Transport Watch UK Focusing on UK's Traffic & Traffic Systems

Topic 4, Disused railways and derelict railway land

The maps below show the extent of the main road network in Great Britain along with the rail network pre-Beeching. The road network was 28,000 miles long and the rail network 19,000 miles. Now the rail network is a mere 10,000 miles long.

The average leveled width of double track rail was 28 feet ( 8.5 metres) although the distance between the stantions carrying electrification is now commonly 10 metres. Single-track railways had an average level width of 18 feet (5.5 metres) because many were constructed in anticipation of a double track. In comparison Trunk and class “A” roads commonly narrow to 18 feet, which was the standard width for Scottish trunk roads.

The width between stanchions is 10 metres.                                             On this 4-track railway trains are occasionally seen.

The loss of 9,000 miles of route is a major tragedy but British rail had no interest in seeing these routes turned into motor roads. Instead the routes were sold off piecemeal. Transport Watch deplores the loss and fears that the same may arise in the next round of railway cuts.

Meanwhile derelict railway land abounds in the hearts of our towns and cities often because British Rail and its successor lacked the Will to put the land to use or to sell it.

The pictures below are of derelict land within a stone’s throw of Northampton’s town centre. The dereliction has lasted decades. Transport Watch seeks similar pictures from across the nation.

Wp ref Website/Topic 4 Disused railway land

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