The Reshaping of British Railways cover

31 January 2013

For the first time, The Reshaping of British Railways by Dr Richard Beeching is available in its entirety, complete with the original tables and maps of routes deemed fit for closure.
In the early 1960s the British Rail company was failing to stem huge annual losses, so the government tasked Dr Beeching with saving money by recommending the cutting of redundant routes and services. His two reports, The Reshaping of British Railways (1963) and The Development of the Major Railway Trunk Routes (1965), offer a fascinating snapshot of our nation's railways.
In the first part of this historic facsimile edition, Dr Beeching identifies 2,363 stations and 5,000 miles of railway line for closure - accounting for over 50 per cent of all stations and 30 per cent of route miles. Despite nationwide protests, resulting in the saving of some stations and lines, the majority were closed as planned and Beeching's name is still associated with the mass closure of railways and the loss of many local services in the period that followed.
Roger Kershaw, Head of Military, Maritime, Transport and Family Records, The National Archives said: 'This is a must-have piece of history for all those interested in how our towns and cities have been affected by the reshaping of the railway network 50 years ago.'

Buy The Reshaping of British Railways from The National Archives' bookshop. Claim a 10% discount by adding the promotional code 'toot', valid until Friday 8 February.

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