Railway Networks and Major Routes

Isle of Wight - survey of all the disused stations on the Isle of Wight

Isle of Man - survey of all the disused stations on the Isle of Man   

Jersey Railways - survey of the Jersey Railway and the Jersey Eastern Railway (39 stations)

Blyth & Tyne system - survey of all (53) stations on the Blyth & Tyne system including those that reopened after conversion to Metro. Includes interactive map. 1029 pictures.

Passenger stations serving Southampton Docks

Liverpool Overhead Railway
- A brief history of the LOR and maps and photographs of all the stations

Lines serving Tunbridge Wells West
- 643 pictures

Lines serving St. Ives (Hunts)
Folkestone/Dover - Includes rail served piers, private stations, staff stations with special features on Shakespeare Colliery, 1st Channel Tunnel & Admiralty Pier Gun Turret - 616 pictures and 57 maps

The Waverley Route (Edinburgh Waverley to Carlisle) and associated branch lines - 2177 pictures

People have always had a fascination with disused railway lines and stations. Following the opening of the first railway lines in the 1820s, passenger stations have been closing; many in the last century because they were resited to a more suitable location. This is particularly true in London where many of the London termini were originally built some distance short of their present site.

In the early 20th century, stations and lines began to close with the introduction of new bus services, the increased popularity of the car and the improvements in roads. Other lines and stations never lived up to the expectations of their promoters. Many rural stations were badly sited, well away from the towns and villages that they were designed to serve and this too led to a rapid decline in passenger numbers when more convenient forms of transport became available.The steady trickle of railway closures increased in the 1950s turning into a torrent in the 1960s with the rationalization of our railway network under the infamous Dr. Richard Beeching, the chairman of British Railways from 1961 - 1965. In March 1963 his report 'The reshaping of British Railways' was published. The 'Beeching Axe' as it became known proposed a massive closure programme. He recommended the closure of one third of Britain’s 18,000 mile railway network, mainly rural branches and cross country lines and 2,128 stations on lines that were to be kept open. The following year his second report 'The Development of the Major Railway Trunk Routes' was even more scathing with a proposal that all lines should be closed apart from the major intercity routes and important profit making commuter lines around the big cities leaving Britain with little more than a skeleton railway system and a large parts of the country entirely devoid of railways. The report was rejected by the government and Dr. Beeching resigned in 1965. Although Beeching was gone, the closure programme that he started under the Conservatives in the early 1960s continued unabated under Labour until it was brought to a halt in the early 1970s; but by that time the damage had been done. In 1955 the British railway system had 20,000 miles of track and 6,000 stations. By 1975 this had shrunk to 12,000 miles of track and 2,000 stations, roughly the same size it is today.

Gradually the memory of these lost lines and stations began to fade as the urban sites were redeveloped with only a road name to remind people of their former existence. Most of the rural sites were returned to nature and agriculture although many of the stations still survive in some form or another, some transformed into attractive country dwellings while others linger on in the undergrowth abandoned and forgotten.


We are unable to help with any kind of family history enquiry as this falls outside the scope of the very limited research required to produce the brief history of a line or station that appears on the web site.

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Page last updated: Monday, 10-Jun-2019 16:55:32 CEST