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Scotland’s Lost Branch Lines

Where Beeching Got It Wrong

by David Spaven

£30.00 £24.00

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Name Range Discount
Black Friday 2021 1 - 200 20 %
ISBN: 9781839830198
Published: 03 Mar 2022
Format: Hardback
Extent: 320
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Origin
History / Local history
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About the Book

The infamous ‘Beeching Axe’ swept away virtually every Scottish branch line in the 1960s. Conventional wisdom viewed these losses as regrettable yet inevitable in an era of growing affluence and rising car ownership. This ground-breaking analysis of Beeching’s flawed approach to closures has unearthed strong evidence of a ‘stitch-up’ – the Beeching Report ignored the scope for sensible economies which would have allowed a significant number of axed routes to survive and prosper.

David Spaven traces the birth, life and eventual death of Scotland’s branch lines, and outlines the controversial closure process through the unique stories of how a dozen routes lost their trains in the 1960s: the lines to Ballachulish, Ballater, Callander, Crail, Crieff, Fraserburgh, Kelso, Kilmacolm, Leven, Peebles, Peterhead and St Andrews.

He concludes by exploring a potential renaissance of branch lines, propelled by concerns over road congestion and the climate emergency.

The Author

David Spaven

David Spaven has spent his working life in and around the railway industry and is now both a rail consultant and a railway author. His first book, the highly acclaimed Mapping the Railways, was written jointly with Julian Holland and was published by Times Books/HarperCollins in 2011. He is the author of the bestselling Railway Atlas of Scotland (Birlinn, 2015).

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