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 21st May 2018
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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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