking huge numbers of lorries off the roads.
17/9/09
Lancashire Telegraph
Building work to turn Longridge's disused railway station into a heritage centre will begin in November, two months ahead of schedule.
12/9/09
This is North Devon
Calls are being made to reopen the old railway line from Bideford to Barnstaple.
11/9/09
BBC News
Work on the controversial Fareham-Gosport bus scheme, running along an old railway, has been halted after environmentalists claimed badgers and bats may be at risk from the plans.
5/9/09
Bolton News
A developer is launching a new bid for the right to build a housing estate in a disused cutting.
4/9/09
Peeblesshire News
Another link in Tweeddale's proposed cycle network is set to be added in October as work gets underway to reopen the old railway tunnel beneath the A72 at Eshiels.
2/9/09
Edinburgh Evening News
Work to reopen a historic tunnel in the heart of Edinburgh is set to get under way before the end of the year, 150 years after it was closed to the public.

2009

August

26/8/09
The News (Portsmouth)
Concerned residents are being given the chance to meet the contractor that will build a £20m high-speed bus route along an old railway formation between Gosport and Fareham.
24/8/09
This is Kent
A third set of plans has been proposed for a cycle path along the old Crab & Winkle line as councillors struggle to reach a decision on the first.
22/8/09
Scarborough Evening News
A project to improve Scarborough's most popular walking and cycling route - along the former line northwards to Whitby - could create 24 jobs, according to an environmental charity.
21/8/09
Local London
Plans to resurrect the Maidenhead-High Wycombe line with a modern ultra-light railway have been dealt a blow after transport chiefs said it was not financially viable at present.
21/8/09
Telegraph & Argus
Hard-working volunteers have completed a project to revitalise the site of Thornton's former station revealing a pleasant cobbled area where people can sit and relax.
18/8/09
Devon24
The Tarka Valley Railway Group is in discussions regarding planning permission for an extension of track at the former Torrington Station.
13/8/09
Daily Mail
Furious parishioners have accused a rail authority of penny pinching after they rebuilt half of a historic traditional stone railway bridge using modern red brick.
12/8/09
Press & Journal
Volunteers who are restoring a historic Deeside railway line have reached the second phase of the project, five years after building work began.
10/8/09
Local London
A new rail service in the mould of the Docklands Light Railway could reconnect Maidenhead and High Wycombe nearly four decades after the line between them was closed.
7/8/09
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advrtsr
Cyclists have been displaced from the 14-mile Airdrie-Bathgate path because Network Rail is reopening the line for trains.
3/8/09
Liverpool Echo
Transport chiefs in Liverpool hope the arrival of tram-trains in the UK will allow disused Victorian tracks to come back into use.
3/8/09
London Informer
A lawyer has launched a campaign to reopen Brompton Road tube station because of the huge numbers of people now using the two adjacent stops.
3/8/09
BBC News
Protestors have said moves to demolish an old railway bridge in Leicester would rob the city of a landmark which gives it some character.
1/8/09
The News (Portsmouth)
Plans for a £20 million bus corridor between Fareham and Gosport will not go to a government planning inquiry.

2009

July

29/7/09
The News (Portsmouth)
Hampshire County Council has agreed to a bus link along the old railway trackbed through Fareham and Gosport despite opposition from residents.
28/7/09
Middlewich Guardian
A report by a consultancy firm has established a business case for the upgrading of the Northwich-Sandbach freight route for passenger services.
26/7/09
Evesham Journal
Plans to relocate Bourton-on-the-Water's old station building to Broadway have been shelved after the move was deemed too costly.
21/7/09
Northern Echo
A study is looking into the possibility of the old Leamside line being reopened to connect a Nissan factory directly to the Port of Tyne.
14/7/09
BBC News
Bristol-based Sustrans wants to convert the former Wye Valley Railway into a traffic-free route through Tintern and Tidenham tunnels.
14/7/09
This is Plymouth
A couple has spent the last two years renovating and upgrading Tavistock's old railway station, transforming the site into five-star self-catering cottages.
8/7/09
Cotswold Journal
About 40 years after the last train left Bourton railway station, the disused building is set to be demolished to make way for a new care home.
8/7/09
Edinburgh Evening News
An eye-catching new bridge over Leith Walk - following the path of a disused railway - is on the drawing board as a way to improve cycle links in the city.
7/7/09
Teesdale Mercury
Sections of disused railway in Teesdale are under threat from decay or neglect according to English Heritage's annual 'At Risk' register.
6/7/09
The Scotsman
A 1,000-yard tunnel running from Scotland Street to Princes Street is to get a new lease of life as an exhibition, theatre and music venue.
6/7/09
County Times
A campaign group in North Wales is fighting for a direct rail link from Holyhead to Cardiff via Bangor, Rhyl, Ruthin, Llangollen, Welshpool, Newtown, Llanidloes and Brecon.
1/7/09
BBC News
A builder had a lucky escape after part of a disused railway bridge collapsed onto the Old Station house at Castleside, County Durham during heavy rain.

