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 6th April 2012
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Lancashire Telegraph
Plans have been unveiled for two new cycle links - one using a disused railway trackbed - which council chiefs hope will encourage people in a West Craven town to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
BBC News
A 19th Century viaduct in Cornwall is to be closed for two weeks for an in-depth assessment and structural survey, according to Cornwall Council.
Pressure to safeguard trackbed
The Citizen (Burnley)
Pressure is mounting on Lancashire County Council to accept responsibility for the disused railway line between Colne and Skipton so it can be reopened.
Express & Star
A railway turntable manufactured in the Black Country has been dug up in Israel, where it is set to become a centrepiece at a museum.
This is Bristol
A busy commuter road in Bristol will remain closed until next summer due to landslip problems created by a disused railway tunnel.
This is South Devon
Work has started on the first stage of a recreational trail along the old railway line from Bovey Tracey.



This is Staffordshire
350 passengers were aboard the first train to travel the former line between Leekbrook and Cauldon which is reopening 75 years after its axe first fell.
BBC News
A disused railway bridge at a Norfolk port may be beyond repair, an in-depth study has found.
The News (Portsmouth)
The Hayling Billy Line, which opened in 1867 to connect Havant to Hayling Island, will be given the special designation of a nature reserve by Hampshire County Council.
This is Gloucestershire
A new five-mile cycle path along the Wye Valley has moved a step closer to fruition after Forest of Dean councillors voted to support it.
Bolton News
A disused cutting is to get a makeover after members of the public were asked to vote on five eyesores in Bolton's Community Payback scheme.
Bath Chronicle
Rail chiefs have applied for planning permission to safeguard the 170-year-old former Twerton Station, designed by Brunel, which has been targeted by squatters.



Border Telegraph
Advanced works for the reopening of the Borders Railway will be completed this week with the demolition of a bridge at Cowbraehill, north of Stow.
This is Exeter
Work has started on a key section of the Exe Estuary Trail, along an old railway, to provide the "missing link" on the route between Exeter and Exmouth.
Free Press
The 50th anniversary of the Severn Railway Bridge disaster will be commemorated by an exhibition.
Supporters of a planned £750,000 cycle path using the disused railway through the Wye Valley have set up a group to highlight the benefits of the proposed scheme.
BBC News
An inspection of a disused railway bridge in Great Yarmouth, which has become a town landmark, is taking place to find out the costs of restoring it.
BBC News
Transport chiefs say they still want to reopen Belmont Viaduct in Durham despite their original plans falling through.
Daily Mail
A railway fanatic has dismantled Tetbury's former signal box and transported it 150 miles to be rebuilt in his Derbyshire garden.



Edinburgh Evening News
A disused station is to be given a new lease of life by an enthusiast who has saved it from dilapidation.
BBC News
Network Rail has agreed to pay for a final assessment of the plan to reinstate the Todmorden Curve, allowing trains from Burnley to head into Manchester.
Leamington Today
A project to build a foot and cycle path along the disused line connecting Kenilworth and Berkswell have survived council cutbacks for the time being.
Dunstable Today
The first of six disused railway bridges will be demolished next week as construction work on the busway linking Luton and Dunstable moves up a gear.
BBC News
A campaign to get the disused railway line between east Lancashire and North Yorkshire reopened remains on track, its backers have said.
Thorne & District Gazette
Roads are to close as Doncaster Council demolishes two old railway bridges near Sykehouse.
Lancashire Evening News
Part of the landmark Vicars Bridge could be pulled down if plans are given the go-ahead by Preston Council.
This is Leicester
Leicester Civic Society has created a plaque to mark the city's bowstring bridge at Braunstone Gate which was demolished in December.
Lancashire Evening News
Work to bring trams back to Preston for the first time in 60 years, using part of the disused Longridge branch, is due to start this week.
News & Star (Carlisle)
Campaigners who want to reopen Carlisle's disused Eden Viaduct as a cycle and footpath are increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress.
Manchester Evening News
Councillors have agreed a plan for a footpath and cycleway is to be built between Montrose and the Northwater Viaduct along a disused railway line.
Crossrail has announced the shortlist for the refurbishment of the disused Connaught Tunnel.
Hunts Post 24
BAM Nuttall, contractor for a guided busway along a disused railway line, can expect a £45 million bill from Cambridgeshire County Council that could take years to collect through the High Court.



