Railway Paths

Future Plans – the composition of our land

November 2020

The consultation on our future plans prompted questions on the nature of Railway Paths land and our relationship with Sustrans.

We own 161 parcels of land, approximately 950 hectares in area, and 350 kilometres in length.

  • 90 parcels of land are being used for paths by Sustrans or another partner, approximately 755 hectares in area, and 280 kilometres in length.
  • 5 parcels of unused land may be suitable for paths, approximately 85 hectares in area, and 30 kilometres in length.  For two of these parcels, Sustrans has previously expressed an interest in creating a path with us.
  • 66 parcels of unused land are disconnected plots, approximately 110 hectares in area, and 40 kilometres in length.

Paths on our in-use land are operated in partnership, mostly with Sustrans, a small number with a local authority or other charity.  In these partnerships, we maintain the structures such as viaducts, bridges, tunnels and culverts.  Our partners maintain the surface of the path, and the trees and vegetation in the surrounding area.

We have published an interactive map of our land and paths.  Zooming in gives more detail, such as the National Cycle Network, and zooming right in shows the location of our bridges and tunnels.

To relate the types of land described above to what you see on the map, the following rule of thumb works in most cases.  Where the National Cycle Network runs through or close to our land, the parcel of land is likely to be one of the 90 that are in-use.