Sunday 31 March 2013

Beeching Report 50 Years On

Fifty years ago the Beeching Report was published, spelling the end for thousands of railway stations and hundreds of branch lines.
Beeching was recruited by the government and his report recommended taking an axe to about a third of the network - 5,000 miles of track, including hundreds of branch lines, 2,363 railway stations and tens of thousands of jobs. Instead, it would concentrate on the things trains did well - fast journeys between the cities. Improved bus services could replace branch lines, argued Dr Beeching.
However, the line closures began long before the Beeching report. More than 3,000 miles disappeared in the 1950s and the government wanted to axe a lot more.

It's been five decades since Britain said goodbye to said of its most beautiful and picturesque railway stations as the nation began to scale back its vast railway network in a move that would see more than 2,000 stations closed.

Click on the link below to see a collection of images that show the very last journeys made by locomotives on dozens of rural lines across the country before they were ripped up under the Beeching Axe.