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 29th December 2015
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Yorkshire Evening Post
Plans to breathe new life into a disused viaduct in Holbeck could take a step forward in the new year.
Louth Leader
A railway sign that stood proudly in North Thoresby has been returned to a site close to where it was originally located until the village station closed in 1970.
Wales Online
A Scoping Study into the possible reopening of Rhondda Tunnel - commissioned by the Welsh Government and carried out by Sustrans - has found “many of the vital ingredients for success are in place”.
The Press & Journal
Plans to turn a disused Highland railway station into a craft centre have been recommended for approval despite a number of objections.
The Westcountry
The former railhead at an old Royal Ordnance Factory could be reopened as part of plans to convert the site into a new enterprise zone.
Wales Online
The Rhondda Tunnel Society has received a £5,000 boost from a fund aimed at community groups which will be used to carry out a bat survey in the disused tunnel.
Loughborough Echo
The former Cavills Engineering Works, once a part of Charnwood Forest station, could be demolished after the local council received a development application.
Get Surrey
A draft neighbourhood plan for Cranleigh includes the potential for reopening a former railway as a transport link to Guildford.
The Westcountry
Investigations are continuing into a suspected arson attack at Donyatt Halt which resulted a restored wooden platform shelter being burnt to the ground.
Railway Gazette
Network Rail has awarded an alliancing contract covering the design and construction for Phase 2 of the East West Rail scheme which involves the reopening of a disused railway between Bletchley and Bicester.



Spalding Guardian
The conservation group dedicated to saving the old railway signal box at Deeping St James has been granted charitable status.
Shropshire Star
A Grade II listed former station in Ellesmere is up for sale as part of a 4.35-acre residential development site.
London SE1
Plans by the Department of Transport to turn disused railway arches below the former Waterloo Eurostar terminal into shops and restaurants have been approved by Lambeth Council.
Northamptonshire Telegraph
The first stretch of track has been laid in Irchester Country Park as part of a heritage project showcasing the route of an old railway which once transported iron ore from the former Wembley Pit quarry.
Hull Daily Mail
Contractors have unearthed old railway tracks in Humber Dock Street during a £25m road improvement project.
The Telegraph
A company director is poised to launch legal action after claiming his idea to open the Tube’s 'ghost stations' to the public has been 'stolen' from him by Transport for London.
Rail Technology Magazine
Transport for London will have to find £2.73m of unbudgeted funding before it can start works on the delayed Croxley rail link, using a disused railway alignment in Watford, after Hertfordshire County Council tried paying part of its share with wasteland valued at £1.



Pocklington Post
The official opening of the newly-renovated platform at Stamford Bridge's former station will be held on the 50th anniversary of its closure.
Evening Standard
An ambitious plan to create London’s first elevated green space, transforming Peckham's disused coal sidings, has moved closer with a £10,000 council grant.
Haverhill Echo
The end of the line has arrived for a disused railway bridge near Haverhill, having spanned a public footpath for more than 150 years.
Wales Online
Calls are being made for control of Rhondda Tunnel to be transferred to the Welsh Government so that decisions about its future can be made closer to the people it will affect.
Northern Echo
The Wensleydale Railway's ambitious plan to extend deep into the Yorkshire Dales have taken another step forward with the purchase of a bridge currently spanning the A1.
Express & Star
A Conservative think-tank has suggested that HS2 should be scrapped and its £50 billion cost spent on bringing old railway lines back into use.
Kirkintilloch Herald
Volunteers have continued the transformation of a disused village station, turning one of Milton of Campsie's platforms into a community asset.
Mix 96
Public consultation on plans to restore the East-West rail link through Buckinghamshire is ending in advance of an application being made for a Transport and Works order.
Stroud News & Journal
Plans to reopen the Bristol Road railway station in Stonehouse have been dealt a fresh blow with Network Rail refusing to consider the investment in its latest round of funding.
Cambrian News
Network Rail has come under fire for allowing the disused line between Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog to become festooned with debris and litter.



East Anglian Daily Times
Wivenhoe's disused engine shed, which dates back to 1902, has been gutted by fired.
City AM
London Mayor Boris Johnson has thrown his weight behind a project to turn disused railways in Peckham into an 'elevated urban park' to rival New York’s High Line.
Reports that an outline planning application could be submitted later this year for a new cross-city rail link under Liverpool - using the disused Wapping Tunnel - have been described by industry sources as premature.
Monmouthshire Beacon
A petition to create a cycle path on the disused line from Chepstow to Tintern is gathering momentum and the local council is looking favourably on the idea.
Bristol Post
Supporters of the Henbury Loop, using a disused line to create an orbital line around Bristol, urge planners not to discount the idea despite its poor business case.
Southern Daily Echo
A public meeting is planned by a new group campaigning for better public access to former railway lines around Winchester.
Isle of Man Today
Braddan Commissioners have spent £42,000 repairing a pathway laid on the former Douglas-Peel railway line, saying no major work has been done on it for 20 years.
BBC News
The return of train services to the Borders has given hope to other rail campaigners including those who want to see the lines to Levenmouth and St Andrews reopened.
The Guardian
Having waited 45 years to bring back the Waverley line, supporters are stressing the benefits of further rail development elsewhere in Scotland.
Plymouth Herald
Plans to transform Saltash's decrepit station building into a thriving community hub have been backed by the town's councillors who agree the move is long overdue.
Gloucester Citizen
A project will soon get under way to bring a neglected South Wales station to the Forest of Dean, as part of a heritage railway's £6million expansion.
Daily Mail
A heritage railway trust is urging their fellow enthusiasts to buy a £425,000 house so it can relay track on a disused section of line that runs through the back garden.



Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
The campaign to turn Queensbury's disused railway tunnel into a cycleway has been boosted after an engineer declares the project to be viable following an inspection.
The Stage
Brunelian railway tunnels under Bristol's Temple Meads Station, dating back 175 years, are to be transformed into a new performance space called the Lo-co Klub.
Carmarthen Journal
A proposed cycle track connecting Llandeilo with Carmarthen along a disused railway could rival Llanelli's Millennium Coastal Path, according to campaigners pushing for its construction.
Yorkshire Evening Post
The community campaign to create a city centre walkway from a disused railway viaduct is gaining traction.
Gloucester Citizen
A disused railway at Tidenham will play a part in Fear Fest, a three-week-long interactive 'scare' experience at the end of October.



Border Counties Advertizer
A new cycling initiative has been launched which could breathe life into the disused line between Llanfyllin and Oswestry.
Construction Enquirer
Arup has been appointed to undertake the outline design for the £60m first phase of Bristol's MetroWest project which will involve reopening 5km of previously disused railway by May 2019.
Accrington Observer
The pathway across a disused viaduct in Lancashire is set to reopen briefly, 15 years after it was blocked due to the foot and mouth crisis.
Western Morning News
A former Westcountry railway station which was transformed into a pair of luxurious holiday-let cottages is on the market for almost £550,000.
South Wales Evening Post
Plans to reopen Rhondda Tunnel and turn it into a cycle path have taken another step forward with the results of a safety inspection.
Herald Express
Hopes for a £20million project to reinstate the former line between Buckfastleigh and Ashburton have been dashed after Dartmoor planners approved a development plan which will encroach on the trackbed.
Hucknall Dispatch
A disused section of the Robin Hood line that has been out of use for more than 50 years is a step closer to reopening following announcements in the Budget.
Bristol Post
Campaigners have condemned a decision to drop plans for reinstatement of the disused Henbury loop line, needed to improve rail services around Bristol.
BBC News
Work has begun to turn one of Gloucestershire's disused railways back into a canal more than a century after it was built on the line of a waterway.
Wales Online
On the eve of the 125th anniversary of its opening, the society aiming to use Rhondda Tunnel as a cycle path has received confirmation that a feasibility study has been commissioned.
Work has been completed on a film that brings back to life Burnham-on-Sea's railway station in its Thirties' heyday.



North Somerset Times
A six-week consultation period will allow the public to comment on the proposed siting of Portishead's new station, as part of the reopening of the town's branch line.
Rochdale Online
A subway dating from 1889 is soon to reopen at Rochdale Station, creating a shorter access route to train and tram services from the Park and Ride car park.
BBC News
The new Borders Railway has reached another major milestone with its official transfer into the ownership of the ScotRail Alliance.
In Cumbria
A campaign to reopen a disused railway viaduct is edging closer to success despite plans to keep steel security fences that prevent access to it.
Local London
Demolition work has begun to untangle a mess of disused railway lines and bridges near Millwall as part of the £6.5bn Thameslink programme.
Heart Torbay
A final appeal is being made to planners at Dartmoor National Park to think about the long term future of the disused railway at Ashburton which campaigners want to restore.



Wales Online
Official pictures showing the inside of the Rhondda Tunnel have been released following the first organised inspection of the structure in more than 40 years.
Leek Post & Times
Trains could be running into Leek once again if plans put forward to build houses near the town are given approval.
South Wales Evening Post
A feasibility study on plans to create a cycle path through the disused Rhondda Tunnel will be carried out by the Welsh Government.



Telegraph & Argus (Bradford)
Imminent work to drain Queensbury's flooded railway tunnel could be the first stage of an ambitious project to create a new underground cycleway.
Wales Online
The group behind plans to reopen Wales’ longest disused railway tunnel have been buoyed by encouraging words following the first inspection of the tunnel in more than 40 years.
BBC News
Engineers on the Thameslink Programme have discovered a south London "ghost" station which only served passengers from 1902 to 1915 before shutting for good.
Insider Media
Green services provider Glendale has completed a £120,000 clearance programme that will allow 3.3 miles of disused railway to reopen, connecting Portishead and Bristol.
Coastal Scene
Campaigners hoping to rebuild Southwold Station have hit out at a two-year council delay on whether or not to approve their plans.
Belfast Telegraph
Saintfield's former station, which has been lovingly transformed into a perfect family home, has gone on the market for £750,000.
Leicester Mercury
An old railway signal box, which survived for the best part of a century at a Leicestershire colliery, has been torched by vandals at a railway museum.
Daventry Express
Residents have won a stay of execution for the old Great Central station yard at Woodford Halse which had been put up for auction and subsequent development.



