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What abandoned British lines would have been good tourist railroads?


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As far as I know there is only one tourist railway that runs as part of a profit making commercial operation with paid employees, the vast majority  rely on an army of volunteers. So to make a good tourist line I would suggest the line would need:

to be reopened as part of the national network or  have the required number of volunteers available to build/maintain and run the line.

Not to compete too much with established lines.

Have a local tourist trade, especially coach tours

 

That would rule out any lines in Norfolk, However Suffolk and the rural areas of Essex don't have any lines  so I would suggest that a line from Sudbury - Long Melford - Lavenham would have worked, but much of the infrastructure cannot be reclaimed now. The main option open in the area is the Leeston branch  when it is abandoned after (if?) Sizewell C is built.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tim V said:

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


Would have loved to travel that route.... up the Severn catchment then over the top in to the Wye valley... so scenic! Every time we are fishing on the Wye we listen In hope for an Ivatt mogul pulling up the valley....

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53 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

The Neath & Brecon between Coelbren and Sennybridge.  


Including the rail over road over river 3 level bridge at Trallong. Pillars are still there , still looking for a photo of it whilst intact

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Barnstaple to Ilfracombe. There was an attempt to preserve it in the 1970s but it failed then. Would have been difficult to work as a preserved line given the gradient into and out of Ilfracombe.

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On 15/07/2021 at 09:09, rab said:

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

Actually include the rest of the North Cornwall line inc. branches....to be worked by Bullied Pacific's and N class and T9s... wouldn't that be nice?

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On 15/07/2021 at 14:08, geoffers said:

Barnstaple to Ilfracombe. There was an attempt to preserve it in the 1970s but it failed then. Would have been difficult to work as a preserved line given the gradient into and out of Ilfracombe.

Also Barnstaple to Halwill jn along Taw then torridge valley 

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On 15/07/2021 at 11:47, Trevellan said:

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.

 

Why not the entire IOW rail system?  Lots of different scenery and places to go.

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On 17/07/2021 at 09:19, snitchthebudgie said:

 

Why not the entire IOW rail system?  Lots of different scenery and places to go.

True, but there's picturesque and then there's spectacular!

 

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The section of the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway from Aviemore to Forres.

 

The scenery, especially across Dava Moor, is spectacular.

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Virtually everything in North and Mid Wales.

 

Think of lines like the Festiniog and Bala, Ruabon to Barmouth, Carnarvon to Afon Wen, etc.

 

Not just from a "nice view" aspect. Also as a way to get rid of all those cars cluttering up the place.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-57866005

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-53536557

 

I don't mean just as steam heritage lines. But proper services working together with the heritage railways in the area.

 

 

Jason

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On 15/07/2021 at 14:52, ejstubbs said:

Penrith to Keswick would be a no brainer these days I'd have thought, given modern tourist levels in the Lake District.

Probably more so as a service railway than a tourist one (although it keeps getting suggested every now and then but doesn't look viable).

 

Across Dartmoor to Princetown would be a good one (built on in some awkward places though).

 

Darlington to Teesdale's been mentioned, but how about over to Kirkby Stephen? That would be spectacular (utterly impractical to reopen, but spectacular).

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The Gwili Railway. The railway runs through some beautiful scenery already with more promise on the way. They are gearing up to extend northwards in the next couple of years, so watch this space!

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