South West Railway Trails

UK Railway Closures

The infamous Beeching Report led to the closure of a massive number of UK railway station and branch line closures in the 1960’s. 

At that time, the local branch line railways were under pressure from ever rising costs and competition from buses. 

The crazy thing was the speed at which the railway tracks were pulled up and land sold off to the point that re-instatement of lines has often become impossible, even for use as a simple pathway.

Many people at the time and since are angry at the lack of foresight, and careless selling off of these assets in a short-term effort to “balance the books”.  Why oh why did British Rail at that time not retain the old line routes and convert them into pathways when they had the chance?

Successful Railway Track to Trail Conversions

Thankfully, ordinary people up and down the UK have worked hard to reclaim the use of old railway tracks (where possible) and convert them to cycling and walking trails.

Some great examples of disused railway track to trail conversions in the South West are:

New Initiatives

Inspired by the success of other railway track to trail conversions, we and other local groups are busy campaigning.  Local communities are working hard to seek land permissions, funding and support to convert local disused railway tracks near them.

The Primrose Trail

19 km (11.8 miles)

The Primrose Trail Group is a local community group that is spearheading the opening of a safe, accessible multi-purpose leisure trail between Kingsbridge and South Brent, following where possible the route of the old Primrose Line railway.

The group is made up of local people who share a passion for walking, cycling, Devon life and the great outdoors.

Read more…