What were the 5 most controversial closures of the 60s?

Eyersey468

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Probably a bit off topic but I have heard that the then MP of Hornsea tried really hard to get the closure overturned but was told to drop it. The problems with that line were 1) no industry on the route, 2) most of the stations were some distance from the places they were meant to serve and 3) between Hull and Hornsea it didn't serve any major places so I suspect it would have closed anyway even without the Beeching report
 
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mike57

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Probably a bit off topic but I have heard that the then MP of Hornsea tried really hard to get the closure overturned but was told to drop it. The problems with that line were 1) no industry on the route, 2) most of the stations were some distance from the places they were meant to serve and 3) between Hull and Hornsea it didn't serve any major places so I suspect it would have closed anyway even without the Beeching report
To be honest Hornsea was probably the right decision, but Withersea served more populous places and the road is busier and slower. Withernsea would have required some investment to allow trains to use the high level route round Hull which would have closed Botanic Gardens and Stepney, and their level crossings, but I would have made first stop Hedon anyway, as local bus services deliver a good service to these two locations, and they are only a mile or so from Paragon.
 

Eyersey468

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To be honest Hornsea was probably the right decision, but Withersea served more populous places and the road is busier and slower. Withernsea would have required some investment to allow trains to use the high level route round Hull which would have closed Botanic Gardens and Stepney, and their level crossings, but I would have made first stop Hedon anyway, as local bus services deliver a good service to these two locations, and they are only a mile or so from Paragon.
I agree about Hornsea being the right decision for the reasons I stated. Apparently the MP was told if they reprieved Hornsea and not Withernsea it would cause bitterness in Withernsea.
 

frodshamfella

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Southport to Preston via Crossens seemed a poor decision. The electric section to Crossens was particularly busy , carrying more than 2 million a year in the early 60s.
 

Journeyman

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I do wonder had the line been electrified between Crossens & Preston, if that would have saved it from closure
It's an interesting question. Only one Southern Electric line closed under Beeching, which was Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes. Did electric lines stay open because they were electric, or were lines only electric because they were busy enough in the first place to justify the investment?

The Southern did make some odd choices on this, spending a lot on Woodside to Sanderstead, which was always a quiet backwater. Rather surprisingly it clung on until the eighties.
 

Dr Hoo

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The Southport-Preston axis (which I must confess to have never used) has always struck me as operationally very cumbersome with a mixture of steam and electric services, complicated triangular junctions at both ends with numerous variations of services onto adjoining lines and links to depots. Plus the usual problems of multiple level crossings, seasonal surges in traffic and so on. Loads of money to be saved.

Although I've seen the 'two million' figure before (albeit applied to the whole route, not just the electrified section) I struggle to believe it. All the pictures that I've seen of Crossens and other intermediate stations seem to be virtually bereft of passengers, certainly in later days. Crossens station itself lay on the edge of a relatively small community with open fields to one side of the line.

As a pleasant set of suburbs on the north side of a reasonably well-to-do town the area out to Crossens must have been in the vanguard of rapidly rising car ownership and easy to serve by bus in the early 1960s.

Are there any more details of the patronage?

The actual closure of the line seemed to pass of with remarkably little attention. The Railway Magazine for October 1964 simply lists the stations on the line as closing along with dozens of others across the network around that time (whereas the demise of railbus services on various remote deep rural byways around the same time usually got a photo feature).
 

30907

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It's an interesting question. Only one Southern Electric line closed under Beeching, which was Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes. Did electric lines stay open because they were electric, or were lines only electric because they were busy enough in the first place to justify the investment?

The Southern did make some odd choices on this, spending a lot on Woodside to Sanderstead, which was always a quiet backwater. Rather surprisingly it clung on until the eighties.
Both were only done for operating reasons apparently: Selsdon provided a third terminus for the mid-Kent line (effectively replacing Beckenham Jn - Clock House to Woodside and Hayes had got busy!), and Horsted Keynes for the Seaford-Haywards Heath locals (which IIRC went when HK closed).
 

Scouseinmanc

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The Southport-Preston axis (which I must confess to have never used) has always struck me as operationally very cumbersome with a mixture of steam and electric services, complicated triangular junctions at both ends with numerous variations of services onto adjoining lines and links to depots. Plus the usual problems of multiple level crossings, seasonal surges in traffic and so on. Loads of money to be saved.

Although I've seen the 'two million' figure before (albeit applied to the whole route, not just the electrified section) I struggle to believe it. All the pictures that I've seen of Crossens and other intermediate stations seem to be virtually bereft of passengers, certainly in later days. Crossens station itself lay on the edge of a relatively small community with open fields to one side of the line.

As a pleasant set of suburbs on the north side of a reasonably well-to-do town the area out to Crossens must have been in the vanguard of rapidly rising car ownership and easy to serve by bus in the early 1960s.

Are there any more details of the patronage?

The actual closure of the line seemed to pass of with remarkably little attention. The Railway Magazine for October 1964 simply lists the stations on the line as closing along with dozens of others across the network around that time (whereas the demise of railbus services on various remote deep rural byways around the same time usually got a photo feature).
I would hedge my bets that it was the Southport - Crossens section that was carrying 2M passengers a year. Not sure about the Crossens - Preston section. Still doesn’t make sense why they didn’t just truncate the line at Crossens & retained the busy electric service.
 

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