Sunday, 28 March 2010

settle and carlisle

(all 8.8.1984)

The survival of the Settle and Carlisle railway was probably the turning point for Britain's railways, the point where suddenly everyone begun to realise that not only had the Beeching-era closures come to an end, but that soon they would begin to reverse.

I've only visited the line once, back in 1984, and I've never travelled on it, despite being born in Carlisle! It's something I will have to do in the future.

If the Settle and Carlisle can successfully run then the Somerset and Dorset, which serves far more large towns, should indeed be open again in the not too distant future. This disparity underlines the importance of retaining rail infrastructure even where a line has closed. Restoring the S&D is going to require a lot of compulsory purchase and/or new build to get it back to Bournemouth and Bath. The route should have been retained, it only closed a decade before the turn round in rail fortunes. It's a national disgrace that this was allowed to happen.
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