Why Was the Exe Valley Railway Closed?
Since I have become interested in the Exe Valley Railway,the thing that has always puzzled me most,is why did they close it down?
Everyone I have heard of who once travelled the line is still sad about its loss and miss it even today.People who never travelled the line due to not being born in time like myself, wish it was still there and local business people all say how good it would be for the local economy if the railway still existed today,so why was it closed down in the first place?To understand this,I suppose we have to take off our nostalgia glasses for a moment and go back in time to 1963 and examine the facts.
In those days the railway to some was dirty,old fashioned and antequated compared to the new and exciting advancements in cars and the motorways.To the concrete modernists who seemed rife in the 60's,the railways represented the past not the future and they made it their mission to concrete over this past.
As with most things however,it was not a matter of opinion or of one form of transport over another that was the main factor in the argument,but as usual it was money.The railway network was losing vast amounts of money and this was the main reason put forward for something being done about the railways.
So it was then that Richard Beeching or Dr. Beeching as he was known,was brought in by the Conservative government in 1961,to look at ways to modernise the railways and to some how make them profitable again.
On the 27th March 1963 he published his report called,"The Reshaping of Britsh Railways" known commonly as,"The Beeching Report" which to the shock of many people,proposed the closing of 2,363 stations and the closure of 5,000 miles of line.To explain and defend his proposals he made this film which we will now watch...if you want to:)