Back on 23rd December 2016 I told the story of a certain Dr Richard Beeching who, on that day in 1964, was to depart from his post as Chairman of the British Rail Board in the New Year.
Well, it was on this day – Wednesday 15th March – in 1961 – that he had become the head of British Rail and an awful lot had happened in the meantime! To be fair, though, he wasn’t the first to close railway services. The new lines were becoming ‘gone lines’ as early as the 1850s and then again in 1949. The cuts continued some ten years after Beeching’s departure. It took another 10 years or so for the ‘planned’ closing of almost 4,000 miles of track and half of the 6,000 stations to exist no more.
So was it a good or bad thing that Dr Beeching is credited for? Well – it still depends who you are and what you seek. For instance – I can get from home to London much quicker by train than by car – but where the train stops isn’t necessarily where I want to be!
And staying ‘personal’ for a little longer – until the early 1930s (no I wasn’t actually born then) there was a railway line with trains running from Castor, through villages of Southorpe and Barnack to Stamford. Then they ceased to be. For quite some time now they have existed in an enjoyable condition – they are part of the Nene Valley heritage railway near Peterborough!