Manchester Evening News
A controversial £76 million guided busway plan using a disused railway trackbed in Greater Manchester has been put on hold.
Press & Journal
Plans for a new footpath and cycleway connecting north Angus to Aberdeenshire have been unveiled.
South Wales Argus
A new walking and cycling path along a former railway trackbed could be created between Chepstow and Tintern if a planning application gets the go ahead.
Southern Reporter (Borders)
What is thought to be Britain's only surviving wooden railway footbridge still in its original locationwill be the subject of a special open day in the Borders this weekend.
Daily Post (North Wales)
Plans to extend the Llangollen railway to Corwen along a disused trackbed look set to disintegrate if action is not taken promptly and red tape cut through.
Border Counties Advertiser
An appeal has so far raised over £2,000 towards the restoration of Oswesrty Station and work has started on the platform.
Dinting sidings up for auction
Nine acres of former railway yard and museum, including the former station house and goods shed, will be sold by auction of 20th September.
The News (Portsmouth)
Havant's Grade II-listed disused signal box may be lost unless urgent support is offered to restore it.
BBC News
The 130-year-old Friargate bridge in Derby faces ruin if it is not the subject of a refurbishment project.
North-West Evening Mail
Sandstone railways buildings which experts says are a "significant part of Barrow's history" are about to be demolished.



BBC News
Campaigners have won the right to an appeal against the building of a £20 million rapid bus transit route in Hampshire, along a disused railway trackbed.
Lakeland Echo
The Keswick Railway Path is getting a boost thanks to new panels revealing a wealth of history about its operational life and wildlife.
Westmorland Gazette
A Grade II listed viaduct is in urgent need of repair after suffering serious frost damage during the unusually hard winter.
North West Evening Mail
Farmers and landholders have successfully opposed plans for a 10-mile walking and cycling trail that would have passed through their land along an old railway trackbed.
BBC News
Two disused railway tunnels near Bath have been handed over to the cycling charity Sustrans.
Hereford Times
Bromyard Town Council has welcomed plans to convert the disused railway from Worcester across the Welsh border into a cycle route.
This is Bath
Guided walks are being organised through a mile-long disused railway tunnel which will be at the heart of Bath's four-mile Two Tunnels Greenway.
NW Reg Dev Agency
The £1.4 million Padiham Greenway, running along a former railway line through the centre of Padiham, has been unveiled.
Northumberland Gazette
Ambitious plans to re-establish a railway line between Alnwick and Alnmouth are being recommended for approval, 42 years after the last train blew its whistle.
The News (Portsmouth)
Hampshire councillors took just ten minutes to unanimously reject an application to have land along the disused Fareham to Gosport railway line designated as a village green.



Malvern Gazette
An ambitious plan to put Bromyard at the centre of a cycle trail using disused railways to cut across north Herefordshire has received the backing of the town council.
Dewsbury Reporter
47 years after it closed, Earlsheaton Station and the tunnel leading to it could become part of a new rambling route from Dewsbury to Ossett.
Transport Scotland
Delivery of the Borders Railway has moved a step closer as Transport Scotland announced its intention to invite three organisations to tender for the contract.
BBC News
An appeal against a decision to allow a rapid bus route to be built on a disused railway line in Hampshire has been thrown out by the Court of Appeal.
Yorkshire Post
A visitor centre could be created at Millers Dale Station on the Monsal Trail if a funding bid for up to £3 million is successful.
Fledborough Viaduct, spanning the River Trent, has opened for walkers and cyclists, forming part of a route from Clumber Park to Lincoln.
This is Bath
A project to restore Combe Down and Devonshire tunnels for use by cyclists has been praised by a London-based think tank.



England's NorthWest
Plans to redevelop Manchester Mayfield Station could include office space for more than 5,000 civil servants - a project being described as 'Whitehall of the North'.
Kent News
Cyclepaths, footpaths and an enlarged beach feature in new plans for Folkestone harbour, with the railway viaduct reopened as a 'green walkway'.
Wigan Today
A heritage group, campaigning to turn Haigh Viaduct into a footpath, has had its hopes dashed by Wigan Council on cost grounds.
News & Star
The historic Eden (Waverley) Viaduct in Carlisle is a step closer to reopening after city councillors promised to push ahead with discussions to buy it from BRB(R).
News & Star
Campaigners calling for Waverley Viaduct to be reopened to the public will address the council next week, keen to see it made safe for pedestrians and cyclists.