2009

June

27/6/09
This is Bath
Rail enthusiasts, walkers and charity workers have entered Combe Down Tunnel which will form part of a new 'shared path' in Bath, due to open in the spring of 2012.
22/6/09
The Citizen (Burnley)
Walking and cycling experts at Lancashire County Council are keen to launch a new friends group for a greenway being created along the former Rosegrove-Padiham railway.
15/6/09
Times Online
With passenger numbers up by half since privatisation, train companies are proposing to reopen at least 14 lines closed by Dr Beeching more than 40 years ago.
Highs and low before railway cuts
6/6/09
Hunts Post 24
Just as a guided busway nears completion in St Ives, another transport milestone is about to be reached - the disappearance of the town's railway.
5/6/09
Oxford Times
Train lovers are to recreate the moment regular passenger services stopped on the old branch line linking Wallingford to the national railway network, 50 years ago to the day and minute.
3/6/09
This is Hull
East Riding Council has gave the green light to the region's first In Vessel Composting (IVC) plant in the Hull & Barnsley's former cutting at Eppleworth near Willerby.

2009

May

29/5/09
Lancashire Evening Post
A disused railway linking Preston with Grimsargh is to be transformed into a cycle route with the help of funding from various partners.
29/5/09
News Post Leader
Plans to build new housing on a former mineral line in Blyth have been turned down.
Construction work starts on Metrolink
22/5/09
GMPTE
The first stages of work to build a new Metrolink line along the disused railway from Smedley Viaduct to Central Park will get underway in June.
Work progressing on Airdrie-Bathgate
20/5/09
This is Bath
Work to restore to old railway between Airdrie and Bathgate is well under way and on schedule for completion by December next year.
16/5/09
This is Bath
Council chiefs have temporarily shelved plans to run a controversial bus system on a mile-long section of old railway route through Newbridge.
12/5/09
This is Bath
Politicians meet soon to decide whether to give planning permission to the Bus Rapid Transit scheme which would create a new dedicated route along an old railway line through Newbridge.
12/5/09
Whitby Gazette
The old line from Scarborough to Whitby has been a firm favourite among cyclists for years but families can now swap two wheels for four.
6/5/09
The Press (York)
The owners of Stockton-on-the-Forest's disused signal box have applied to convert it into a house and create an extension which gives a nod to its one-time role on the railways.
1/5/09
This is Kent
1/5/09
Yorkshire Post
Rural public transport is typically sparse and poorly co-ordinated but grassroots action brought trains back to Wensleydale.

2009

April

Opposition to station demolition
30/4/09
Ely Standard
Opposition is mounting to plans to demolish the old station at Fordham and replace it with a recycling centre.
30/4/09
Tavistock Times
The reinstatement of the Bere Alston-Tavistock line has moved a step closer after councillors agreed to support the principle of entering a joint venture partnership with a property developer.
28/4/09
This is Bath
Four planning applications making up the Bath Transportation Package -including use of a disused railway line - will be debated by a meeting of the council development control committee.
Line receives new lease of life
27/4/09
This is Hull
The former line linking Kenilworth Jnc and Berkswell has taken on a new lease of life following a £50m lottery grant to Sustrans.
25/4/09
This is Hull
23/4/09
Southern Reporter (Borders)
Scottish Borders Council demands that Holyrood does not slam the door on any future extension of the Borders railway south of Tweedbank.
22/4/09
South Wales Argus
14/4/09
Transport Briefing
Plans to create a new rail route between Oxford and London Marylebone have taken another step forward with the advertisement of a tender for a design and build contract.
Steam train returns after 50 years
14/4/09
Norwich Evening News
Train lovers can take a step back in time after a steam service was relaunched at Whitwell & Reepham Station, five decades after it closed.
13/4/09
The Sentinel (Staffs)
A Grade-II listed crossing keeper's cottage, which has stood empty alongside the West Coast Main Line for 10 years, is to be moved brick-by-brick to the Churnet Valley Railway.
9/4/09
This is Plymouth
A scheme to reopen the disused line to Tavistock in West Devon has moved a step forward after members of the area's district council provisionally gave it their approval.

2009

March

18/3/09
This is South Devon
17/3/09
The Gazette (North Essex)
A commuter watchdog is revisiting proposals for a train link between Braintree and Stansted Airport via a link closed in the 1960s.
12/3/09
EDP24 (Norfolk)
Pressure is mounting for Norfolk County Council to help fund a £136,000 scheme to link the Bittern Line and North Norfolk Railway at Sherringham, boosting local tourism.
12/3/09
Sheffield Telegraph
A Sheffield MP has called on the government to make a speedy decision on whether to reopen a railway through Woodhead Tunnel or risk losing the route forever.
10/3/09
Bridport News
Sustainable transport charity Sustrans wants to resurface ten miles of disused railway between Bridport and Maiden Newton for cyclists, walkers and wheelchair users.
5/3/09
Tavistock Times Gazette
4/3/09
Gazette & Herald (Malton)
The Malton economy could be in line for a big boost if an ambitious plan to restore a Wolds railway becomes a reality.
3/3/09
The News (Portsmouth)
Work to clear the old line through Gosport and Fareham has now finished, with Hampshire County Council hoping it can secure millions of pounds from the government to build a bus route.

