Resources for reopening scheme promoters

Other resources


An alphabetical listing of rail industry terminology and acronyms. Each time we have to use an obscure term (GRIP for example) or mention an industry body (such as Rail Delivery Group) we create a link to the corresponding glossary entry. The glossary also includes terms we have adopted that are not in general use – public transport railway for instance.

Go to the glossary


The Anonymous Widower
Articles covering a range of topics including UK railway reopenings.

Campaign for Better Transport
An advocacy group in the United Kingdom that promotes sustainable transport, including better bus and rail services.

Our vision is for all communities to have access to high quality, sustainable transport that meets their needs, improves quality of life and protects the environment.

Source: Our Strategy 2019–2024, Campaign for Better Transport (pdf).

Disused Stations
A wonderful resource created by railway photographer and historian Nick Catford. Each authoritative entry includes interesting photos and useful old maps.

Every Last Station – Future Stations
Map-centred information on planned and proposed stations. Patchy but promising.

Forgotton Relics – Reopening Proposals
Lines covered: Bere Alston – Tavistock | Bristol–Portishead | Claydon Junction – Bletchley | Colne–Skipton North Junction | Harrogate–Ripon– Northallerton | Keswick–Penrith | Lewes–Uckfield | March–Wisbech | York–Market Weighton–Beverley

Greengauge 21
A not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006 by Jim Steer to research and develop the concept of a high-speed rail network as a national economic priority.

Modern Railways

Rail Magazine

+ more railway news websites
An independent campaign for a better passenger and freight rail network.

Railfuture: Missing Links
A list of schemes Railfuture believes will most support economic growth and therefore offer the greatest chance of success. The list is informed by Connecting Communities, a 2009 report by the Association of Train Operating Companies, the organisation that evolved into the Rail Delivery Group.

Rail Reform Group
A coalition of rail industry professionals advocating a new, vertically-integrated regional railway business – Lancashire and Yorkshire Railways – which is owned and controlled by the people of the North of England.

Trundleage – Proposed Railway Schemes
A well-informed rail industry insider provides frequent blog-format updates about proposed UK railway stations and infrastructure projects.


Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network (pdf; 24pp)
A 2009 report by the Association of Train Operating Companies (now Rail Delivery Group) identifying potential expansion of the National Rail passenger railway network in England, primarily through the construction or reopening of railway lines for passenger services, and the construction or reopening of up to 40 new passenger railway stations. (Credit: Connecting Communities – Wikipedia)

Franklin Jarrier’s masterpiece, Detailed London transport map | Zoom in and see track layouts and depots | Download pdf
Also: London Network Rail lines identification map | Download pdf

New Adlestrop Railway Atlas 2018
Created by Richard Fairhurst of Système D, the New Adlestrop Railway Atlas is a historical atlas of Britain’s railways, showing lines and stations currently open, plus those that have closed. The map extends from the south coast of England as far north as Lancaster and York. It includes Wales but not Scotland or Northern Ireland. Adlestrop (Wikipedia) is a Gloucestershire village where the Cotswold line station closed in 1966. A pdf version of the map is available for download. We advise you not to publish parts of the map without Richard Fairhurst’s explicit permission. Update—18 November 2020: Richard Fairhurst has been in touch to say he has updated and completed the Atlas and is preparing it for publication.

New Popular Edition Maps
Ordnance Survey maps of the UK from the 1940s and 1950s. Not ultra-large scale and hard to navigate, but often worth the effort.
This is one of the places where you can find old maps showing the location of closed stations. It’s a useful resource but be prepared for a frustrating user experience. Click on the square icon to remove the blue overlay, then zoom in and out until you find a map that the site owner is willing to let you view without becoming a subscriber.

Old-Maps example

Old Maps Online
This is another place to visit when seeking the location of closed stations. Think of it as a search engine for the old Ordnance Survey maps located on the National Library of Scotland website. You could head over there, but it’s very hard to find what you’re looking for. The Old Maps Online user interface is better than, although this one also has its quirks.

