Edited by

Anne McCants (MIT, USA),

Eduardo Beira (IN+, IST and MIT Portugal Program),

J. Lopes Cordeiro (U. Minho, Portugal),

Paulo Lourenço (U. Minho, Portugal)

and Hugo Silveira Pereira (U. Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)

Cover: Tua line in Fragas Más site, where two tunnels and a viaduct in a ridge of the mountain created a unique rail experience. Track inn this section has been excavated in the rocky (granite) slopes of the mountain. Tua river seen at the left. This unique section of the line has been flooded by a new dam in Tua river (2017). Tua line, from Foz Tua junction to Mirandela city, opened in 1887 and during decades it has been the unique fast connection between the region and coastal areas (Porto city). Photo by Eduardo Beira.

See the book in ISSUU. Flyer (pdf, A5) (pdf, 9x21cm)

Extracts from a review in The Journal of Transport History (by Matt Thompson, 38 (1) 2017, 157):

New Uses provides the reader with a series of case studies that surround the broad trajectory of the ‘disuse, transformation, and reuse’ of railway infrastructure with examples from Great Britain and continental Europe.

Part one essentially examines the ways in which defunct railways are transformed into heritage assets. ... The international nature of the book works well here; the case studies from France, Portugal and Italy and the unpacking of specific local, regional or national factors in the development of railways and their reuse are valuable.

The second part of the book deals with some of the different ways in which one can explore the causes and impacts of railways when the either transform into heritage assets or are lost forever.

The final section of the book covers ‘practical applications’ and again provides a series of case studies. The first of these covers railbiking which involves riding modified bicycles along railway tracks, in this case in Portugal. What is interesting to note are many hundreds kilometres of railways, now closed to traffic, where the track itself has been left in place. The authors bemoan the removal of the track as ‘forever destroying these unique structures’. This is an interesting perspective as ... we tend to visualise a closed railway as nothing more than trackbed with rail, ballast and sleepers removed; in situ rail would be considered precious archaeology!

As an English language text this book will be useful, not only because of its international perspective but also because of the refreshing viewpoints of several of the authors.

Full review available here: pdf.

New uses for old railways is published by iTUA initiative (, with follow ups the research and discussions during project FOZTUA (, a multidisciplinar international project around Tua railway and Tua Valley, a remote area of northeastern Portugal (2010-2016). More information about the book available in

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Anne McCants, Eduardo Beira, J. Lopes Cordeiro, Paulo Lourenço, Hugo Silveira Pereira (eds.)

ISBN 978-153-36963-0-4, Inovatec (Portugal), 2017, 279 pages


Rusty tracks and what to do with them, Ellan Fei Spero and Hugo Silveira Pereira (see pdf)


1.1. Railway Heritage: an overview, Gunter Dinhobl

1.2. From railways to heritage: the closure of railway lines in Spain and their valorisation as a cultural good, Domingo Cuellar

1.3. Railways: industrial and maritime archaeology, geographic information systems, history and culture, Dominic Fontana

1.4. A new age of steam? The Tua valley line, Portugal: experience and examples from the technological heritage operations and preserved railways of Britain , Dominic Fontana

1.5. Two case-studies in heritage and valorisation of old mountain railways in France. Michel Cotte

1.6. Railways and tourism in Italy, Stefano Maggi


2.1. Opening of mountainous and peripheral regions by main and branch railway lines, Gunter Dinhobl

2.2. Exploring cultural landscape with old railway tracks, Stefan Brauckmann

2.3. Vanishing tracks: short history of a cancelled line, Ivona Grgurinovic

2.4. Remembering railway’s past, conjuring up its future: what rail hikers have in mind while walking on rusty tracks, Peter F. N. Horz

2.5. Dismantling an old rail track: opportunities in the Tua Valley, Paulo B. Lourenço, Graça Vasconcelos, Lurdes Martins


3.1. Redesigning the classical Railrider: a transportable prototype for modern ages, Carlos Barbosa, João Figueiredo, Jorge Marques, Lídia Teixeira, Miguel Oliveira, Eduardo Beira, Antonio Araujo

3.2. The Old Road: reusing, interpreting and commemorating an abandoned railway in southern England, 1964-2015, Colin Divall

3.3. Life, death and resurrection: further examples from the British experience of preserving railway and industrial heritage, Dominic Fontana

3.4. Draisine tourism in Germany: ideas for the Tua line?, Stefan Brauckmann

3.5. An example of renovation: adaptation of an old railway mountain line - the Chemin De Fer de l’Ardeche (South-Eastern France), Michel Cotte


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