31 January 2006

Gunnislake Branch Line Threat?

The picture above shows the point where the Tamar Valley branch Line passes under the main line as it crosses the River Tamar on the magnificent Royal Albert Bridge. This line is one of the most beautiful branch lines in the country and very popular. It was saved from the Beeching Axe in the 1960s because Gunnislake in particular is not well served by good roads so it was deemed necessary to keep the train service.

Some of the history of this line as part of the Callington Branch can be foun on the Train web site, which is well worth a visit to explore more of the hsitory of rail services in this area.

Well today this is Plymouth reports that:

Rural train services in the area could be scrapped by the Government, it has been revealed. In a statement in Parliament, the Department for Transport has revealed that dozens of branch lines and secondary routes could shut.The proposed moves were found within an 83-page document issued alongside a statement by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling. They would be the biggest overhaul of the network since the Beeching report in the 1960s, which led to the closure of 4,000 miles of railway and nearly half the nation's stations.Loss-making services would be transferred onto buses, as a means of reducing the £6bn-a-year subsidy, the document states.Mr Darling's statement, along with the 83-page consultation paper, entitled: 'Consultation on the Implementation of the Railways Act 2005,was designed to set the scene for future rail cuts.

This seems to be preparing the way to cut even more rural rail services just like the Tamar Valley Line. For a government that pretends to be in favour of public transport this is a great way of showing their true colours. I am sure that this story will grow and a lot more will come out in the days ahead. I will certainly be having a good read of this document myself.

In the meantime a photo from Cyberheritage of happier days at Calstock.

For pictures of modern day Calstock Station and others on the branch then visit this page.

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