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Disused rail line

Reopen these 33 rail lines: reach 500,000 people

Hello <<First Name>>

Reopening a disused rail line can transform an area, boosting the local economy, creating better places to live and reducing carbon emissions. 

In the 1960s the Beeching Report led to the closure of 5,000 miles of rail track. Fifty years later, rail travel is more popular than at any point since Victorian times, but despite hundreds of reopenings being proposed, few reach construction, due in part to a lack of national oversight.

This month we published The case for expanding the rail network, which calls for a national programme of rail reopenings and identifies 33 disused lines that should be given first priority. Just these 33 reopenings would bring more than 500,000 people within walking distance of a train station.

Jon"Low Moor Station reopening after 50 years is the best thing that's happened to our area in a long time. With a little walk I can now access the whole rail network."
- Jon Ellis, Low Moor, West Yorkshire

How did we choose the 33 lines?

Using a new methodology we rated lines both for their viability and for the social, economic and environmental benefits they would bring if reopened. 

Examples of lines identified as 'Priority 1' include:

  • March to Wisbech, Cambridgeshire - reopening this line would link the large, relatively deprived, town of Wisbech to employment, education and training and also serve the proposed Wisbech Garden Town of some 12,000 new houses
  • Totton to Hythe to Fawley, Hampshire - this freight-only line should be converted to also offer passenger services to Southampton, reducing air pollution and relieving pressure on congested roads adjacent to the New Forest National Park
  • Ashington, Blyth and Tyne, Northumberland - this line would significantly improve connectivity for several large towns and allow passengers to access the Tyne and Wear Metro.

You can read about all 33 lines and the benefits they would bring in The case for expanding the rail network.

The case for expanding the rail network

Help us to campaign for rail reopenings

If you agree that a national programme of rail reopenings is needed, you can help by:

  • Sharing our report with your friends, family and elected representatives
  • Making a donation to Campaign for Better Transport. As a supporter you'll receive our magazine, Impact, three times a year, with updates on our rail and other campaigns.

Thank you very much - goodbye till next time


Disused station platform

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