The Axe's worst closure - nominations

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backontrack

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I've had an idea for a thread/poll...thing.

a) People post particularly bad Beeching/Marsh/Castle closures - passenger lines that have been closed

b) I create a poll after a while and we vote

c) The answer is revealed...and everyone probably argues about it

Sound good to anyone?

If so, then I'll mention a perennial favourite - the Waverley Route.

Running from Edinburgh to Carlisle via Galashiels, Melrose, Hawick, Newcastleton and Longtown, this route was closed in January 1969. A small length of track running into Edinburgh's south-east suburbs reopened in June 2002, and a section stretching from Edinburgh to Tweedbank - between Galashiels and Melrose - was reopened in September of 2015.
 
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JohnR

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Loads of examples.

Aberdeen-Fraserburgh/Peterhead
Stanley Jn-Kinnaber Jn
Edinburgh-Carlisle via Galashiels
Dunfries-Stranrar
Barnard Castle - Penrith/Tebay
Hull - York via Beverley
York-Whitby via Pickering
Boston-Grimsby via Louth and Mablethorpe
Chester-Denbigh via Mold
Sheffield-Manchester via Penistone
Kings Lynn - Hunstanton
Neath-Aberdare
Cheltenham-Stratford upon Avon
Oxford-Cambridge
Uckfield-Lewes
Guildford-Horsham
Didcot-Southampton via Newbury
Brockenhurst-Bournmouth via Ringwood
Bournmouth-Blandford Forum
Highbridge-Glastonbury
Barnstaple-Ilfracombe
Barnstaple-Bideford
Sidmouth Jn-Sidmouth/Exmouth
Exeter-Plymouth via Okehampton
Newton Abbot-Moretonhampstead
Bodmin Road-Padstow via Wadebridge
Gwinear Road-Helston



Derby - Manchester via Matlock
 

DerekC

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The following are my top 6 (some on JohnR's list, but it's a bit of a cheat when somebody pinches all the best ones straight away):

1) Great Central (Claydon Junction to Nottingham)
2) Bedford to Cambridge
3) Exeter to Plymouth via Tavistock
4) Shawford Jnc to Didcot (DN&S)
5) Somerset & Dorset (all the way from Bournemouth to Bath)
6) Carlisle to Tweedbank (Waverley Route)
 

W-on-Sea

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Woodhead stands out for me - a purpose-built, high-speed line that did a vastly better job of linking Sheffield (and beyond) and Manchester than the surviving alternative.

In comparison, all of the other closures seem relatively secondary
 

Steveman

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Woodhead stands out for me - a purpose-built, high-speed line that did a vastly better job of linking Sheffield (and beyond) and Manchester than the surviving alternative.

In comparison, all of the other closures seem relatively secondary

It was crying shame when that went, I traveled on it 3 times.
 

AJM580

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Penrith - Keswick - Workington. A car free way into the Northern Lake District
 

Bevan Price

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Woodhead stands out for me - a purpose-built, high-speed line that did a vastly better job of linking Sheffield (and beyond) and Manchester than the surviving alternative.

In comparison, all of the other closures seem relatively secondary


Hardly high speed when the limit was 65 mph - but agree it should have been retained as a passenger route.

A lot of other routes were financial basket cases and closure, although sad, was probably inevitable. Looking back with hindsight, some of the following would have proved to be useful if still open:

