50 proposals submitted to reopen railway lines closed in the Beeching Cuts

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Beeching Lines
Credit: GOV.UK

Fifty bids to build or reopen lines and stations that were closed in the Beeching cuts have been received across England and Wales, Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has announced.

MPs and local authorities have made bids in the second round of Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ to develop proposals to reopen lines closed by Dr Richard Beeching from 1963.

The proposals will now be considered by an expert panel, which includes Chair of Network Rail, Sir Peter Hendy.

The proposals include reopening the line at Ferryhill, County Durham, restoring the Consett-Newcastle Connection, transforming the Newquay line, reopening Charfield station, and reinstate the Bodmin to Wadebridge railway.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Receiving so many bids once again underlines how passionate people are about reconnecting communities.”

“Local MPs, councillors and community leaders are the greatest champions of their local lines, and I look forward to working with them to ensure the projects with the greatest potential have the support they need.”

“Improving local transport links is vital as we level up access to opportunities across the country, reconnect communities and kickstart our recovery from Covid-19.”

As part of the fund, the government has also announced the third round of the New Stations Fund to invest £20m in new stations and restore closed stations to their former glory.

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54 COMMENTS

  1. Why not reopen the railway line to Haverhill, Suffolk from Cambridge. A new railway line from March to Wisbech with the extension to Spalding. A new railway station at Beaulieu, Essex on the outskirts of Chelmsford on the Great Eastern Main Line. And of course Soham to have a new railway station since it last had a railway station before it closed in the 1960s because of the beeching cuts. Plus why not add a passing loop on the Abbey Flyer line in Hertfordshire and a new passing loop at Cressing, Essex on the Braintree line.

    • As allways its all in the south of england no money for up north.
      What about Cornwall and Wales we have fought for years to keep the Settle to carlisle line .
      MANCHESTER TO SHEFFIELD
      MANCHESTER TO LEEDS
      CENTRAL WALES
      AND MORE BRANCH LINES EVERY WHERE.

  2. A figure of 8 connecting Bedford in the middle with ewr to Cambridge, Peterborough, Leicester, Rugby, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Bletchley and Bedford/oxford. Most of the connecting network already exists or is about to exist.

  3. The Waverley route which was reopened to Tweedbank, needs to be extended to Carlisle.
    Oops, that’s mostly in Scotland, we have already reopened a few lines in the last few years.

  4. As well as a passing loop at Cricket Wood on the Watford to St Albans branch, why not link it with the MML at Napsbury and take the trains into St Albans City and beyond?.
    And how about finally doing something about the Croxley link?

    • Well the Croxley Rail Link has been cancelled or suspended due to finding cuts but it could still happen if it gets the go ahead. And with 2 new Metropolitan Line stations to be built (Cassiobridge or Ascot Road station with a new viaduct going over the Grand Union Canal and the A412 road & roundabout and Vicarage Road station (near to Watford General Hospital and Watford FC Vicarage Rd Stadium (via Cardiff Road).

      And to upgrade and improve Watford High Street station with 2 island platforms being built with shared tracks for the London Overground Euston-Watford DC Line and the extended Metropolitan Line from Croxley.

      And to close Watford Metropolitan Line station once the extension to Watford Junction is completed and to turn it into sidings & depot for the Metropolitan Line S8 Stocks to be stored and maintained.

  5. What about Taunton to Minehead? I had to do an awful journey from Taunton mainline train to bus all the way to Minehead to Butlins and didn’t return. Not everyone drives*

  6. A Robin Hood Line extension from Mansfield through to Warsop, Edwinstowe and Ollerton in Nottinghamshire!
    The rails are there and it wouldn’t cost a fortune to do!

    • Regarding the Robin hood extension suggestion and the track still in place, it’s the best maintained track in the country!

    • Regarding the Robin Hood line extension to Ollerton, not only the track is still place, but it’s the best maintained track in the country!

  7. Although it’s now run by the Swanage Railway Co why not reopen the whole line from Wareham to Swanage. Also The West Somerset Railway from Taunton to Minehead

  8. Wade bridge to Bodmin line would benefit other resorts as the bus services stop at about six pm, so any long distance travel has to be done by car. Other axed lines like Shanklin to Vernor on the Isle of Wight need to be restored and steam trains back to Ryde pier.

  9. It would be incredibly useful and successful to reinstate the line from Brockenhurst to Ringwood then in to Wimborne and Poole. 90% of the track bed already exists, it would reconnect these towns to London and take a huge amount of local traffic off congested Dorset roads.

  10. I am a great believer in the benefits of a well connected rail network. But lets be honest the only way expanding the rail network so it will become viable is by making it pay.
    So until we start to remove freight from from the roads and back onto rails it is a pipe dream. Passenger trains do not generate enough revenue to make these lines a viable reality. Never have, never will.
    But building freight yards and rail heads so lorries can then carry the local part of the journey, would make much better sense.
    It would be a massive improvement from a environmental point of view but would help greatly in subsidising rural lines that can never hope to profitable from passenger traffic alone.

  11. Plus Wisbech to Spalding never existed – does he mean March to Spalding via Guyhirn or Wisbech to Sutton Bridge which was a completely different line ?

