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 8th January 2014
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2013

December

16/12/13
North Devon Journal
The Castle Hill Corker, a multi-terrain race over approximately 10km, will be staged on 23rd February, passing through the estate's disused railway tunnel.
16/12/13
Nottingham Post
Land surrounding an old railway line could be sold by Nottinghamshire County Council to make way for a foot and cycle path.

2013

November

25/11/13
Huddersfield Examiner
Kirklees Council wants to lay a new foot and cycle path along a former railway line in Birstall.
22/11/13
Manchester Evening News
Council licensing bosses have accepted plans which could ultimately see Manchester's derelict Mayfield Station become one of the biggest nightclubs in the country.
20/11/13
Kent Online
Campaigners fighting to save Folkestone’s historic harbour railway say they will not be deterred after Network Rail announced its intention to officially close the line and station.
8/11/13
Coventry Telegraph
Rugby’s MP - who is against HS2 - says calls to reopen the disused Great Central London Extension as an alternative are a “non-starter”.
5/11/13
Manchester Evening News
The Woodhead tunnels, part of the old Sheffield Ashton-under-Lyne & Manchester Railway, are to be permanently sealed after the government opted not to buy them from owners the National Grid.
3/11/13
Westmorland Gazette
A disused railway bridge near Ingleton looks set to be demolished after it was declared unsafe.
2/11/13
Hawick News
A Scottish MSP has called for an investment in cycle routes on disused railways around Hawick.

2013

October

30/10/13
Penarth Times
Work has got underway to upgrade a controversial cycle path on a disused railway in Penarth.
29/10/13
Edinburgh Evening News
Millions have been spent to block up more than 250 miles of mine workings to prevent part of the new Borders Railway from collapsing.
21/10/13
Northampton Chronicle
A redundant railway in Northampton has been bought by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation with a view to it becoming a new walking or cycle path.
21/10/13
Daily Post (North Wales)
It is the only gap in a 90-mile circular route around Snowdonia but the reopening of the line linking Caernarfon to the rest of the network is back on the cards.
13/10/13
Harborough Mail
A man who has been devoting his time to cleaning up an old railway line is hoping it can be made into a more pleasant place for walkers.
12/10/13
BBC News
The consortium behind plans to turn a disused Manchester railway station into a cultural venue has set out its vision for the future.
8/10/13
Oxford Mail
Council bosses are likely to agree to spend £11.1m on a scheme linking Oxford’s rail network with Milton Keynes and Bedford via a disused line.
8/10/13
Liverpool Echo
Work has started on repairs to the disused Dingle Tunnel which collapsed below houses in Liverpool last July, leaving several families homeless.
1/10/13
Gov.uk
Following a review of public bodies, BRB (Residuary) has ceased to exist, with the Highways Agency becoming custodian of the Board's 'Burdensome Estate'.
1/10/13
Northern Echo
An old railway station in North Yorkshire and three carriages have been converted into a home and luxurious lodgings for holidaymakers.

2013

September

28/9/13
Yorkshire Post
Residents in Leeds are hoping to rescue the redundant Farnley Viaduct through a £10,000 community-led project to turn it into a park and sky walkway into the city centre.
24/9/13
BBC News
A minister claims that a rail link would have been more attractive than Luton and Dunstable's new £91m guided busway.
23/9/13
Manchester Evening News
Work has started on a £76m bus-only route to cut journey times from Leigh to central Manchester to less than 50 minutes.
21/9/13
Gloucestershire Echo
A share offer is being launched to raise £500,000 towards the cost of repairing five bridges as the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway prepares to construct two miles of line.
19/9/13
Belfast Telegraph
Disused railways connecting Conlig, Newtownards and Donaghadee have been signalled out by a local campaigner as a possible new greenway for pedestrians and cyclists.
13/9/13
Leicester Mercury
It has been disused, locked up and largely forgotten for decades, but now the mile-long Glenfield Tunnel - deep beneath the streets of Leicester - has been temporarily reopened for visitors.
12/9/13
South Wales Argus
The crumbling Redbrook bridge which formed part of the wonderful Wye Valley Railway will hopefully benefit from an £800,000 restoration.
10/9/13
Belfast Telegraph
Campaigners are hoping to draw on the lessons of the Comber Greenway to transform more of Northern Ireland's old railway network into a walking and cycling routes.
6/9/13
Penarth Times
The planning department of the Vale of Glamorgan Council has approved a controversial tarmac path along a disused railway through Penarth.
5/9/13
BBC News
A series of one-way flaps and pipes have been fitted to a disused railway tunnel near Galashiels to enable bats to leave ahead of renovation works.
5/9/13
Global Rail News
Crossrail has completed work to restore sections of the disused Connaught Tunnel, reflooding the Royal Docks in time for its September deadline.
5/9/13
Westmorland Gazette
A disused railway in the heart of the Lake District has been given a new lease of life as it reopens to form part of a new cycle route.
4/9/13
BBC News
Repair work to a disused railway tunnel that collapsed beneath Liverpool is due to start more than a year after residents were evacuated.

