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What abandoned British lines would have been good tourist railroads?


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One of my personal pet projects is to review abandoned railroads in the United States, and speculate on what they might have been like had they survived as tourist or heritage railways.

 

In your opinions, what are some abandoned British lines that would have made decent, if not superb, heritage railways.

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18 minutes ago, rab said:

Wadebridge to Padstow ; great views of the river all the way.

Having walked and cycled this route a fair few times I have mixed feelings, in some ways it would be nice to take a train ride along the Camel estuary, but I do rather like being able to stop and admire the view or watch the changing tide, which would be trickier with no access to the line on foot.

Edited by spamcan61
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40 minutes ago, Kylestrome said:

The Ballachulish line?

 

The main problem with that is that you end up in Ballachulish :wink_mini:  (Oh, and the two major bridges at Connell & Creagan are now fully dedicated to road traffic - though that wasn't the case when the line was originally closed, of course.)

 

If we're looking in that part of the world I'd suggest the line from Spean Bridge to Fort Augustus would be a more realistic proposition.  Plenty of scope for tourist traffic to Loch Ness and access points along the Caledonian Canal I'd have thought, plus baggers for various hills along the route.  And anything would be preferable to the godawful A82.

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43 minutes ago, BMacdermott said:

Hello everyone

 

The Somerset & Dorset line.

 

Brian

Yes indeed, all the way to the beach at Burnham on Sea.

 

Mike

Burnham on Sea

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How about the Maidens and Dunure Light Railway (Ayr to Girvan along the coast)?

 

Extensive sea views and It would have served Butlins at Heads of Ayr, Robert Burns's birthplace at Alloway, Culzean Castle and Turnberry golf course.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maidens_and_Dunure_Light_Railway

 

Possibly the only light railway to have enjoyed a sleeping car service.

Edited by Andy Kirkham
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The Wye Valley line from Chepstow to Monmouth.

 

The GWR ran day trips to Tintern specifically for tourists. 

Long after the line was closed to passengers in 1959 BR continued to serve quarries at Tintern and Tidenham, though these have now gone too.  

Too much has gone now for the route to be reopened unfortunately,

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/midlandexplorerboy/albums/72157624273048317/

 

 

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1 hour ago, APOLLO said:

Whitby to Scarborough line

 

Brit15

 

I would extend that from Whitby to Middlesbrough - or strictly Saltburn Junction, since the Middlesbrough - Saltburn line is still fully open.

 

Saltburn Junction - Boulby Potash Mine is open to freight and I had the pleasure of taking a passenger special over the route some 30 odd years ago.  Skinningrove viaduct was spectacular as I think would the other viaducts down the line to Whitby - Sandsend et al.

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31 minutes ago, Andy Kirkham said:

How about the Maidens and Dunure Light Railway (Ayr to Girvan along the coast)?

 

Extensive sea views and It would have served Butlins at Heads of Ayr, Robert Burns's birthplace at Alloway, Culzean Castle and Turnberry golf course.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maidens_and_Dunure_Light_Railway

 

Possibly the only light railway to have enjoyed a sleeping car service.

 

Good one . Keep on forgetting about that one , but the views out over the Clyde towards Arran must have been spectacular .  I used to do the audit of a Caravan Park that used part of the former trackbed .  By coincidence the family will be heading to Girvan this Saturday for a day out . Will come back via coast route .

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19 minutes ago, Andy Hayter said:

 

I would extend that from Whitby to Middlesbrough - or strictly Saltburn Junction, since the Middlesbrough - Saltburn line is still fully open.

 

Saltburn Junction - Boulby Potash Mine is open to freight and I had the pleasure of taking a passenger special over the route some 30 odd years ago.  Skinningrove viaduct was spectacular as I think would the other viaducts down the line to Whitby - Sandsend et al.

A beautiful route but the structures and earthworks were marginal all the way. A journey over Sandsend viaduct on a windy day strikes me as slightly scary.... 

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The Ventnor West branch on the Isle of Wight was quite picturesque in places, but the final leg  from St Lawrence to Ventnor was spectacular.

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39 minutes ago, Andy Hayter said:

 

I would extend that from Whitby to Middlesbrough - or strictly Saltburn Junction, since the Middlesbrough - Saltburn line is still fully open.

 

Saltburn Junction - Boulby Potash Mine is open to freight and I had the pleasure of taking a passenger special over the route some 30 odd years ago.  Skinningrove viaduct was spectacular as I think would the other viaducts down the line to Whitby - Sandsend et al.

 

Unfortunately major geological problems occurred between Sandsend and kettleness tunnels ironically one of the reasons they gave to shut the line over sixty years ago.

In the last 25 years the North portal of Sandsend collapsed and the trackbed has slipped towards the sea. 

If it had initially been preserved it may not have been still open today 

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Mid Wales Railway - Moat Lane down to Three Cocks - stunning scenery. The bit beyond to Newport isn't bad either!

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