  12. Stratford on Avon (one of the country’s biggest tourist traps) to Honeybourne on the line to Oxford (another tourist hotspot). This has been talked about for a while, but it’s about time it actually happened.

  13. As far as I am concerned.there is little or no appetite for any money to spent on any project large or small. Here in Derbyshire, we have the Monday Trail, former MIdland line between Manchester and London. If those in power were serious about reopening former rail route, then what better place to start. I am by nature an optimist, but I am afraid I have heard this nonsense many times before. If people are serious about rebuilding our national network, then stop the BS and get on with it.

  14. How about using Croydon style tramtrains to make it quick and easy to go round the built over bits of permanent way?

  15. The Poulton-le-Fylde to Fleetwood line should be reopened. This would stimulate business in Fleetwood and reduce traffic congestion on the one major route into Fleetwood. Boris Johnson has already pledged money for this project.

    • That’s what Nodrog mentioned on his previous videos that he talked about bringing back the railways to Fleetwood.

  16. @Anonymous. I totally agree. And also plans to build a new railway station to the south of Cambridge known as Cambridge South railway station that will serve Cambridge Biochemical Campus and adjacent to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Which is to be built if it gets the go ahead and to open in 2025. Or probably to build it straight away and to open the new Cambridge South railway station in Late 2021 or Early 2022.

  17. Huddersfield to Meltham and Holmfirth. These two little branch lines would make so much difference to travel in this congested but beautiful place, made famous by Last of the Summer Wine.

  18. Huddersfield to Meltham and Holmfirth. These two little branch lines would make travel in the congested, small but beautiful Holme Valley so much better.

  19. There is no mention of reopening the line from Okehampton to Bere Alston via Tavistock. Reopening this line through an important area visited by tourists and increasing population along the route would certainly help alleviate a lot of the traffic in this area.

  20. Maldon to Witham in Essex has been noted in local press as passing the first hurdle to reopening. It would be great to see but as with most of the other lines it is unlikely to happen.

  21. What about the line to Devizes the town has more than doubled in size since beeching re double the line from thingley junction to Bradford junction that could open up halts that were closed! And full electrification of all lines even branch line’s

  22. The Harborough district council want to build a housing estates on Bampton valley Market Harborough Leicestershire to Northampton line.This 14 mile retrack would be Green and take freight off A14 and A6 ..But Greed of developers and inane Climate emergencies mean more to lib lab conservative councils

  23. Local Tory lib dem council are preoccupied with Climate emergencies virtue signalling than reconnection of Harborough Leicestershire to Northampton line .14 miles would be green take freight off the A6 . Popular commuter route . Councils latest proposal is to build on Bampton valley walkway and cycleway ..Greed governs proposals not practicality..Central line is Leicester should open up beyond Loughborough and money will come from abandonment of HS2 .which looks set to cost Boris Johnson his premiership!

  24. Why not open wincanton to templecombe old somerset and dorset lines links to every where bath Bournemouth and london

  25. Bourne End to High Wycombe is crying out for rebuilding albeit on an altered route. The old timetable was a 14 minute journey. Quickest bus is 25 mins without the usual traffic hold ups. Add in a few more holts for new housing developments and it is a no brainer for the connecting services at High Wycombe.

  26. Exeter to Okehampton? Lots of talk and trains already run there on Summer Sundays. Seen mentioning of Okehampton East Parkway on a map as well. Does anyone know what the plans are?

    • Watch this space, I believe it will be back in public ownership before March 2021, with building clearance and demolitions at Exeter St David’s to create new bay platforms being the first work undertaken later this year

  27. The Government ought to reopen railway lines across the United Kingdom. It would be good to see trains on rebuilt railway lines. The Port Road from Dumfries to Stranraer and Cairnryan would be very beneficial to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  28. My cousin (who doesn’t want to be named) who lives near Gosport in Hampshire reckons that Alton to Fareham and Fareham to Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent lines shouldn’t of been closed. And should of still remained today. Which I agree.

    And also Maldon in Essex could of had its 2 railway stations remained. And Maldon did have 2 railway stations (Maldon East & Heybridge and Maldon West) before they were closed because of the Beeching cuts.

    And now the nearest station to Maldon is either Southminster, Burnham-on-Crouch, Witham, Hatfield Peveral or Chelmsford. And the A414 is a viral road that links Maldon to the A12 and Chelmsford.

  29. The five mile Bere Alston to Tavistock is ready to go. A little bit of vegetation clearing, ballast and track laying. A contractor was going to relay it if they were allowed to claw back some of the cost by building some houses in Tavistock but Tavistock council procrastinated for so long that the scheme has died. Some of the Devon branch line trackbeds which were closed as a result of Beeching were mothballed for twenty years with nothing built on them then all of a sudden in the mid eightys bits started to disappear beneath housing and roads so it is impossible to reopen them now.

  30. Yes I would like to know the 50 proposed lines. The £20m offered wouldn’t pay for much! Only lines to big towns would pay, such as Bodmin to Wadebridge and Padstow or Bristol to Portishead. How about Matlock to Bakewell or some new stations on existing lines.

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