2013

August

15/8/13
Borders Railway
A Midlothian stonemasonry company is to undertake the restoration of a 19th century viaduct before it becomes part of the new Borders Railway.
12/8/13
Chesterfield Post
Tourism in Derbyshire has been given a multi-million pound boost as a project to enhance cycle trails in the Peak District - some involving disused railway line - gets the green light.
12/8/13
The Scotsman
Many New Town residents are blissfully unaware of the astonishing feat of Victorian engineering that hides just a few feet beneath the cobbles.
9/8/13
Irish Times
Landowners in Cork will be contacted over the coming weeks as Cork County Council advances plans to open former rail routes to walkers and cyclists.
9/8/13
news.com
Buyers seeking a base in one of London's wealthiest neighbourhoods have the chance to buy a disused London underground station.
1/8/13
The Herald (Plymouth)
A new pedestrian and cycle link across Plymouth's disused Laira Rail Bridge has been given the green light by the city's planners.

2013

July

31/7/13
Manchester Evening News
A licensing application to turn Manchester's disused Mayfield Station into a live music and sporting venue has been sent to council chiefs.
31/7/13
Bike Radar
Clearly unaware of Sustrans, London mayor Boris Johnson has called on the prime minister to resurrect disused railway lines as traffic-free cycle paths all over the UK.
29/7/13
Somerset County Gazette
Council bosses are “genuinely hopeful” of reopening Wellington railway, between Taunton and Exeter.
26/7/13
The Journal (North East)
Archaeologists digging on the site of the former Neptune shipyard in Walker, Newcastle have discovered a 200-year-old wooden railway track.
26/7/13
BBC News
Twenty-six of the UK's rarest railway signal boxes have been granted Grade II listed status by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
19/7/13
The Independent
The Old Vic Tunnels – the cult performance space owned by BRB(R) – could be turned into a skateboard park after the theatre from which it took its name withdrew funding.
18/7/13
Rugby & Lutterworth Observer
The official reopening of Rugby’s 173-year-old viaduct took place on Wednesday, more than five years after the idea was first mooted and almost 60 years after it last carried trains.
5/7/13
Now Bath
Passage, a new public artwork, is brightening up the journey for pedestrians and cyclists passing beneath Bath on the Two Tunnels Greenway.
4/7/13
Express & Echo (Exeter)
The public is being urged to support a new cycle path along the disused railway between Feniton and Sidmouth.

2013

June

27/6/13
This is Somerset
The urgent appeal to save Maesbury Station has got off to a modest start, with £10,000 already pledged on the way to the £500,000 they need to hit by the end of the summer.
24/6/13
Oxford Times
Councillors have questioned whether there is sufficient demand to warrant reopening the disused railway between Kingham and Cheltenham.
23/6/13
Biggleswade Today
Rail campaigners are to walk the route of the old Bedford-Cambridge railway, highlighting their view that the route should be rebuilt.
19/6/13
Borders Railway
A Midlothian viaduct dating back over 160 years has been put back into use as construction work on the Borders Railway gathers pace.
18/6/13
New Civil Engineer
How New York's High Line is driving a trend to convert disused urban railways into green spaces.
18/6/13
The Gazette (Blackpool)
A short film set to be shown in Hollywood and at prestigious film festivals has been shot on a disused railway at Thornton.
11/6/13
This is Plymouth
Cyclists and pedestrians could soon be using Plymouth's old Laira railway bridge if plans are given the green light by council chiefs.
6/6/13
This is Bristol
The reopening of the long-awaited Portishead line into Bristol has slipped back a year until December 2018 because of a paperwork problem.
5/6/13
Coventry Observer
It has been revealed that a disused railway could be reopened to give Coventry a direct link to the proposed high speed line to London.

