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Rail Atlas: the Beeching Era
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The Beeching Report 'The Reshaping of British Railways' was first published in 1963. This seminal document, about which much has been written and which remains highly controversial to this day, was one of the major influences in the creation of the railway industry in Britain today. The original report was produced in two parts: the first incorporated all the statistical analysis along with the schedule of stations and lines to close, whilst the second incorporated about a dozen maps that supplemented the information imparted by the written report. The original maps were relatively basic and designed to offer little more than a visual aide memoire to the actual report. These included maps recording the passenger lines destined to close in whole or in part, the coal freight flows not already carried by rail, the density of freight tonnage from each individual station and the freightliner routes and terminals then under construction. However, the combination of these two elements in conjunction with the cartographic database that has been the foundation of a number of railway atlases (including the recently reprinted 1955 volume), create a new, highly informative addition to the railway atlas series.
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