I enjoyed Richard Lofthouse’s piece on the varsity Line which is currently being reinstated as part of a wider East West Rail project. I have to correct him on one point. This was not actually a closure instigated by Dr Beeching, who did not include it in the infamous appendix to Reshaping British Railways which listed the lines he thought needed to go. It was, in fact, the Labour Government that was responsible, pushing British rail to extend the scope of the closures. It was, however, a closure in the spirit of Beeching who prioritised the routes that radiated out from London, a policy now seen as a mistake.

The line was never, in fact, fully closed as the section from Bletchley to Bedford retained its passenger trains owing to the difficulty in setting up adequate replacement bus services.