2013

May

30/5/13
Dorset Echo
Nearly half a century after its closure another section of the former Somerset & Dorset Railway has been rejuvenated as a new trail connecting Blandford and Stourpaine.
28/5/13
Lancashire Evening Post
Plumes of black smoke were spotted coming out of a disused railway tunnel in Preston after a pile of rubbish was set alight.
14/5/13
BBC News
Stations closed following the 1963 Beeching Report could be reopened under plans being considered in Cambridgeshire.
14/5/13
BBC News
A three-mile extension to Manchester's Metrolink network, along a disused railway, is to open three months ahead of schedule.
13/5/13
The Scotsman
A new three-mile-long cycle path, partially running along a stretch of old railway, will connect Edinburgh with Midlothian from the spring of next year.
10/5/13
Sussex Express
The Transport Secretary has asked Network Rail to undertake a study into rail capacity between London and the south coast, with a view to reopening the Uckfield-Lewes line.
9/5/13
This is Bath
A cycling route which opened a month ago through Combe Down and Devonshire tunnels is proving hugely popular despite a few teething problems.
7/5/13
Rail News
Work has begun on opening out and rebuilding the crucial Connaught Tunnel in London Docklands to carry Crossrail trains.
1/5/13
ESPN cricinfo
New plans to redevelop the northern end of Lord's cricket ground, including two disused railway tunnels, will be "forensically" examined.
1/5/13
Daily Mail
Archaeologists have uncovered a 220-year-old railway tunnel in Derbyshire, believed by some to be the oldest in the world.
1/5/13
Wisbech Standard 24
A disused 12-arch viaduct is set for demolition, making way for new housing.

2013

April

18/4/13
The Scotsman
Scotland's Transport Minister has hailed a “new golden age of the train” as he launched the official start of construction work on the delayed £350 million Borders Railway.
12/4/13
Strathearn Herald
Plans are under way to rebuild the demolished railway bridge at Glen Tarken, overlooking St Fillans, and restore the footpath between the picturesque village and Lochearnhead along the old trackbed.
11/4/13
Teesdale Mercury
A £2 million plan to open a 12-mile walk and cycleway on the old railway line between West Auckland and Barnard Castle hangs in the balance.
7/4/13
This is Bath
Thousands of people have turned out to witness the reopening of two neglected railway tunnels as part of a new foot and cycle path.
6/4/13
Gloucestershire Echo
A disused railway line in Cheltenham could be reconnected by 2023 if proposed upgrades to Prestbury Park are approved, racecourse planners have confirmed.
4/4/13
Oxford Times
The road over a disused railway bridge at Kingham will be closed for the next two weeks whilst its arch is backfilled with concrete.
4/4/13
Manchester Evening News
Railway enthusiasts have launched a campaign to bring high speed trains to Glossop by reopening the Woodhead Tunnel.
3/4/13
Midweek Herald
A Honiton councillor has urged the council not to kill off proposals to restore old railway lines running through the town.
1/4/13
Gloucestershire Echo
Travel times to Bristol could be slashed if the disused station at Stonehouse Bristol Road is brought back into use.
1/4/13
Hull Daily Mail
Campaigners hoping the Beverley to York railway line will be reopened are appealing for sponsorship to fund a study into what it will cost.

2013

March

31/3/13
This is Local London
The proposed reopening of a former railway station has taken another step forwards after the government named it as one of three bids to which it is likely to give millions in funding.
28/3/13
North Devon Journal
Seeing a locomotive pulling into Torrington once again is a step closer to fruition after plans to lay nearly 300 metres of track are approved.
25/3/13
Sunderland Echo
Plans to extend the Tyne & Wear Metro to Washington along the disused Leamside line could finally be on track after councillors unveiled an ambitious blueprint for the region’s development.
25/3/13
This is Leicestershire
Developers have outlined a £6 million plan to regenerate an area of Leicester's West End following the purchase of a disused Great Central Railway viaduct.
22/3/13
The Guardian
The lights go on as Combe Down Tunnel prepares to welcome its first cycling visitors on 6th April.
14/3/13
Northern Echo
An influential community group has thrown its support behind a potential £2million project to turn a disused railway line into a haven for walkers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts.
14/3/13
Bath Chronicle
A group of former railway firemen are preparing for the grand opening of the final stage of the £4million Two Tunnels project in Bath.
14/3/13
This is Sussex
Triumphant volunteers have marked the historic moment East Grinstead was reconnected to the Bluebell Railway via a disused section of trackbed.
12/3/13
This is Bristol
North Somerset Council has appointed contractors to start cutting back vegetation on a three-mile section of the disused Portishead railway.
11/3/13
This is Bristol
A deal is being signed that will see £1.5 million invested in one of Bristol's most historic railway buildings.
11/3/13
Free Press
The demolition of an old railway bridge the same week a consultation about using former train tracks as cycle paths is being carried out has been branded “crazy”.
8/3/13
Liverpool Echo
The search has started for a company to carry out repairs to Dingle Tunnel - formerly part of the Liverpool Overhead Railway - which collapsed damaging several homes.
8/3/13
Thurrock Gazette
Walkers have braved freezing temperatures to walk the trackbed of the old Corringham Light Railway in support of a community project.
7/3/13
The Scotsman
Passengers will be able to travel on the reopened Borders Railway again in September 2015 after a gap of 46 years, Network Rail has confirmed.
7/3/13
This is Sussex
A golden spike has been inserted into the final pieces of track reconnecting East Grinstead to the Bluebell Railway.
7/3/13
Worcester News
Workers have painstakingly excavated part of Worcester’s St Martin’s Quarter to reach old railway tracks that were once a feature of the site’s old vinegar works.
6/3/13
Northumberland Gazette
An appeal for volunteers has been made to help progress work on a new heritage railway through the Aln Valley.
6/3/13
Hayling Islander
Fifty years ago this year, an icon of Hayling Island finally fell victim to the railway cuts.
5/3/13
This is Somerset
Winscombe Hill Tunnel (aka Shuteshelf) on the Strawberry Line cycle path has reopened following the completion of safety work, including the removal of loose rock.
5/3/13
Uckfield News
Campaigners seeking to get the rail line between Uckfield and Lewes reopened have commissioned transport experts to help build the case.
2/3/13
Penarth Times
An extra £15,500 has been granted to the Vale of Glamorgan Council for a walk/cycle route along a disused railway in Penarth.
2/3/13
The Herald (Scotland)
The Waverley railway project is no longer economically viable due to the failure of a local property boom and steep drop in projected passenger numbers, the Government has been warned.