ONS Basemaps Comparison
This is a truly wonderful collection of maps that includes OpenStreetMap and Ordnance Survey maps for 1900s and 1937–1961. A split screen arrangement enables you to explore the route of closed railway lines and the location of former stations by comparing the landscape as it was in the past with how it is now, as shown in the example (Norwich) below. There is no search facility. Double click to zoom in and shift + double click to zoom out.

ONS Basemap Comparison | Example: Norwich
A detailed online map of the world’s railway infrastructure, built on OpenStreetMap data. The map shows names of stations and major junctions plus the course of former railway lines.

An open source, user-generated map of the United Kingdom and other countries.

Rail Map Online
A map showing almost every passenger, freight and military railway that has ever existed in the UK. The following layers can be activated: Historic Railways, Historic Tramways, Modern Railways, HS2, Metro, Stations, Industry, Narrow Gauge, Miniature & Fun, and Features. Zoom in for an extraordinarily high level of detail.

Tube Map Central
A fascinating website created by Max Roberts, an Essex-based designer and researcher into map usability and aesthetics.

Resources for reopening scheme promoters

A Railway to Regenerate Levenmouth
Pdf version of a 32-page booklet produced by Davud Shirres on behalf of the successful Levenmouth Rail Campaign. The authors present the case for reinstating passenger services over a mothballed freight line in Scotland and highlight some of the hurdles that had to be surmounted. View the Reopen entry for the Leven line

Downloads for third parties – Network Rail
“To encourage third party investment in the network, we have a suite of downloads and template agreements for enhancement projects. They have been developed and revised following extensive consultation with industry, customers and stakeholders. They’re aimed at reducing the need for time-consuming negotiations on contractual arrangements for each scheme, providing transparency on payments to Network Rail. We strive to find solutions that reduce barriers to entry through the provision of a more economic and efficient contractual framework. Many of these documents are well established templates and codes of practice to remove barriers. Some are being revised to incorporate service levels and other recommended improvements.” – Network Rail

Early Assessment and Sifting Tool (EAST)
EAST is a decision support tool that has been developed by the Department for Transport to quickly summarise and present evidence on options in a clear and consistent format. It provides decision makers with relevant, high level information to help them form an early view of how options perform and compare. Download the Guidance (pdf; 22pp) | Download the tool (Excel document)

Expanding the Railways – How to develop and deliver a proposal
(pdf; sign-up required)
Produced by Campaign for Better Transport in association with Railfuture and Department for Transport, this 40-page guide for local authorities and other reopening scheme promoters covers the entire reopening lifecycle, from having an initial idea for a rail project through to running the first train.

Investing in the Network (pdf; 33pp)
A document about Network Rail’s Governance for Railway Investment Projects (GRIP) framework.
This is being replaced by Project Acceleration in a Controlled Environment (PACE).

Investment in Stations: A guide for promoters and developers (pdf; 30pp)
by Network Rail.

New parkway stations guidance (pdf; 18pp)
by Network Rail in association with Highways England.

Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline – Department for Transport (pdf; 22pp)
Essential reading for scheme promoters.

Reversing Beeching
by David Shirres, on RailStaff website (April 2020)

Route Utilisation Strategy: The changing face of London and Southeast Railway Architecture
by Tony Ramanathan, Principal Engineer, Network Rail (highly technical but includes some useful diagrams)

Transport Analysis Guidance – Department for Transport (pdf; 35pp)
A document about DfT’s Transport Appraisal Process.

The Transport Business Cases – Department for Transport (pdf; 29pp)
A document setting out the requirements for a Strategic Outline Business Case and a Full Business Case.

Other resources

Rail-related organisations and brands in the Midlands (located on this website)
Descriptions of various organisations and brands with Midlands in their name, such as Midlands Connect, Midlands Engine and Midlands Rail Hub.