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 20th May 2017
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The Scotsman
A derelict platform in the bowels of Glasgow Central Station is to be restored to its heyday to enhance popular behind-the-scenes tours of the complex.
Eastern Daily Press
The industrial past of a former Norfolk railway line is to be brought back to life, having served as an important link between Norwich and the Midlands for more than 100 years.
Sheffield Telegraph
Goldthorpe Railway Environmental Improvement Project is to benefit from a grant of £40,000 which will help to turn a former trackbed - frequently blighted by fly-tipping - into a community space.
Wales Online
A book has been published by Stephen Mackey whose childhood adventures in Rhondda Tunnel inspired the ongoing campaign to reopen the structure.
Oxfordshire Guardian
A petition calling for the reinstatement of the disused railway between Witney and Oxford - first put forward by the Green Party - has gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
Place North West
The Historical Railways Estate has applied for planning permission and listed building consent to carry out a programme of repairs and clean-up works on Castlefield Viaduct, one of Manchester’s most recognisable heritage structures.
Telegraph & Argus
The group working to save the disused Queensbury Tunnel from abandonment and turn it into a cycle path has launched an ePetition to demonstrate public support for the idea.
The Press (York)
A lengthy wrangle over a footpath providing access to Tadcaster Viaduct has ended in defeat for County Council officials and rights-of-way campaigners.



Wilts & Gloucs Standard
A cycle path that runs from the site of Tetbury's old station will be extended following an agreement to route it along a privately-owned section of disused railway.
Liverpool Echo
A buried railway bridge - blessed with ornate ironwork - has been unearthed as part of a major road scheme in Liverpool.
The Courier
A major festival will offer an insight into the coming of the steam age to Strathearn and the stunning impact railways had on local towns and villages.
The Transport Secretary has confirmed the Government’s commitment to reopen 11 miles of disused railway between Bletchley and Claydon Junction as part of a strategic east-west link.
Wilts & Gloucs Standard
A campaign group pushing for a new transport hub at Cirencester's old railway station has welcomed support from a Cotswold MP who says he is ‘appalled’ by the town’s bus facilities.
The Star
Plans have been revealed to transform an eyesore former railway cutting - plagued by litter and fly-tipped furniture for decades - into a beauty spot.
Larne Times
Northern Ireland's Infrastructure Minister has allocated £8,000 to Mid and East Antrim Council to take forward plans to develop local greenway paths, many of which will occupy former railway lines.
Lancashire Evening Post
After years of stalling, Preston’s tram plans could finally move forward after Council officers recommended a pilot scheme on a section of disused railway.



Yorkshire Post
Ambitious plans to transform one of Leeds' disused railway viaducts into a public park are set to be showcased. Under the scheme the viaduct’s arches would provide new commercial space for shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
Halifax Courier
A disused railway tunnel under Queensbury, which a campaign group is hoping to reopen as a cycle path, has been designated as a Historical Engineering Work by the Institution of Civil Engineers.
BBC News
Converting the disused Queensbury railway tunnel into an underground cycleway could cost a tenth of official estimates, according to campaigners.
Peeblesshire News
Organisers have hailed as a success the first ever Tweed Valley Tunnel Run which passed through a specially-illuminated Neidpath Tunnel.
Londonderry Sentinel
The Grade II listed Old Waterside Station has been confirmed as the site of Londonderry’s new transport hub after it was confirmed as the public’s preferred location as part of a consultation process.



Northern Echo
Volunteers and staff at Richmond's old railway station are reeling after lead on the roof was targeted by thieves, but say they were lucky to escape major water damage.
BBC News
Work to clear an eight-mile stretch of railway between Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog is set to start, with a view to volunteers eventually reopening the line.
BBC News
Proposals to build a 600-mile network of paths through Northern Ireland's rural landscape - much of it along disused railways - looks set to receive political support.
Ipswich Star
A severely-damaged Victorian goods shed, which was wrecked in a fierce blaze, has been demolished due to the risk it would have collapsed onto a busy railway line.
Oxfordshire Guardian
A petition in support of reinstating the railway between Witney and Oxford is gaining traction as it pushes towards it 1,000-signature target.
Bolton News
A disused railway cutting at the centre of a long-running planning row is, for the time being, safe from developers after Bolton Council threw out an application to fill it in.
Belfast Media Group
Funding has been secured for the opening of eight disused railway arches in Belfast - known as the Lanyon Tunnels - for use as commercial properties and a base for community-oriented projects.
Hereford Times
Campaigners hope that trams could take traffic away from the centre of Hereford within three years by using a disused railway line to the south of the city.



