United Kingdom - Older General Information
This document acts as an archive for Recent and Future Changes more than five years ago.
Route Closures and Service Reductions
Closures and significant service reductions in recent years
- Farringdon - Moorgate, London: March 2009, but the London Underground line between the same stations is not affected.
- Fawkham Junction - Southfleet Junction: Regular passenger use ceased in November 2007, as a result of Eurostar services being diverted from London Waterloo to St Pancras. The line was converted to sidings, accessed only from Southfleet Junction, in April 2016, possibly temporarily.
- Barkston South Junction - Barkston East Junction: Replaced by new curve at Allington, October 2005.
Lines closed for conversion to rapid transit or other alternative transport use:
- Manchester - Oldham - Rochdale: Closed October 2009; most is now part of Manchester's tram/metro system, but that has street running through Oldham, following an interim period when trams used a now-closed section of the former railway.
- Stratford - North Woolwich, London: Closed December 2006; part being converted to part of Docklands Light Railway and much of the remainder as part of Crossrail's Abbey Wood line.
Passenger service withdrawn, line still open:
- Westbury East Loop Junction - Hawkeridge Junction: Service withdrawn May 2016, when the experimental service of one train each day, Monday to Friday, non-stop between Reading and Bath Spa ceased.
- [Kensington Olympia - ] Latchmere Junction - Longhedge Junction [ - Wandsworth Road]: The limited service was withdrawn in June 2013.
- Acton Main Line - Willesden West London Jn: Service withdrawn in December 2008, as a result of Cross Country ceasing to run trains to and from Brighton.
- Reading West Junction - Oxford Road Junction: The summer Saturday service last ran in September 2008.
- Nine Elms Junction - Linford Street Junction: Service withdrawn November 2007, as a result of Eurostar services being diverted from London Waterloo to St Pancras.
- Stratford - North Woolwich, London: Service withdrawn December 2006; part of the line being converted to part of Docklands Light Railway and part of the rest being rebuilt as part of Crossrail's Abbey Wood line.
- Newhaven Marine Station: The service comprising one train per day was suspended in August 2006 because of the alleged unsafe condition of the platform canopy.
- Maindee curve, Newport, Gwent: Service withdrawn December 2005.
- Lisburn - Antrim: Service withdrawn June 2003, on diversion of passenger trains via Bleach Green Junction.
Regular passenger service replaced by a very limited one:
- [Wandsworth Road - ] Factory Junction - Battersea Park: Reduced to one and a half round trips in December 2012.
- Stechford - Aston: Limited service following closure of open-access operator Wrexham & Shropshire in January 2011.
- Darlaston Jn - Pleck Jn [Walsall]: Reduced to one Walsall to Wolverhampton train, December 2008.
- Trowell Junction - Trent Junction: Reduced to 2 or 3 trains a week from December 2008.
- Holytown (Mossend East Jn) - Motherwell (Mossend South Jn): December 2014
- Holytown - Wishaw: December 2014
Re-openings and Openings
The first 70km section of the Channel Tunnel rail link, between Dollands Moor and Southfleet Jn, opened to passengers on 28 September 2003 and the 40km second phase, between Southfleet Jn and London St Pancras International, opened on 14 November 2007. The whole CTRL is now dubbed HS1 ("High Speed 1"). Internal services between London St.Pancras International and destinations in Kent commenced on a trial basis from June 2009, and in full service from December 2009. Higher fares are charged for journeys to and from London via HS1, but not for those between Kent and places beyond London.
New and reinstated passenger services in recent years
- Yeovil Junction - Yeovil Pen Mill (December 2015)
- Bicester South Junction - Gavray Junction, allows trains to run between London Marylebone and Oxford (October 2015) (until 10 December 2016 trains ran only as far as Oxford Parkway, but now run through to Oxford)
- Newcraighall - Tweedbank (Borders Railway) (September 2015)
- Whiteplatts Jn - Todmorden Jn (Todmorden Curve), allows trains to run direct between Todmorden and Burnley Manchester Road (May 2015)
- Ebbw Vale Parkway - Ebbw Vale Town (May 2015)
- Surrey Quays - Queens Road Peckham (December 2012)
- Wandsworth Road - Clapham Junction (December 2012)
- Drumgelloch - Bathgate (December 2010)
- Kettering - Corby - Manton Junction [Melton Mowbray] (April 2009, limited service Kettering - Corby from February 2009)
- Stirling - Alloa (May 2008)
- Ebbw Vale Parkway - Cardiff (February 2008) (a link to Newport should reopen later)
- Hamilton - Larkhall (December 2005)
- Maryhill - Anniesland (September 2005)
- Whiteabbey (Bleach Green Junction) - Antrim (June 2003)
The line between Stratford and Tottenham Hale regained a regular interval service in December 2005 after a period with very few trains.
The Docklands Light Railway extended to Woolwich Arsenal in January 2009 and to Stratford International in August 2011. The first phase of the resuscitated East London line (partially reopened/partially new construction) opened in April 2010, with full service extending into south London the following month, and to Highbury & Islington in February 2011. Since December 2011 the curve from Slade Green to Barnehurst (Perry Street Fork Junction), which had previously had a limited service, has been used by trains for most of the day, Mondays to Fridays.
A flyover at Nuneaton, partly new work and partly re-opening a closed line, came into use in 2006. This avoids the need for trains between the Birmingham area and Leicester to cross the West Coast Main Line on the flat. A flyover at Hitchin, used by most passenger trains towards the Cambridge line, came into use in 2013. New curves north of Ipswich and north of Doncaster are normally used only by freight trains. At Norton Bridge a new flyover to and from the Stoke-on-Trent line and a new down slow line towards Crewe came into use in March 2016.
Remodelling the railway at Reading, completed in 2015, has included construction of a new dive-under from the Wokingham line to the north side of the station, with a limited passenger service, a flyover west of the station used by fast trains to and from Didcot and an alternative route between Reading West and the north side of Reading station.
Extensions to tourist/heritage railways:
- the Mountsorrel branch, off the Great Central Railway, opened in autumn 2015 for occasional trains only.
- Extension of the Bluebell Railway from Kingscote to East Grinstead in 2013 completed the restoration of a link with the national network.
- The Welsh Highland Railway - 2ft. gauge, closed in 1937 - has been rebuilt and extended to run between Caernarfon and Porthmadog (25 miles). The final section - including a flat crossing with the standard gauge line in Porthmadog, to effect a link with the Ffestiniog Railway - opened in April 2011.
- Glasgow (Shields Junction) to Paisley Canal (November 2012)
- Manchester (Castlefield Junction) to Newton-le-Willows (December 2013)
- Cumbernauld to Springburn and Mossend (Motherwell) (May 2014)
- Rutherglen to Whifflet (December 2014)
- Earlestown to Edge Hill (March 2015)
- Manchester Victoria to Ordsall Lane Junction (May 2015)
- Wigan (Springs Branch Junction) to Huyton via St Helens (May 2015)
Stations at Airports
In addition to airports served by stations on through lines, branch lines or extensions have been opened over recent years and now serve airports at London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle and London Heathrow (where Heathrow Express/HeathrowConnect and London Underground have three separate pairs of stations: Terminals 1-2-3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5).