GREAT BRITAIN: The Bluebell Rolls Again

When Britain's 17-mile Sheffield Park Branch Railway opened back in 1882, the Sussex countryside" through which it ran was so thickly strewn with wildflowers that passengers had only to reach out the window to pick bouquets of bluebells and primroses. But over the years, despite the railway's much admired charm, modern highways with their rumbling trucks and beetling cars drained away its traffic. In 1955, struggling to cut the losses of Britain's nationalized railways, the Transport Ministry marked the "Bluebell and Primrose" for extinction.

It was enough to bring all the local...

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