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Beeching rail protests

Rail campaigners are marking the 50th anniversary of the Beeching Report today by staging protests against cost-cutting. The report, published in 1963, led to a savage axing of train routes and stations.

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What is the Beeching Report?

On March 27th 1963 the British Railways Board, chaired by Dr Richard Beeching, produced a report that called for the axing of 5,000 miles of train routes and more than 2,000 of the country's railway stations.

At that time railways were losing money and the report, 'Reshaping of British Railways', was ordered to save costs.

Dr Richard Beeching Credit: PA/PA Archive

Between 1964 and 1970, 5,224 route miles and 1,434 stations were closed.

Although ultimately it was the politicians who decided on the cuts, many rail unions see Dr Beeching as the archetypal axeman.

To others he was the man hired to do a cost-saving job.

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