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The publication of Dr Richard Beeching's report The Reshaping of British Railways in March 1963 sparked protests and resentments which continue to this day. Did the bankrupt steam railway symbolize everything that was wrong with a declining country? Did Beeching's judgements bring hardship and precipitate the end of rural ways of life? Tracing the transport revolution back to 1914, Charles Loft judiciously examines the political processes which led to the branch lines' closure.