Category Archives: Beeching Plan

If I could turn back time

Yes, I know, 2 in one night, shocking isnt it? Make the most of it though, it could well be the last for a week though, due to work and things.

As someone who travels a lot by train, there is an anniversary today that I’d rather forget. This isnt because of anything more than my love of esoteric little branch lines, a handful of which survive today, but the vast majority of which were doomed from this date in 1963.

Yes, the Beeching report, ghastly thing that it was. Alright, dont get me wrong, some of those lines were so financially unviable that it was a miracle they lasted that long, but even so…In all honesty, the one I would most loved to have travelled, the branch line across Dartmoor, to Princetown didnt even last that long, it had closed in 1956! But this was the date that so many wonderful little branch lines were sent to their doom. Thankfully, not all the closures he wanted happened, a look at the map of lines that Beeching wanted left would look shorn, even against todays network, the highlands of Scotland for example would be barren, but thankfully they arent.

Yes, I regret that I will never get to travel some of these lines, and enjoy the scenery, but time travel is not yet a feasible prospect, even if it doesnt stop us fiction writers using it as a medium. I know, I did recently, though I went back further than the 60’s when I did! Lets just say it was a fun way to set a story in 1920’s New York, and leave it at that.

Thankfully Beeching is long gone, but sadly, so are lots of wonderful local railways, and a few main lines too. Maybe you can look back on a few in your area after reading this.

The video, more modern, though with an apt title