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 11th April 2015
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Greener Leith
A new report has put a £4.8m price tag on a proposal for a new ‘raised park’ that could be built on 550m of disused railway in Leith.
Now Here This
The disused Rickett coal sidings, alongside the existing Queens Road Peckham to Peckham Rye railway, could be turned into a 1km linear park similar to one in New York.
Nottingham Post
Plans to spend £20,000 on a study into the extension of Nottingham's tram network to Kimberley look set to be approved. The proposed route would use the trackbed of a disused railway.
Wales Online
Campaigners have expressed disappointment as Wales' new draft National Transport Plan defers proposed new railway stations including four on the disused Llantrisant-Beddau line.
BBC News
The longest disused tunnel in Wales could be dug out and reopened to become a tourist attraction.
Teesdale Mercury
Work is expected to take place this winter on the first stages of a £2 million walking route along an old railway in Teesdale.
Express & Star
A light rail service taking train passengers on a disused railway between Dudley and Sandwell could be opened within five years under a £20 million flagship project.



Fleetwood Weekly News
A community campaign to help revive the disused railway to Fleetwood – one sleeper at a time – has been launched.
Daily Mail
A disused railway linesman's hut in Scotland has gone on sale for £10,000.
Edinburgh Evening News
Mothballed stations are set to reopen after more than half a century thanks to obligations written into the new ScotRail franchise.
Western Morning News
The disused Bere Alston-Tavistock railway is a step closer to being reinstated after Devon County Council submitted an environmental study to the Planning Inspectorate.
Rossendale Free Press
Transport charity Sustrans has submitted an application to Rossendale Council’s planning committee to reopen the disused Lumb Valley Viaduct as a cycle way.
Burton Mail
A ceremony has taken place to mark 120 years since the first train passed through the former Rolleston Station.
Cycling Weekly
Five years after it was first proposed, a plan for a cycle path along the Wye Valley's disused railway is gathering further support.



South Wales Argus
A historic railway station that was to get a new lease of life at one of the world’s leading museums is still in storage two years after it was dismantled.
BBC News
A disused railway station could be reopened for freight services into mid Wales under plans being considered by Ceredigion Council.
Worcester News
Could Worcester's disused viaduct become a new 'green' path for cycling and pedestrians?
BBC News
Work has started to remove the disused signal box in Deeping St James after which it will be placed in storage until a new site can be found for it.
Halifax Courier
Residents in West Vale and Greetland have recaptured the spirit of the Grand Depart by gathering on West Vale Viaduct to open a new cycle way.
The Scotsman
A ceremony has been held at Shawfair Station to mark the official start of track laying on the £353 million Borders Railway, occupying the trackbed of the former Waverley line.
Lancashire Telegraph
Campaigners hoping to reopen the Colne-Skipton railway are celebrating another step forward as Lancashire County Council chiefs meet with counterparts from North Yorkshire to discuss the idea.



Racecar Engineering
A top secret project to create the ultimate aerodynamic test facility through the disused Catesby Tunnel has been revealed.
Sleaford Target
A disused railway has been brought back into service to reduce the number of trains travelling through Sleaford.
The Independent
Transport for London is planning to invite companies to bid to convert abandoned tube stations and tunnels into tourist attractions including hotels, shops and museums.
News North Wales
The old railway line through Welshpool is set to be "brought back to life" by a walking tour through the town connecting 12 information boards.
Southern Reporter
A new multi-use path between Lyne Station and Peebles is to be created, bringing Neidpath tunnel and viaduct back into use.
The Cornishman
The £811,000 project to provide safer access to Hayle Station has seen an existing footpath replaced and the disused harbour branch transformed into a cycleway.



Bolton News
The final stage of a new cycle path over Burnden and Darcy Lever viaducts has received approval from local councillors.
News & Star (Carlisle)
Success seems ever more likely for a hard-fought campaign to reopen the disused Eden Viaduct in Carlisle following positive noises from the Highways Agency.
Bucks Free Press
Concerned residents have reacted angrily to plans which could see 22 homes built on the former railway linking Bourne End to High Wycombe.
Oxford Mail
The Prime Minister has expressed support for a group wanting an updated feasibility study into the reopening of the line between Witney and Oxford.
Advertiser & Review
The relaid East West Rail route could eventually extend from coast to coast, a new report suggests.
Bristol Post
Councillors have earmarked £50,000 towards the cost of consultants who will draw up a business case for a level crossing as part of the proposed reopening of the Portishead line.
BBC News
An artwork symbolising one of Northamptonshire's disused railway lines - the former Nene Valley line between Northampton and Peterborough - is now towering over Stanwick Lakes.
News & Star (Carlisle)
A long-running campaign to get Carlisle's disused Eden Viaduct reopened has reached the desk of a senior Government figure.
The Rail Engineer
How a Ministerial visit to Queensbury Tunnel could bring salvation from the threat of concrete infilling.
Daily Mail
A stunning collection of converted railway stations and crossing keeper's cottages are on sale across the country with prices as low as £180,000.
Borders Railway
The Borders Railway project has reached another major construction milestone after the first section of concrete slab track was laid in the disused Bowshank Tunnel.
Northern Echo
Hopes of turning an old railway coach into a community centre at Leeming Bar are pressing ahead.
Shropshire Live
The National Trust has announced plans for two new cycle routes, taking riders through beautiful Shropshire countryside along former railway lines.



