keep the rail trail thingies petition

domd1979

Veteran
Location
Staffordshire
"To provide for their re use as rail lines should circumstances permit."

If circumstances don't permit re-use as railways, what about Bus Rapid Transit / Guided Bus.... ?

The wording seems to be more biased towards supporting the idea that any closed rail route should be made into a Sustrans route. Which if there's ever a proposal to re-instate a railway they would oppose.
 

Pete

Guest
Difficult to apply retrospectively, that one: too many of the trackbeds simply no longer exist, having been built on, or used as landfill tip (a favourite re-use option for disused railway cuttings!). Since, hopefully, the main spate of Beeching-axe closures which had its peak in the 1960s, has since abated, there won't be that many newly-closed railways to take on board for this scheme.

The one advantage, from some points of view, of disused railway tracks, is that they are fairly level for folks who don't like hills. But the disadvantage, for me, with existing ones that I know of, is the poor surface, quite unsuitable for road bikes.

Furthermore we have organisations like the Bluebell Railway working hard to reinstate trackbeds as working railways. They are currently working on an northbound extension of their existing line, linking up to East Grinstead. Which means they have to empty out a landfill dump. Best of luck to them, I say!

Perhaps we should be content with what we already have.
 

jonesy

Legendary Member
There are some closed routes that would now be strategically useful if re-opened- e.g. Oxford to Cambridge and other east-west routes, sections of the former Great Central line etc . It was shortsighted enough that these were closed at a time when overall rail use was declining, but even less excusable for their potential re-opening to be blocked by development planned now, when the need for additional capacity is so pressing. It is particularly astonishing that the Government is allowing the Woodhead tunnel, on the former (electrified) direct route between Manchester and Sheffield to be used to carry power lines.
http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/save_the_woodhead_tunnel
 

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
domd1979 said:
"To provide for their re use as rail lines should circumstances permit."

If circumstances don't permit re-use as railways, what about Bus Rapid Transit / Guided Bus.... ?

The wording seems to be more biased towards supporting the idea that any closed rail route should be made into a Sustrans route. Which if there's ever a proposal to re-instate a railway they would oppose.
How do you know Sustrans would oppose having a railway reinstated? I imagine it would depend on whether an alternative cycle route could be developed.

In any case, given that the Government seems to have no interest at all in creating new rail routes, it seems sensible to at least try and preserve old routes as sustainable transport corridor in general. I'd personally be happy to see some used for guided buses, etc., but I'm not sure if you could expect the people who drew up the petition to mention every kind of potential public transport use.
 

Pete

Guest
There is a delicious irony about East Grinstead, which I referred to above. One of the worst-hit towns in the South-east to suffer under the Beeching axe: it used to be an important junction with four railway lines leading out, in all directions. Now there is only one (until the Bluebell links up).

Dr Beeching lived in East Grinstead. :biggrin: The main A22 going through the town - along the route of the old railway line - is now called Beeching Way. Originally it was planned to call it Beeching Cut.
 

jonesy

Legendary Member
There's a Beeching Close where Upton station used to be on the former Didcot to Newbury line. As anyone travelling on the parallel A34 will know, there is clearly very little demand for travel along that route...
 
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