THE Department for Transport says it has received 50 bids for funding to help restore long-withdrawn railway services or stations, many of which were axed after Dr Richard Beeching had become chairman of the railways in 1961 and published his notorious ‘reshaping’ report two years later. Examples of bids include restoring passenger trains to Ferryhill in County Durham and reopening Consett to Newcastle, which lost its passenger trains as long ago as 1955. In the south west, the lines include Bodmin Parkway to Wadebridge, part of which is still used by heritage services, and also Par to Newquay, which remains open but is a candidate for upgrading, while another group of bidders is calling for the restoration of Charfield station in Gloucestershire. The proposals will now be considered by a panel including Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy. Announcements are expected by the end of the summer.