Dr Beeching's Axe 50 Years on: Memories of Britain's Lost Railways

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With images of protests, last trains and the subsequent dereliction, Julian Holland presents a vivid picture of this dramatic and drastic shake-up of Britain's railways. Julian Holland's Dr Beeching's Axe 50 Years On is a unique memorial to all that was lost following the publication of the 'Beeching Report' on 27 March 1963. Across the land railways were ripped up and communities were broken apart. Vast regions of England, Scotland and Wales were left without a railway link to the outside world. Skilled railwaymen, who for generations had loyally given their all to the 'company' were tossed aside for the sake of a politically motivated love affair with road transport. There was never any joined up thinking ('Integrated transport?' 'What's that?'), it was never properly thought through and our country has suffered ever since - witness the near gridlock on our motorways. Uniquely, the author has tried to include every railway line that was closed as a result of the 'Beeching Report', and more. They are all shown on Map 9 in Part 2 of the 'Report' and have been annotated for clarity at the beginning of each regional chapter in the book. Needless to say it is not plain sailing: there are lines that were marked for closure on the maps but were closed before publication of the 'Report'; there are lines that were not originally on Beeching's original hit list but which were closed anyway; there are lines that were originally marked down for closure but which were fortunately reprieved. There are even one or two which seem to have not existed at all! The author has included them all.