Nottingham Post
A study into the potential of Nottingham’s tram network being extending to Kimberley - along a disused railway - is to be launched.
Work to renovate a Victorian railway tunnel in east London has been completed as it prepares to become part of the Crossrail network.
Accrington Observer
Campaigners fighting to reopen the Martholme Viaduct footpath in Lancashire have been warned they have no legal basis or County Council backing.
Plymouth Herald
A reopened railway connecting Tavistock to Plymouth has moved a step closer after councillors backed further development of the £33 million line.
Bristol Post
Councillors are urging transport chiefs to rebuild Portishead's railway station on the original site in the centre of the town, claiming it remains the best option.
South Wales Argus
Calls for a cycle path to be built from Chepstow to Tintern along the disused railway are gathering pace with an online petition which has attracted over 1,800 signatories in two months.
Somerset County Gazette
A disused railway bridge is to be taken down and replaced by a section of new road.



Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A government minister is to visit Queensbury to hear about ambitious plans to reopen a Victorian railway tunnel as a cycleway.
East Anglian Daily Times
The campaign to reinstate the Colchester-Cambridge line continues to gather pace with claims that authorities are “very much in favour” of part of the project.
Witney Gazette
Campaigners for better transport links in West Oxfordshire have walked part of the former Witney railway line to highlight their campaign for a study into its reopening.
Newbury Today
A pressure group, campaigning for the restoration of disused, hyper-local rail lines to reduce traffic congestion, is holding a public meeting in Newbury.
News & Star (Cumbria)
Calls to reopen the Penrith-Keswick line have suffered another setback with the Government stating that it is not a priority for the future.
Lancashire Evening Post
Plans have been tabled for the first phase of a tram line into Preston which could involve reopening the former railway through the Deepdale tunnels.
Lancashire Telegraph
A petition to reopen Lancashire's Grade II listed Martholme Viaduct has been launched, 13 years after the structure was blocked off.



The Herald (Plymouth)
A tired and neglected railway bridge looks set for a new lease of life as work begins on giving it a new purpose.
The Oxford Student
Police have been accused of a breach of academic liberty after an Oxford academic was arrested for breaking into a disused railway tunnels for his PhD research.
BBC News
The 14-mile Stafford-Newport cycle path, costing £2 million and occupying a disused railway trackbed, will be completed later this year, a decade after work on it started.
Sedgemoor District Council has approved a planning application to install a set of old buffers in Pier Street, where the town's former railway line used to end.
South Wales Argus
A proposed scheme to build a cycle path along the disused Wye Valley Railway could still happen more than three years after it was put on hold.
Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A Government transport minister has pledged to visit the disused Queensbury Tunnel which campaigners hope could become a cycleway.
Nottingham Post
The future of Popham Street's imposing railway arches is uncertain after council officers decided to demolish the buildings that surround them in a bid to combat arson.
Lancashire Evening Post
A rubbish hotspot on a disused railway line has been given a spruce up thanks to volunteers from Network Rail and other local organisations.
Bristol Post
Investigations are due to be carried out on the three-mile section of disused line between Pill Junction and Portishead, exactly 50 years since the last passenger train ran along it.



Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A community heritage group with bold ambitions for the regeneration of Queensbury is to hold its first public meeting in a bid to start pushing its plans forward which include reopening a disused tunnel.
BBC News
Scruton Station, which was lost under trees and brambles following its closure 60 years ago, has been reopened thanks to a £180,000 restoration.
Nottingham Post
Network Rail plans to knock down the disused signal box at Netherfield Station as it modernises the rail network across the UK.
A group of historians have appealed for help in finalising a unique project that celebrates Burnham-on-Sea's railway heritage.
BBC News
Five more traditional signal boxes are set to become forgotten relics as work to bring in new technology closes the Lincoln to Spalding line.
Newham Recorder
A Victorian railway tunnel, disused since 2006, is being brought back into use for Crossrail and work is taking place to deepen, strengthen and widen the structure.
BBC News
A disused railway in Wolverhampton is being converted into a new cycle route and footpath.