BBC News
Bats are to be given a new home in a redundant railway tunnel on a cycle track in Caernarfon.
Westmorland Gazette
A disused Cumbrian trackbed is to be given a new lease of life as a wheelchair-friendly footpath.
This is Somerset
Work on a cycle path linking Midsomer Norton and Radstock will begin this summer after an agreement was signed by Sustrans and Bath & North East Somerset Council.
News & Star (Cumbria)
The Liberal Democrats have vowed to reopen the Penrith-Keswick and Carlisle-Galashiels lines if the party comes to power.
East Riding Mail
Railway enthusiasts want to breathe new life into a section of the disused Driffield-Malton line on which no trains have run for more than 50 years.



Wales Online
Disused tunnels that criss-cross the South Wales Valleys should be reopened to unite communities and unleash a new era of carbon-free travel, according to a green transport campaigner.
Lancashire Evening Post
Plans to run a tram demonstration along part of the disused Longridge line could be on the move within a month according to the scheme's leaders.
Spenborough Guardian
The worst winter in 30 years has delayed the reopening of the Spen Valley Greenway - a footpath laid on the trackbed of a disused railway - until later this year.
This is Gloucestershire
Network Rail is considering reopening a disused line running from Cheltenham to Stratford-on-Avon.
Work starts on Two Tunnels
Bath Chronicle
Work has finally begun on a £1.9 million scheme to create a new four-mile cycling and walking route through Combe Down and Devonshire tunnels to the south of Bath.
BBC News
The project to reopen the railway between Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders has officially started.
BBC News
Whitstable residents are being asked for their views on bridge designs for the Crab & Winkle cycle path which will follow the disused Canterbury to Whitstable railway.
This is Lincolnshire
An anti-social behaviour hotspot under a disused Lincoln railway bridge could be transformed into the starting point for a new cycle track.



Gazette & Herald
A proposal to build a cycle path along the old Malmesbury to Dauntsey railway line has been resurrected as funding for the project is now available.
This is Plymouth
Countryside campaigners have called for a feasibility study to be carried out into reopening the former Southern Railway route from Exeter to Plymouth.
Wilts & Gloucs Standard
A project that could see a cycle track built along the former Malmesbury to Dauntsey railway line has been revived.
This is South Devon
MPs want to see the former railway between Paignton and Brixham reopened but have been told they haven't a 'hope in hell' of it happening.
Kenilworth Weekly News
Plans for a bridge forming part of a major footpath and bicycle track along a disused railway could get the go-ahead next week.
This is Bath
Council officials are about to sign the paperwork which will allow work to start on the £1.9 million Two Tunnels path, involving a pair of disused tunnels to the south of Bath.
The News (Portsmouth)
A bid to block a £20m bus route along a disused railway by getting key areas of land designated as village greens could go before a public inquiry.
Whitstable's cyclists will soon be able to enjoy a traffic-free route down a disused trackbed after the project was granted planning permission by Kent County Council.
Southern Daily Echo
Dozens of villagers have attended a public exhibition on plans to transform a former railway station in Sutton Scotney.



Get Surrey
The high costs involved in reopening the old Cranleigh-Guildford railway are likely to cause Waverley Borough Council not to support any further investigation work into its revival.
Cyclists are being urged to take part in a show of support for the Two Tunnels project which has reached a crucial point in its approval process.
Pendle Today
How closure an important trans-Pennine rail link affected the community it served.
Walkers, cyclists and horseriders will be able to use a disused railway trackbed near the North York Moors national park after ramblers won a long-running legal battle.
This is Bath
The lights in two old railway tunnels which will be at the heart of a new cycle path will have to be switched off for four hours each night to protect bats.
A 'party on the path' is being held this weekend to celebrate the opening of a new cycleway in Dorset, along the route of the disused Bridport branch.
Hexham Courant
An abandoned railway tunnel near Corbridge, which opened in 1834 on the Newcastle to Carlisle line, could soon be infilled and sealed at a cost of £450,000.
Oxford Mail
Developers are determined to demolish the former Blenheim & Woodstock railway station despite having two planning applications refused.
BBC News
Councillors and business people hoping to get Wellington railway station reopened have had a fact-finding tour of the former station site.
Gloucestershire Gazette
The wheels are still in motion to create an off-road cycleway between Uley, Dursley and Cam - along a disused trackbed - but the plans could take several more years to complete.
Health Insurance Bulletin
Discussions are continuing over a new development at Wellington Hospital in London which could see an expansion into the disused Lords Tunnel.

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