• This is a stand-to for an incoming competition, one of our most expensive yet.
    Later this week we're going to be offering the opportunity to Win £270 Rab Neutrino Pro military down jacket
    Visit the thread at that link above and Watch it to be notified as soon as the competition goes live

Reversing Dr Beeching cuts

#1
Have read this and on the face of it, it is a good idea. I grew up in a village that was on a line that was cut by Beeching and I think although the intentions may have been sound it was very short sighted.

Would reinstating the lines reduce car ownership and ease congestion?

The other issue is that a lot of the old lines have been sold and the stations are now private houses, I can't imagine that people will be overly happy about the trains coming back outside their front door.

Some lost rail routes may be 'restored'
 
#2
Probably not, we've got out of the train habit and frankly your own car is still cheaper and more convenient
 
#4
The problem is that fuel is too cheap.

Until it is too expensive to drive 500 yards to the shops/school/work you are never going to get people out of their cars.
 
#5
It’s not really reversing Beechings cuts by bringing back village stations, but widening the suburbs and moving commuters further away or turning ‘city livers’ into commuters
Commuters still have cars, those living in London may have nowhere for a car, no need as they can get around, and probably can’t afford a car. Move them to a suburb and they don’t have everything on their doorstep, need a car and may then be able to afford one


But it’s all just a clever idea with no funding
 
#7
It will be a lot of steel to import.
 
#8
They were on about reinstating the Cambridge to Colchester line a few years back, however the section through Haverhill is now a housing estate and the section at Castle Heddingham is a heritage railway. Same with the Tunbridge Wells to East Grinstead line, from Forest Row to Withyham is fine, however there are bridges missing and the section from Groombridge to Tun Wells is now the Spa Valley Railway heritage line.
 
#10

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#12
It will be a lot of steel to import.
Steel, part of the self licking lollipop that made Empire and the Victorian Age great.

Steel and coal to build trains and ships. Trains and ships to move steel and coal. Coal to produce power to build and run trains and ships.

I doubt we'll ever get that balance or similar (eg alternative power supplies) again.

And cheap labour. Now we get New Labour. The very antithesis.
 
#13
I don't know why anyone still bothers to trot this fantasy out.

First of all, it'd cost tens/hundreds of billions to compulsory re-purchase all the land back , and then replace all the demolished infrastructure. I know most of the old Beeching and industrial (there were also quarry and factory lines) rail routes in my region, and not one is salvageable after all these years.

Secondly, even today's mainline trains lose so much money that they have to be heavily subsidised by the taxpayer in order to be remotely affordable by commuters. The Beeching lines were axed because they were so cost ineffective - trains travelling empty or with a few bods during off peak hours, etc.

It'd be nice to have some sort of rural tram/train system taking some strain off the roads, but the reality seems entirely unaffordable and unfeasible.
 
#14
The main issues are as I see it:

1. Land - most of the old lines are in Private hands, large expense to buy back, alternatively create new lines - same issue.

2. Supply of rail track - most could be made in the UK we have the resources and used to have the skill set, I am sure TATA and other producers would see a profit to be made.

3. New rolling stock - UK can produce this with out issue and need to import.

4. Routing- Ensure that the lines go where and when people need them and will help most.
 
#15
What does a train do in these rural areas that a bus can’t (for a fraction of the investment in infrastructure)? The roads are hardly congested.

On the other hand, disused rail lines have been massively successful at improving bicycle use, recent developments in Electric pedal assist cycles have opened up cycling to a great many more people, making it a quick and practical way to get around. There are many disused lines that remain closed, but could and should be opened up for cycling.
 
#16
On the other hand, disused rail lines have been massively successful at improving bicycle use, recent developments in Electric pedal assist cycles have opened up cycling to a great many more people, making it a quick and practical way to get around. There are many disused lines that remain closed, but could and should be opened up for cycling.
Ideally, yes. However many people are fat and lazy, with no impetus to change either condition.
 
#17
It will be a lot of steel to import.
I used to walk around disused freight lines, and guess what? Pikeys lift them and sell them for scrap. The infrastructure is still in place to lift disused lines and place them elsewhere
 
#18
Ideally, yes. However many people are fat and lazy, with no impetus to change either condition.
Just wait til I float my next big idea on Dragons den’...

Mobility scooter lanes.
 
#19
My parent's village and those close to it could have a fine commuter route into Winchester using the old DNSR line (Where most residents seem to work these days) with very little effort. Even Worthy Down is on the old route.
 
Last edited:
#20
The Beeching lines were axed because they were so cost ineffective - trains travelling empty or with a few bods during off peak hours, etc.
There is, of course, the argument that Reshaping Britain's Railways (the "Beeching Report") was a complete fudge with use audits conducted at precisely times when traffic and passenger numbers were low. Of course this had nothing to do with the vested interests of Ernest Marples and various other members of Government at the time...
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top