East Anglian Daily Times
Most people would hesitate before snapping up a home alongside a railway line but no trains have stopped at Long Melford since March 1967.
Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A campaign to reopen the crumbling Queensbury Tunnel for cyclists has stepped up a gear and hopes that it gets a boost when Yorkshire goes cycle crazy for the Tour De France.
Shields Gazette
Communities in South Tyneside could be linked up by the future Metro system under ambitions plans involving reuse of the Leamside line.
Bath Chronicle
Sustrans has reopened a former railway bridge over the Bath-Bristol main line, allowing walkers and cyclists on the Two Tunnels path to cross the tracks in safety.
Darlington & Stockton Times
A community group restoring Aysgarth Station has received a profile boost from a York photographer who was crowned the winner of a competition.
Yorkshire Evening Post
Hopes of turning a historic Leeds viaduct into the ultimate symbol of the city’s capital-of-connectivity ambitions could soon be moving forward.
Buxton Advertiser
Campaigners have launched an online petition calling for the reopening of the former Midland line between Buxton, Bakewell and Matlock.



International Business Times
An abandoned London Underground station used as a World War II command centre has been sold for £53 million, to an anonymous buyer.
BBC News
Plans for a metro-style train system in Cardiff could see a transport corridor developed along the old line from Fairwater to Creigiau.
Derby Telegraph
Fritchley's disused railway tunnel, part of the Butterley Gangroad and dating back to 1793, has been officially recognised as the oldest in the world.
BBC News
Europe's longest underground cycleway could be built in West Yorkshire if campaigners succeed in their aim to get an abandoned railway tunnel converted into a cycle path.
St Helens Reporter
Plans to transform an overgrown railway trackbed running from the Dream statue into a cycle path have been given the green light.
Mid Sussex Times
Plans are on track for steam trains to roll regularly into Haywards Heath railway station for the first time since the 1960s, although not for ten years or so yet.
Batley & Birstall News
Plans to create a dedicated walking and cycling route along the former line to Birstall have been the green light.
Daily Mail
A Dartmoor man who lives in Brentor's old railway station fears the spectre of the line's possible reopening following the Dawlish collapse could hit the sale of his home.
The Press (York)
The restoration of a 60-year-old railway bridge is underway with plans for its makeover to be unveiled later this year.
BBC News
Thirty railway bridges, viaducts and tunnel portals have been listed to help preserve them ahead of electrification of the Midland Main Line.
Bolton News
A new walking and cycling route - possibly incorporating the eye-catching Darcy Lever Viaduct - will be created along the disused Bolton to Bury railway, after councillors gave plans the green light.
Bolton News
Business leaders are pushing for a road and rail tunnel under the Pennines as a “radical solution” to the longstanding problems travelling from Bolton to South Yorkshire.
BBC News
Network Rail has revealed the disused line through Tavistock would be its preferred choice of an alternative to the storm-battered railway line at Dawlish.
Yorkshire Evening Post
Following 20 years of ambitious plans, recession-hit schemes and unmet goals, south Leeds residents are bidding to bring Farnley Viaduct back to life
BBC News
With the main line through Dawlish cut by raging seas, could two disused railways further inland offer a solution?



Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
A derelict railway tunnel under Queensbury, blocked for decades, could soon become one of the longest underground cycleways in Europe, linking Halifax to Bradford.
Evening Times (Glasgow)
Glasgow City Council has been urged to take swift action to address subsidence problems possibly caused by a disused railway tunnel.
Coventry Telegraph
Chinese investors are backing plans to reopen an old railway line which would link Coventry and Warwickshire to HS2.
Nottingham Post
Plans to extend Nottingham's tram network to Kimberley, via disused railways, are rolling forwards.
BBC News
Campaigners lobbying to reopen the disused railway between York and Beverley have criticised its omission from a new 20-year development plan.
Stourbridge News
A former railway goods shed in Lye is to get a new lease of life as a waste transfer station.
Border Counties Advertiser
Volunteers have been rejuvenating the old railway between Gobowen and Oswestry and, thanks to their dedicated work, the dream of reopening is becoming a reality.
Daily Post (North Wales)
Rail enthusiasts are keen to reopen the Bangor-Caernarfon line which was closed in 1972.
Bristol Post
Work to create a new public footpath along the route of a now defunct railway line between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare could start in the spring.

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