2009

February

27/2/09
Halifax Courier
Locals have welcomed plans for a cycle route and footpath over West Vale Viaduct.
27/2/09
This is Plymouth
Council urged to buy trackbed
26/2/09
The Citizen (Burnley)
Pendle councillors have urged Lancashire's leaders to buy a £50,000 section of the old railway line running from Colne to Foulridge.
26/2/09
Eastbourne Herald
A production company wants your old video footage of the Cuckoo Line which ran from Polegate-Eridge until it was axed in the 1960s and is now a popular cycle route and footpath.
25/2/09
Cranswick Today
Station's new lease of life
23/2/09
Dereham Times
Whitwell & Reepham Station will reopen for the first time in 50 years, with 1,500ft of track and a steam train to puff and hiss along it.
23/2/09
Northumberland Gazette
21/2/09
Huddersfield Examiner
18/2/09
This is Bath
A petition signed by 3,000 people and nearly 400 letters have been handed to council officials by campaigners fighting a controversial bus route along a disused railway line.
Land for a line
17/2/09
Railfuture
Campaigners want to buy a strip of land with two disused rail bridges so the Norfolk Orbital railway can become a reality.
12/2/09
Lancashire Telegraph
Work to transform the old station building at Longridge into a heritage centre will begin this summer if a tendering process is successful.
Blue plaque for Yarmouth station
12/2/09
The Advertiser (Norfolk)
12/2/09
Loughborough Echo
A £350,000 grant has been secured from the East Midlands Development Agency for a feasibility study into Great Central Railway's 'Bridging the Gap' scheme.
11/2/09
New Civil Engineer
11/2/09
Press & Journal (Aberdeen)
An ambitious project to restore a railway that once ran in the foothills of Ben Nevis has been abandoned because of funding issues.
10/2/09
This is Somerset
9/2/09
Eastern Daily Press (Anglia)
Enthusiasts hoping to create a Norfolk orbital railway have set their sights on what could be their first purchase of track bed.
2/2/09
Lancashire Telegraph

2009

January

30/1/09
BBC News
A historic disused railway in Dorset, which could be used to take spectators to the 2012 Olympic sailing events, may be lost before the games get under way.
Council 'disappointed' over victory
28/1/09
Bucks Free Press
A council which won a battle to stop homes being built on a disused railway track says it is 'disappointed' the plan was not thrown out on the issue of the line.
Rail opening moves a step closer
28/1/09
The Weston Mercury
Plans to reopen the Portishead-Bristol railway have taken a step forward with Network Rail being commissioned to carry out a technical evaluation.
28/1/09
The News (Portsmouth)
A £20 million high-speed bus route on the disused railway between Gosport and Fareham is set to get county approval.
27/1/09
Scarborough Evening News
The Scarborough-Whitby railway path is in line for a makeover by university students.
26/1/09
Local London
A bid to build 29 homes on a disused railway in Wooburn Green has been thrown out after a developer's appeal.
26/1/09
The Times
The st. Ives-Cambridge guided busway will open for business in the late summer.
Rapid bus route reaches milestone
26/1/09
Hampshire Chronicle
A new £20m bus rapid transit scheme, linking Fareham and Gosport via a disused railway line, comes before Hampshire County Council for approval on Thursday.
23/1/09
The Bucks Herald
22/1/09
BikeBiz
17/1/09
Press & Journal (Aberdeen)
16/1/09
Kenilworth Weekly News
16/1/09
Diss Express
Council close to buying GN warehouse
15/1/09
Manchester Evening News
Manchester City Council is understood to be close to a deal to buy the city's landmark Great Northern Warehouse, which is Grade II-listed.
14/1/09
Yorkshire Evening Post
A retrospective looking at Beeching's impact on the rail network around Leeds.
12/1/09
Evening Leader (Flintshire)
12/1/09
South Wales Guardian
Walkers and motorists are being reminded that the six-mile disused Gwuan-Cae-Gurwen railway is reopening for freight.
12/1/09
Yorkshire Post
Film tracks railway memories
9/1/09
Great Yarmouth Mercury
A vanished railway has inspired two artists to record a short film in the line which once ran through their home village of Belton.
8/1/09
Rail News
At Easter, passenger trains will run between Tunbridge Wells and Eridge for the first time in many years, thanks to the pioneering efforts of the Spa Valley Railway Society.
LibDems unveil wishlist of reopenings
8/1/09
Rail News
6/1/09
Bolton News
6/1/09
Evening Leader (Flintshire)
6/1/09
Borders Telegraph
Campaigners shocked by demolition
2/1/09
Ham & High
Residents are furious that the historic Primrose Hill Station has been demolished by Network Rail days after the launch of a campaign to reopen it.
1/1/09
Sunderland Echo
Project manager sets about opening Durham's Belmont Viaduct as a foot and cycle route.

Back to the top