Dumfries & Galloway 24
Studies into extending the Borders Railway towards Carlisle will look at an option of bringing the route through Langholm and Eskdale.
Liverpool Echo
Work to replace an old railway bridge that carries a busy road into Liverpool are making progress as part of a £32 million project to improve links to the docks.
Wales Online
There could soon be light at both ends of Rhondda Tunnel after the local council granted a licence to the society hoping to reopen it as a tourist attraction.
Telegraph & Argus
A former station building at Windhill near Bradford could be demolished if plans for a new housing development go ahead.
South Wales Evening Post
A new £300,000 cycle path, running along a section of former railway, has been officially opened in Carmarthenshire, boosting links between Pembrey and Kidwelly.
Gloucestershire Live
A date has been set for the completion of a new station at Broadway, as part of an extension to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
Wales Online
The Rhondda Tunnel Society has undertaken a survey which found visitors would be willing to pay a toll to travel through the tunnel as a means of paying for its upkeep if it is reopened.
Gloucestershire Live
Metal fences are being erected to stop walkers using a disused railway bridge over the River Wye which is awaiting repairs likely to cost around £700,000.



Brighton & Hove Independent
Campaigners for a second Brighton mainline - incorporating parts of a disused railway - are hopeful the new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, will support their position.
Sunderland Echo
Ambitious plans to expand Tyne and Wear’s rail and Metro networks have been drawn up by public transport bosses, including the reopening of several disused lines.
Telegraph & Argus
A campaign to turn a derelict railway tunnel under Queensbury into a cycle path has run into difficulties after Highways England said the cost of repairs would run to £35 million.
North Devon Gazette
A £16.5 million project to restore part of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway could be ‘shovel ready’ in just over two years after North Devon Council granted planning permission.



Southwark News
A joint venture by Network Rail, Southwark Council and a local hotel will transform disused railway arches into a “creative enterprise zone”.
Coventry Telegraph
Planning chiefs have approved plans for six new houses to be built on a disused railway that served as a goods avoiding line around Coventry.
Campaigners seeking to reopen the disused Thornton North Junction-Methil line say that “ludicrously pessimistic” passenger forecasts for the Borders Railway could threaten the project.
Bristol Post
Technical difficulties with the track design through the Avon Gorge have led to a delay in the Portishead reopening scheme being submitted for Government approval.
Daily Post
Gwynedd Council have secured sufficient funds to go ahead with the opening of Tregarth Tunnel as part of a cycle route between Bangor and Bethesda.
Rail Technology Magazine
Four arches on part of a disused Manchester railway are being demolished as progress is driven forward with the Ordsall Chord.
The Herald (Plymouth)
One of Plymouth's former railway lines will soon welcome its first two-wheeled commuters as plans to convert it into a cycle path move forward.
International Railway Journal
The new West Midlands Combined Authority is drawing up a 10-year investment plan to expand the local rail network, including bringing a disused line back into service.
Bucks Free Press
Reopening the old railway between High Wycombe and Bourne End may not be “pie in the sky” as plans are developed to build thousands of new homes over the next 20 years.
Andover Advertiser
Councillors have worked together to draft proposals for the £4 million reopening of the Andover-Ludgershall line, aimed at providing better transport links for local satellite developments.



ITV News
A scheme to transform a disused Carmarthenshire railway into the UK's first ever velorail attraction has been given a funding boost.
Pendle Today
The man behind a proposed project to connect Colne with Skipton - alongside a restored rail link - believes the creation of a route for cyclists and pedestrians is very realistic.
Gloucester Citizen
Rail services between Cirencester and Kemble could return 50 years after they ended under ambitious plans linked to a housing development.
Gloucester Citizen
More than three decades of work to restore train services between Cheltenham and Broadway is a step closer after volunteers raised almost £500,000 in a month to lay the final mile of track.
BBC News
A group campaigning for the disused railway between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen to be reinstated has flown its route to take aerial shots for a feasibility study.
Warrington Guardian
The future of a disused railway at Latchford remains unclear, with plans for a residential and industrial development yet to be submitted to the local council.



