Beeching. Knew. Nothing.

Fri, 19 August 2011

Today's post was meant to be an expansion of yesterday's Faceberk post, but a news article in Rail Technologies Magazine made me happy so I'm going to write about that instead.

RTM reports that rural rail lines have seen a HUGE surge in popularity over recent years, with loads of community led rail projects carrying a fair amount of passengers to rural or coastal destinations.

It proves to me that the Beeching Axe of the 60s was indeed bunkum, as many believed at the time, and that people do want rail links to the nicer parts of the country.

I have travelled on the Tallyllyn miniature railway in Wales and the Peak Railway between Matlock and Buxton, and they were a real delight to travel on. The Peak Railway is a smaller version of the current drive towards community or privately refurbished rail links, where private funding has been given to organisation that have resurrected some of the derelict railways that Beeching closed way back when. They now have a meaningful place on Britain's rail network, and it's a welcome thing.

As you can tell, I like the thought that some of the more picturesque and interesting rail links in the country could be back for good. The success of the existing railways will no doubt increase interest in bringing back some other closed railways and maybe creating a bit of tourist interest in the rail network.

All that really needs to happen is for the cost of rail travel to come back down to manageable levels now. At the moment it looks like rail travel is actually the most expensive method of travel in the country (and I include air travel in that).


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