Manchester Central/Chinley - Matlock.
Blackpool Central - South.
Southport - Preston
Ormskirk - Skelmersdale (closed just before they announced the "new town".)
Penrith - Keswick - Workington.
Wennington - Lancaster Green Ayre - Morecambe Promenade (possibly closing Carnforth - Wennington instead - no intermediate stations were still open).
Bradford (Low Moor) - Mirfield/Wakefield via Spen Valley
Durham - Sunderland - South Shields
Durham - Washington - Newcastle (was run down long before Marples)
Newcastle - Ashington - Newbiggin
Scarborough - Whitby
Beverley - York
Harrogate - Ripon - Northallerton
Rotherham Masborough - Swinton - Cudworth - Normanton (- Leeds)
Grimsby - Louth - Boston - Peterborough
March - Spalding
Lowestoft - Yarmouth South Town.
Northampton - Wellingborough - Peterborough
Kettering - Melton Mowbray - Nottingham.
Cambridge - Oxford through service.
Aylesbury & Banbury - Sheffield Victoria via GCR route (but with new connections to other lines; main use to keep freight off other lines).
OR Leicester - Rugby Midland if GCR route had to close.
Barnstaple - Ilfracombe
Exeter - Tavistock - Plymouth.
Lewes & Eastboune - Eridge /Tunbridge Wells.
Bangor - Caernarfon
Pyle - Porthcawl.
Waverley Route.
Perth - Forfar - Kinnaber Jn
 
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High Dyke

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The most obvious from my point of view is Grantham (Honington Jn - Lincoln). Sacrificed to keep the Midland route from Nottingham via Newark Castle open instead.
 

Ianno87

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Oxford-Cambridge by a country mile in my view - especially the madness of the year of closure coinciding with Milton Keynes being created as a New Town.
 
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Uttoxeter to Buxton via Ashbourne. Should never have happened. Along with the Great Central Railway. Absolute disgrace.

with regard to the GCR - should the MML have been closed instead ? bearingin in mind that between nottingham and leicester you';ve got three 'main line' allignments within 20 -30 miles of each other GCML, MML and ECML...
 

yorksrob

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with regard to the GCR - should the MML have been closed instead ? bearingin in mind that between nottingham and leicester you';ve got three 'main line' allignments within 20 -30 miles of each other GCML, MML and ECML...

What the MML lacks in speed, it makes up for in capacity and resilience - bearing in mind that even the double track bits have alternatives (Harringworth - Erewash Valley - Old Road), so it would have been an unjustifiable closure.

Nevertheless, had they managed to keep the GC going, it would have been very useful today, if only to channel freight away from the passenger main lines.

I've often wondered whether it might have made a useful alternative Cross Country service, taking in the East Midlands rather than Birmingham.

As for the original question, far too many to choose from sadly.
 
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backontrack

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Manchester Central/Chinley - Matlock.
Blackpool Central - South.
blah blah blah
Waverley Route.
Perth - Forfar - Kinnaber Jn

Could you cut this down to your worst 5 or 6, please? That way the poll will work better. Thank you.
 

DerekC

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with regard to the GCR - should the MML have been closed instead ? bearingin in mind that between nottingham and leicester you';ve got three 'main line' allignments within 20 -30 miles of each other GCML, MML and ECML...

The GC alignment could have given us the backbone of a conventional alternative to HS2 - or a freight route. Anyway I don't think we are supposed to argue the niceties yet. We will get a virtual clip round the ear from Backontrack (well named).
 

backontrack

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The GC alignment could have given us the backbone of a conventional alternative to HS2 - or a freight route. Anyway I don't think we are supposed to argue the niceties yet. We will get a virtual clip round the ear from Backontrack (well named).

Thanks! :D

Anyhoo, argue all you like. I'll create the poll later on.
 

70014IronDuke

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Woodhead stands out for me - a purpose-built, high-speed line ....

Did you ever travel over it?

I think not, because if you had, you'd know you are speaking nonsense.

... that did a vastly better job of linking Sheffield (and beyond) and Manchester than the surviving alternative.
Whilst it did link Sheffield to Manchester, and i have fond memories of traversing it - again, the "beyond" bit is simply not true. The vastly superior connectivity of Sheffield Midland was probably the single most important reason for choosing the Hope Valley route.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Could you cut this down to your worst 5 or 6, please? That way the poll will work better. Thank you.


Back on track - Under the title of The Axe's worst closure
your original post goes:

People post particularly bad Beeching/Marsh/Castle closures

Now, you have three axes listed - but with a singular possessive axe in the title. and then you want five examples of closure?