North Somerset Times
Construction of two new stations at Portishead and Pill should begin next year after a council agreed to buy land which will be used to create them.
Retford Times
Walkers can now enjoy a leisurely stroll across the Lincolnshire-Nottinghamshire border following a £400,000 restoration of Grade II* listed Torksey Viaduct.
Buxton Advertiser
Rural villages are benefiting from high-speed broadband connections after fibre optic cables were laid along the disused railway from High Peak Junction to Whaley Bridge.
Leek Post & Times
A proposed housing development aimed at raising funds to bring trains back into Leek is set to be derailed after planning officers recommended refusal of the application.
Lancashire Evening News
Developers behind plans for a new tram line along the disused Preston-Longridge railway are urging the town to back the scheme.



Edinburgh Evening News
Could Edinburgh or Glasgow benefit from campaigns to create High Line-style public spaces on disused railway viaducts?
Express & Star
Plans for a £28 million light rail system - taking passengers on a disused line into Dudley for the first time in 50 years - could be thrown into doubt if Britain comes out of the EU, according to transport bosses.
Northamptonshire Telegraph
Plans to reinstate a section of former railway between Rushden and Higham Ferrers have been submitted by the Rushden Historical Transport Society.
BBC News
A campaign has been launched to reopen Wellington Station in Somerset which closed during the Beeching era.
Rochdale Online
Work to refurbish and reopen a disused underpass at Rochdale Station after 36 years of closure has won a North West Civil Engineering award.
Liverpool Echo
A major road into Liverpool will be closed for six months whilst the City Council carries out improvement work which includes replacing a disused railway bridge.
South London Press
Camberwell Station, which closed 52 years ago, could be reopened in a bid to improve the surrounding area's poor rail connectivity.
Property developer St Modwen, which owns the historic railway works at Wolverton, has sought permission to build a discount supermarket on a parcel of land on the south-eastern corner of the site.
Hinckley Times
Plans to turn a disused goods shed near Market Bosworth into a tourist attraction have been included in a housing development scheme.



BBC News
Campaigners working to reopen the historic Rhondda Tunnel for walkers and cyclists have criticised the Welsh government for delays in the project.
Wharfedale Observer
Progress has been made with plans to create a Wharfedale Greenway along sections of disused railway after two Councils agreed to make their land available to the project.
Cannock Mercury
Plans have been revealed to transform disused coal board railway lines which run through the Cannock Chase district into cycle routes.
Cumbria Crack
Plans are emerging for the restoration of the railway path between Keswick and Threlkeld where two Thomas Bouch bridges were washed away and another badly damaged during December's storms.
Homes & Property
Around 800 new homes are being planned for Bermondsey as London's network of 10,000 neglected railway arches start to be transformed.
Belfast Telegraph
Eight disused railway arches - known as the Lanyon Tunnels - could be brought back to life as part of a commercial development.
Oxfordshire Guardian
A call to reopen the disused railway from Witney to Oxford has been voiced ahead of a summit of West Oxfordshire leaders who will debate local transport links.
The Courier
Trains could travel on the disused line to Leven in as little as four years if a campaign is given the right support, it has been claimed.
Dorset Echo
The historic Weymouth Tramway is to be put permanently out-of-use after councillors agreed that it was a danger to the public and constrained the town's development.



Llanelli Star
A £300,000 walking and cycling project is underway in Carmarthenshire, set to enhance visitor experience by rejuvenating a disused railway line.
BBC News
The Peak District National Park Authority has launched its first major fundraising campaign to help towards the cost of maintaining 34 miles of trails along former railways.
Evesham Journal
Campaigners are calling for the six miles of former railway between Stratford and Long Marston to be restored, linking it to the Cotswold line at Honeybourne to benefit local residents.
Halifax Courier
Calderdale community group Ryburn Valley Greenway has unveiled a feasibility study into the proposed traffic-free, off-road route for cyclists, walkers and horse riders along the old branch to Rishworth.
Inside Moray
The old railway viaduct over the River Spey at Garmouth will be closed to walkers and cyclists as work to replace some of the structure's timbers gets underway.
Wales Online
The Rhondda Tunnel Society and Acer Ecologists have carried out the first of two bat surveys to gauge the extent of any wildlife that makes its home in the tunnel.
Stroud Life
Plans to reopen the Sharpness railway as a tourist attraction have been backed by the local MP.
BBC News
A 14-year campaign to reopen a station on the Aberystwyth-Shrewsbury line has taken a step forward after an independent report supported the idea.

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