Tinpot Railways: Terminal decline

Tinpot Railways: Terminal decline

The good old British railway system! One of the fighter points for the UK’s successful tinpot railway system were its termini. Who needed grand stations with a judicious choice of platforms and stupendous station buildings when a bus stop thingy could do better? Better still – why not push the railway buffers further back and make the bloody passengers walk! These lazy bastards evidently thought a railway ticket meant they’d been cosseted for life!

There was in fact a simple answer to the huge conundrum posed by Britain’s railways – just get rid of the damn trains!

Let’s start with a classic example of how to best procure a non-functional railway…

This classic example is the Queen’s very own railway! King’s Lynn to Hunstanton. The Royal route. VIP trains to Wolferton. At the far end of the line a grand seaside terminus. Its out of the station and straight onto the beach! And its ice cream time yipee!

One thought Hunstanton would be safe. That’s because it wasn’t even part of Beeching’s plan for eviscerated railways. Source: Twitter

But no worries the illusion would soon shatter!

Norfolk – easily reached by train. Hunstanton (and Yarmouth Southtown too) but not for long! Source: Twitter

Aw! A lovely terminus, full of TLC and many trains – the good old days eh? Source: Twitter

Looking good for Hunstanton! A bright future beckons. Gaywood level crossing – fully modernised. 1962. Source: Twitter

Not so fast! This is actually what happened….

Yes. The UK’s system’s very own Doctor Morbius – British Railways! This quote is from a West Norfolk report acknowledging British Rail deliberately ran down its lines. Wasn’t even the car that was to blame. It was British Railways wanting to get shot of its lines. An atmosphere of despair and dereliction was no doubt one surefire method of making the passengers run for their lives…..

Simples… get rid of a nice railway terminus. Instil fear into the passengers – let it be known their life choices had suddenly been severely compromised…

Don’t like it? Its just too bad – either you learn to love the bus or buy a car!

Sir John Betjeman would have weeped….

Betjeman en route to Hunstanton. A film in which the master poet extolled the virtues of West Norfolk’s railway. Source: Twitter

PS Betjeman’s famous film can be seen here at BFI.

Soon this woman would lose her job! The crossing keeper at Hunstanton. Source: Twitter

That’s much better! A station with existential dread – and yes – train travel’s no longer fun anymore! Source: Twitter

There we are! Problem’s finally been sorted – a station no bloody good for anything! We love it! Source: Twitter

Nothing can beat the glorious sight of a car park! Fifty-one years and counting! Source: Google Streets

You know what they said about Harwich being for the continent and Frinton being for the incontinent? One can be assured there was a secondary underlying message to this – and that was ‘Cross the sea to Europe if you want glorious railway systems – alive, thriving, and expanding. Remain this side of the channel should you somehow prefer the UK’s incontinent railways!’

And that’s it!

Pic source: Pinterest