STV Dundee
A new study has found Dundee's Law Tunnel to be in good condition, paving the way for a ventilation pipe to be installed in an effort to improve air quality.
Matlock Mercury
Proposals to build a cycle loop around the Peak District have been criticised for threatening rare animal habitats, as well as long-running plans to reopen a disused railway.
BBC News
Fritchley Tunnel, believed to be the world's oldest railway tunnel dating from 1793, has been scheduled as an ancient monument.
Wales Online
After an announcement that Rhondda Tunnel would be inspected for the first time in 30 years, the Welsh Assembly Minister for Economy, Science & Transport in to meet the campaign group hoping to reopen it as a cycle path.
Evening Times (Glasgow)
The disused Westburn Viaduct over the Clyde near Glasgow has been transformed thanks to a dramatic lighting scheme.
BBC News
A Birmingham canal has reopened after the completion of repairs to fix a leak into a disused railway tunnel.
Scunthorpe Telegraph
Torksey's historic viaduct over the River Trent is to host a permissive path after West Lindsey District Council granted the scheme planning permission.
Ham & High
Disused railway tunnels along the Highgate section of the Parkland Walk Nature Reserve could be opened up to create a cycle route.
Evesham Journal
Worcester could be set for its own High Line - making use of a disused viaduct - under a radical £12 million plan to open up part of the city.
Shropshire Star
A campaign to prevent building work from taking place on part of the old line which once linked Shropshire with Staffordshire is building a head of steam.



BBC News
The historic railway works at Wolverton in Buckinghamshire are set to be knocked down to make way for 300 new homes.
Lancaster Guardian
A prestigious national award for the £1 million restoration of the historic Crook O’Lune (East) Viaduct has been marked with a plaque.
Daily Post (North Wales)
An historic railway building in Bangor could be bulldozed to make way for two new blocks of flats.
Birmingham Mail
A bid to rescue fish from a canal is due to be launched as engineers investigate a leak into a Disused railway tunnel.
Shropshire Star
It was 1964 when main line services ended on the Dee Valley line as part of the Beeching cuts, but this weekend will see trains start operating again to the new terminus at Corwen.
South Wales Evening Post
A grassroots campaign to bring local regeneration by relinking two South Wales valleys through a disused railway tunnel has been backed by Plaid Cymru members in the Welsh Assembly.
Advertiser & Review
The East West Rail scheme is a major project to promote economic growth by establishing a strategic railway that will ultimately connect East Anglia with Central, Southern and Western England.
Bucks Free Press
Controversial plans to build more than 20 homes on the old railway line between Bourne End and High Wycombe have been dismissed by planning officials.
Nottingham Post
Plans are on track to turn a 19th century viaduct in the Nottinghamshire countryside into a modern cycle and walking path.
Northern Echo
Work on the first stage of a £2 million project to turn an old Teesdale railway line into a walking route is finally underway.
The Guardian
Dubbed the London Underline, a congestion-busting idea has been mooted to convert the capital's abandoned tube tunnels into subterranean cycleways.
Rochdale Online
A disused subway into Rochdale Station, blessed with wonderful architecture, is being revamped to create a new access route.



BBC News
A West Midlands railway line which has been closed to passengers for 50 years could be reopened in a £20 million scheme.
Matlock Mercury
Planning chiefs are to decide whether to install a multi–user path along sections of the Midland's former main line through the Peak District, including Haddon Tunnel.
Ripon Gazette
A public inquiry is being launched into the blocking of a footpath over Tadcaster Viaduct that has been regularly used by walkers, cyclists and schoolchildren for many years.
Liverpool Echo
A plan to reopen Liverpool's St James Station, which has been disused for almost a century, will be considered during the next financial year.
Bristol Post
A replica of the original Victorian sign that stood outside the top station of the Clifton Rocks Railway has been installed by the volunteers who look after it.
Bristol Post
Work is soon to start on clearing vegetation along the disused section of the line to Portishead as part of multi-million pound plans to get trains serving the town again by 2019.
Norwich Evening News
A study into rail service improvements has suggested the reintroduction of hourly trains between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft via a disused curve.
Halesowen News
Plans for a mile-long tram route in Dudley could scupper any chance of reintroducing trains on the mothballed Black County Line.
London Evening Standard
A disused railway track in Peckham could be turned into London’s first elevated green space under plans to create a version of New York's High Line.
Wales Online
Ambitious plans are developing to reopen Wales’ longest tunnel for tourism purposes as its owner prepares to inspect the structure for the first time in years.

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