2013

February

26/2/13
BBC News
A disused railway viaduct at Winchester has been officially reopened as part of a cycle route linking Southampton and Reading.
24/2/13
The Independent
A reflection on how a substantial part of Britain's rail network reached the end of the line.
23/2/13
ITV Central
The final sleeper has been laid by a team of volunteers in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, who have dedicated their Saturdays to rebuilding the old line between Swithland Sidings and Bond Lane.
21/2/13
Wisbech Standard 24
Almost 300 people have signed an online petition demanding that Wisbech’s rail link is reopened.
21/2/13
Time Out London blog
The Old Vic Tunnels - a theatre venue in a series of four interconnected brick arches beneath Waterloo - is to close next month.
19/2/13
This is Staffordshire
A disused Staffordshire tunnel has gone up for sale in the hope someone can breathe new life into the ageing structure.
6/2/13
Daily Mail
An iconic symbol of the Victorian era in London - the Euston Arch - could be rebuilt half-a-century after its stone was dumped in the River Lea.
2/2/13
Huddersfield Examiner
A £75,000 cycle path and greenway, crossing a disused viaduct in Greetland, is still on the agenda following progress resolving legal complications.

2013

January

30/1/13
Daventry Express
Work on a new extension to a popular Daventry cycle path will get underway in the coming weeks with vegetation removed from an old railway trackbed.
26/1/13
Bicester Advertiser & Review
Proposals for the government-approved East West Rail link have been presented to interested parties at a public meeting.
25/1/13
This is Somerset
The possibility of reopening the Radstock to Frome rail link has not been ruled out, but consultants have deemed the £40million needed as not cost effective.
25/1/13
This is Bath
Details of a free fun day to celebrate the opening of the long-awaited Two Tunnels cycle route have been revealed.
21/1/13
News & Star (Carlisle)
Steel security fences that keep people off Carlisle’s disused Eden (Waverley) Viaduct look set to stay for another year at least.
20/1/13
Daily Mail
A dream home, perfect for rail enthusiasts, has gone on the market with its very own private viaduct.
19/1/13
Southern Reporter
Network Rail has submitted plans to refurbish a historic disused bridge as part of the Borders Railway project.
19/1/13
Northampton Chronicle
A disused railway which runs through the centre of Northampton has finally been declared non-operational after decades with no trains.
17/1/13
West Yorkshire Metro
After several months’ work, the disused tunnel at Earlsheaton has been reopened as a greenway for walkers and cyclists between Dewsbury and Ossett.
17/1/13
Liverpool Echo
People affected by the Dingle tunnel collapse have been given fresh hope they could return to their homes following an agreement between the Council and six insurers.
11/1/13
In Cumbria
Campaigners behind a plan to reopen the Keswick-Penrith railway fear that their efforts could be jeopardised by a proposal to locate National Park Authority offices close to the old trackbed.
10/1/13
This is Somerset
Shepton Mallet Town Council has agreed to release a £10,000 grant to kick start a project that could convert the old Strawberry Line into a local network of safe paths.
5/1/13
Bicester Advertiser & Review
A former Great Central railway bridge at Helmdon, damage to which has disrupted local traffic for more than a year, is to be backfilled.
4/1/13
Derbyshire Telegraph
An archaeological group is embarking on a quest to find out if a Derbyshire railway tunnel is the oldest in the world.
3/1/13
Teesdale Mercury
An ambitious plan to open a walkway on the old railway line between West Auckland and Barnard Castle could be back on track.
3/1/13
Hampshire Chronicle
As part of its ongoing refurbishment, the Friends of Hockley Viaduct have found and had restored an old signal post, similar to one that originally stood on the structure before closure in the 1960s.
2/1/13
The Gazette
Campaigners are calling for the reopening of a disused line at Thornbury following news of the impending closure of Tytherington Quarry.

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