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This week we've been looking back at the cuts that Dr Richard Beeching, from Kent, announced 50 years ago. His report into our loss-making railways led to many lines being closed because few people were using them.
Half a century on we're still suffering the effects of decades of under investment while ironically more people than ever are squeezing onto a network that was cut by a third. Now, at last, billions of pounds are being invested into it.
The South is home to the busiest rail network in Europe. Its managers have been talking exclusively to our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse about the past and revealing the future.
Interviewees: Tim Shoveller. MD, South West Trains and Fiona Taylor, Network Rail, Kent Director.