I don't know if anything was seriously under consideration, but definitely more recently than that MPs and local papers up here still talked about the threat of closure.
The key difference with 2000 is that 2000 levels of patronage won't bring back 2000 levels of subsidy, even after making the extra drivers redundant and scrapping half the stock. The pressure from the Treasury will be much greater next year as well. Even if railways were immune to Covid loss making lines would still be in the firing line given the dire government finances.
They really need to be considering all other cost savings before closures. I've gone luke warm over massive structural change to the industry over recent years, however a saving through reducing the number of companies with overheads involved in managing the railway, as an example, should always come before closures of passenger services.