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 1st January 2019
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Shropshire 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.
i 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.
A group of railway enthusiasts aims to reopen the Sharpness branch line as a tourist attraction, rebuilding some of its key structures.
North 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.
WW&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.
News & 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.



Evesham 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.
Birmingham 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.
Northern 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.
Cambrian 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.
The Star
Hundreds of people have backed a petition to restore the former trans-Pennine railway between Sheffield and Manchester, via the historic Woodhead Tunnel.
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.
The Business Desk
The disused Mayfield depot in Manchester is to be turned into an experimental cinema this Christmas, housed within three railway arches.
Halifax Courier
Disquiet is emerging in a West Yorkshire village as plans to allow the disused Queensbury Tunnel to collapse beneath it become clearer.
Telegraph & 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.
Pontefract & 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.



Cotswold 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.
Nation 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.
Yorkshire 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.
Daily 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.
Daily 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.
Telegraph & 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.



Halifax 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.
Lichfield 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.
Hereford 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.
The 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.
Harborough 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.
Evening 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.
Todmorden 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.
Telegraph & Argus
Safety work on Queensbury Tunnel is due to start later this month, as preparations are made for abandonment of the historic structure.



Daily Mail
Rail enthusiasts looking for their dream home have the chance to buy the historic former station at Gartly which closed in 1968.
Daily 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.
Birmingham 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.
Swindon 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.
Hull 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.
Banbury 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.
Coventry 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.
BBC 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.
Ilkley 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.
The 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.
ITV 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.
Express & 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.
The 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.



Rail News
The Victorian buildings at Wolverton works are set to be demolished despite Historic England leading a legal challenge to save them.
Rail 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.
EM 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.
Telegraph & 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.
The 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.
Rossendale 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.
Cumbria 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.
BBC News
The reopening of Rhondda and Merthyr tunnels for use by walkers and cyclists has been backed by their local councils.
Halifax 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.



Stray FM
Goldsborough Station on the Knaresborough-York line could be reopened as a park and ride facility to serve a new housing development.
South 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.
Shropshire Star
A railway linking Ironbridge and Birmingham should be reopened as part of work on a power station site, according to a local Councillor.
Telegraph & 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.
West 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.
Glasgow Live
Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council are looking into the potential of reopening Finnieston Station which ceased operation in January 1917.
Kent 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.
Insider Media
The grade II-listed former station building in Ellesmere could be transformed into apartments as part of a wider redevelopment in the town.
Free 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.
BBC 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.
Telegraph & 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.
The 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.



The 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.
Cambrian 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.
BBC News
Rhondda Tunnel has taken another step towards its reopening after a Balfour Beatty engineer deemed it to be in a "very good condition".
Telegraph & 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.
Bristol 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.
BBC 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'.
The 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.
Rail 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.
Daily 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.



BBC News
Trains are stopping again at Kenilworth Station, two years after the promised reopening date and decades after campaigning got underway.
Cumbria 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.
Dunfermline Press
A disused railway tunnel underneath the approach roads north of the Forth Road Bridge has been infilled to ensure its continuing structural integrity.
Plans to reintroduce a historic replica of a Burnham-on-Sea signal box have been approved by town councillors.
Highland 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.
Wales 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.
Cumbria 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.
FoD & 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.
Kent Live
New pictures have captured the stunning transformation of Folkestone Harbour’s former railway station as part of a network of seafront paths.



Derbyshire 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.
Cumbria 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.
Northampton 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.
Express & 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.



The 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.
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.
Nottingham 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.
Telegraph & Argus
Bradford West MP Naz Shah has written to Secretary of State for Transport asking him to suspend the imminent abandonment of Queensbury Tunnel.
Telegraph & 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.
Yorkshire 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.
Ham & 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.
Lynn News
Council chiefs have voted to bring disused railways back into use as cycle and walking routes, bringing health benefits and reducing traffic congestion.
Huddersfield 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.



The Herald (Plymouth)
The Transport Secretary has ordered Great Western Railway, the franchise holder, to prepare for running regular scheduled train services to/from Okehampton.
Insider Media
North Bristol could be about to get a new railway station as part of the reopening of a disused spur.
Hertfordshire Mercury
Proposals to turn a disused railway in Bengeo into a path for cyclists and pedestrians are gaining hundreds of backers.
Eastern 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.
Place 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'.
The 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.
The 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.
Telegraph & Argus
The Conservative group on Bradford Council has thrown its weight behind a campaign to reopen Queensbury Tunnel as a cycle path.
Evesham 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.
Yorkshire 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.
Free 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.
Daily 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.
Pocklington 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.
Dudley 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.
The 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.
Eastern 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.
The 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.

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