New Lines Built Between 1923 and the mid 1990s

tbtc

Veteran Member
Joined
16 Dec 2008
Messages
15,979
Location
Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire
One of the regular criticisms of privatisation I see on here is the fact that there haven't been many new railways (by which people generally mean "there haven't been enough re-opened old railways" - even though the decisions on such long term infrastructure projects are obviously dependent upon the Government rather than something we'd expect TOCs to do).

It got me thinking of how many new lines were built between the commencement of the "big four" in January 1923 and the mid 1990s privatisation of British Rail.

There were a few examples of re-opened lines under BR (e.g. Mansfield), but I'm struggling to think of many brand new lines (a short bit of diversion around Penmanshiel/Grantshouse in the early 1970s and around Selby in the early 1980s being two examples I am familiar with, having grown up near the ECML), but how many lines did the "big four" and British Rail build in around seventy five years?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
18,544
Location
Nottingham
Selby Diversion
Calverton branch
Farnsfield-Ollerton (I think)
Probably some other colliery-related ones
Various fairly minor deviations on existing routes
HS1
There's a brand new branch line from Castle Donington area to the new freight terminal near East Midlands Airport
 

MarlowDonkey

Member
Joined
4 Apr 2013
Messages
934
I believe the Southern consolidated the competing lines running to Ramsgate and Margate into a single loop in the mid 1920s.

Also the Southern, London Transport and its earlier constituent Companies were active in opening new lines in the London area to service housing developments.
 

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
7,512
Manchester Airport (1993) and Stansted Airport (1991) branches.

Holmes Chord (1987)
Swinton Chord
Hazel Grove Chord (if that counts as a 'line')
 

pdeaves

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2014
Messages
3,248
Location
Gateway to the South West
Stewarts Lane viaduct (to get Eurostars to/from Waterloo).
Stretching it a bit, the Thameslink route north of Blackfriars through City Thameslink once Holborn Viaduct station closed.
A route avoiding a tunnel somewhere near Stoke on Trent (was that Harecastle? - I cannot remember at this instant).
 

d9009alycidon

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
482
Location
Troon
Although the Argyle Line through Central Low Level is a reopened line, the section between Exhibition Centre and Kelvinhaugh Junction is brand new from the 1970s. There were an couple of spurs built in the 1960s to allow closure of some stretches of line, the only one still in use is at Bowling where a new spur was put in to allow the Electric Services to access Dumbarton East.
 

d9009alycidon

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
482
Location
Troon
Do Marshalling Yards count, some like Carlisle had goods lines that would be the legth of a short branchline, Millerhill included new connecting lines to the ECML.
Just thought of one other Scottish one, Hunterston High Level down to the port
 

341o2

Established Member
Joined
17 Oct 2011
Messages
1,219
The grandly named North Devon & Cornwall Junction light railway, over the trackbed of a ng clay railway as far as Meeth, then to Halwill mid 1920's
 

Calthrop

Established Member
Joined
6 Dec 2015
Messages
1,858
A renowned doubtful-as-to-worthwhileness line in North Devon: Torrington to Halwill Junction, opened by the Southern Railway in 1925 -- its northern parts, replacing and on the route of a 3ft. gauge industrial line serving clay workings. For passenger traffic at least, Torrington -- Halwill was basically hopeless from the start. Passenger service withdrawn 1965: freight at line's northern end -- variously clay, and milk -- continued till the early 1980s.

(Almost simultaneous posting -- @341o2, you beat me by a whisker !)
 

341o2

Established Member
Joined
17 Oct 2011
Messages
1,219
The ND&CJLR was constructed to try and improve communications and therefore the economy of the area
 

Jorge Da Silva

Established Member
Joined
4 Apr 2018
Messages
2,073
  • Manchester Airport
  • Stansted Airport
  • Hazel Grove Chord
  • Graham Road Curve
  • Holmes Chord
  • Selby Diversion
  • Windsor Link
  • Link between Nottingham to Lincoln Line to Lincoln Central
  • Mersey Loop
  • Moorfields to Skelmersdale
 

NoMorePacers

Member
Joined
18 Feb 2016
Messages
1,011
Location
Hull
The Anlaby Road chord in 1965. Receives almost no usage nowadays mind (and can't be accessed at the minute thanks to the points being broken and locked at West Parade North Junction - been like that since November).
 

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
14,272
Location
Mold, Clwyd
Ah, that's a major omission from my list (given how busy/useful it is) - good shout!
BR built a new Harecastle tunnel (Kidsgrove) on a 2-mile diversion of the North Staffs line.
Various wartime connections between "foreign" lines - eg Claydon LNE Jn between LMS and LNER at Calvert, and a connection at Mickle Trafford (LMS/CLC).
BR rebuilt a connection from the West London line toward Waterloo so Eurostar trains could reach North Pole depot (also rebuilt), plus the Battersea curve, also for Eurostar.
BR also built several connections to allow the closure of duplicated termini - eg Manchester Central and Liverpool Central.
One other example is at Wolverhampton where a new connection* was put in to the GW Shrewsbury line to allow the closure of routes via Wolves Low Level.

* actually reinstating the first connection (1852) between LNWR and S&BR (later GWR) which had been disused for years.
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
12,744
Some chords around Lincoln so that St Marks could close.

Finsbury Park High Level to Drayton Park (stretching it, but it was new!)

The definitive answer will be found by looking at the annual British Railways bill that BR submitted to Parliament to build all the new bits of railway it needed (or thought it did). Not all got built, of course.
 

Bevan Price

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2010
Messages
4,878
New link into Pilkington Glass factory, St. Helens (Built 1990s, replaced original Ravenhead branch when new Linkway road was built.)
 

martinsh

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2011
Messages
1,630
Location
Considering a move to Memphis
A route avoiding a tunnel somewhere near Stoke on Trent (was that Harecastle? - I cannot remember at this instant).
Well, yes and no !

A route avoiding Harecastle tunell was built when the line was electrified in the 1960s. However, there was also the Cheadle branch which had a deviation constructed to avoid a collapsed tunnel in the 1930s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheadle_branch_line

Not mentioned so far is the Wombourne branch (Tettenhall to Himley) which opened in 1925 - and closed to passengers in 1932 !
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wombourne_branch_line
 

Top