What I think you meant to write is The Axes' worst closures

So, for pointing out the grammatical errors, I demand three votes of five lines each
:)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Oxford-Cambridge by a country mile in my view - especially the madness of the year of closure coinciding with Milton Keynes being created as a New Town.

I don't disagree, for precisely the same reasons.

However, while we can all wail on about the loss of the GC, Waverley and even Oxford-Cambridge, it has to be said that these closures must have reduced long-term maintenance and development costs enormously. And that is what the government was demanding.

So, while it is impossible to measure properly, I would nominate, as the line which cost relatvely little (cos it was short) versus the value of its connection for so many people as Northampton - Wellingborough. As a good back up, I'd put Rugby - Leicester (Midland route).
 

backontrack

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backontrack - Under the title of The Axe's worst closure
your original post goes:

People post particularly bad Beeching/Marsh/Castle closures

Now, you have three axes listed - but with a singular possessive axe in the title. and then you want five examples of closure?

What I think you meant to write is The Axes' worst closures

So, for pointing out the grammatical errors, I demand three votes of five lines each
:)

I'm afraid that you don't get that. I count all three as a single axe for continuity reasons - there are some challenged by Beeching that didn't close until 1972! You'll have to have one list for them all :smile:
 

Harbornite

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The worst Beeching closure was obviously the Harborne Branch line...

In all honestly, that isn't true but I suspect that the passenger service would have been quite well-used if British Railways had reinstated it rather than closing the line. I'd say the worst closures have already been mentioned- the GCR, S&D, Afonwen- Caernarfon to name a few.
 

furryfeet

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GC throughout (Manchester to Marylebone)
Edinburgh to Hawick ( perhaps Hawick to Carlisle should have been mothballed, but from all accounts this section was very uneconomic, although investment to automate the level crossings would have reduced operating costs )
Cambridge to Haverhill ( another one shut just before Haverhill was designated an overspill town )
Cambridge to Oxford
Rose Hill to Macclesfield (would have been very useful during WCML upgrade)
 

Taunton

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In truth almost all the lines listed above had minimal traffic even pre-Beeching, especially outside June-September. I recall even Taunton to Minehead had good traffic on SOME trains (not all) on SOME days of the week (not all) for THREE out of 12 months of the year. And this was the best-performing of all the local routes radiating from Taunton. It had a bit of freight traffic too, almost entirely household or gasworks coal, markets which also vanished in the years after closure.

Oxford to Cambridge is about the most marginal of those above. It has two major intermediate points along the way, Milton Keynes and Bedford, at neither of which it would serve the principal station of the built up area, served by longer distance potential connections. With elimination of most intermediate stations and operated from Reading to Ipswich, it might have just made a contribution, although not from academics travelling to one another's colleges - that just doesn't happen.
 
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Bevan Price

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"Reduced" list as requested - but many discarded reluctantly:


Manchester Central/Chinley - Matlock.
Harrogate - Ripon - Northallerton
Northampton - Wellingborough - Peterborough
Cambridge - Oxford through service.
Exeter - Tavistock - Plymouth.
Waverley Route.
 

Zerachiel76

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The Great Central's main line to London. It's only ironic it's now being viewed as an alternative route (at least in part) for HS2. It was ahead of it's time and it suffered for it.
 

gingerheid

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There's so many possibilities! Does anyone know which was the first to reopen? I suspect it's in a prime position for the award!

In Scotland I think that would make the winner the Paisley Canal line? (Edit - no - the Argyll Line). In London it would be the relevant parts of Thameslink?

But overall it would be Peterborough - Spalding, which was only closed for less than a year?
 
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randyrippley

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how about the route over Stainmore, arguably the most scenic in the country, and what would now be a perfect cross country route from the WCML for services heading to the northeast. I'd guess at it being the quickest route from the northwest to Edinburgh
 
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