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Published by membersonly, 2019-03-20 19:48:37


23rd March 2019

The Marching Crompton II
Saturday 23 March 2019


Within the route description and historical notes the names of stations through which we
pass are shown in CAPITAL letters. Those stations open to passengers are shown in
normal text, while closed station names are shown in italicised text. Where the distance to
the station from the start of the tour is quoted, the station name will be in bold text.
Junctions and any other features for which distances are quoted are shown underlined.

All distances are in miles and chains.

The following abbreviations are used in the text:

C Date closed
CA Date closed to passengers and goods (closed to all)
CG Date closed for goods
CP Date closed to passengers
L Feature on the left in the direction of travel
O Date opened
OA Date opened to passengers and goods (open to all)
OG Date opened for goods
OP Date opened to passengers
R Feature on the right in the direction of travel
ROA Date reopened to passengers and goods (reopened to all)
ROG Date reopened for goods
ROP Date reopened to passengers

All railway company names are shown first in full and then by their initials. Those railway
companies are generally referred to by their pre-grouping names. For ease of identification,
the names of features and junctions quoted are generally from the relevant TRACKmaps
Railway Track Diagram. With thanks to Angus McDougall, Chris Parker and Tim Wallis for
their comments on the first draft and Dave Cromarty for the maps.


All errors, inaccuracies and omissions are entirely the responsibility of the compiler. Any
suggestions for improvement or corrections should be sent to [email protected].

David Palmer
March 2019


Warrington Manchester KEY
Bishops Castle Rly London & South Western
Cambrian Rlys
Easton & Church Hope Midland
North Staffs
Chester Great Western Shrops & Montgomery

CREWE London&North Western BR/Network Rail
Passenger lines
N NANTWICH Stoke Freight lines
Stafford Closed/out of use

WRENBURY Wellington Tour route
Joint lines are shown in alternating colours. Names in italics indicate locations
further along the lines shown, not necessarily the end of the line. Grey boxes
denote enlargements overleaf. Not to scale : not all lines shown.

B Cheltenham
PREES Ross-on-Wye 7

A 9
YORTON 1 Little Mill Jn LYDNEY 6 Swindon
CWMBRAN 11 Dursley

Welshpool Buildwas Jn TUNNEL JN
NEWPORT Llanwern 3 Sudbrook
Cardiff Uskmouth 4 PILNING


CHURCH Numbered locations: 14 13
STRETTON 1 Blaenavon
Buildwas Jn 2 Crumlin

3 CALDICOT Taunton 15
Bishop's 5 Thornbury Radstock 17 Swindon
Castle 6 CAM & DURSLEY
7 Cinderford Chippenham
CRAVEN ARMS 8 Parkend 16 19
9 Blakeney Hallatrow
LUDLOW Clee Hill 10 STONEHOUSE Evercreech Jn 18 20 21
11 Berkeley Road Newbury

17 BATH SPA Salisbury
Evercreech Jn


Three Cocks Jn 23 YEOVIL JUNCTION Taunton


Worcester Taunton 22


Pontrilas 23 24
Exeter 25


Merthyr B Bridport MAIDEN NEWTON
A The Marching Crompton II Bournemouth
Saturday 23 March 2019
Abbotsbury UPWEY
Weymouth Quay

Easton CSD

To Chester To Crewe To Shrewsbury

1 Abbey Stn. (S&MR) To Worcester
2 Canal interchange
3 Abbey Foregate Jn Shelwick Jn
4 English Bridge Jn 6 2 SHREWSBURY To Three Cocks Jn
5 Severn Bridge Jn 38
6 Crewe Jn 5 1 To Wellington Barrs Court Jns
7 Sutton Bridge Jn Moorfields HEREFORD
Gds (Mid.R)
8 Potteries Jn 7
Brecon Rotherwas
To Welshpool Curve Jn Jn

To Llanymynech Red Hill Jn
S&MR To Abergavenny
To Hereford To Buildwas Jn To Gloucester


To Castle Cary To Ledbury To Cheltenham

To Langport Yeovil 6 2

YEOVIL South Jn 75 4 3 Barnwood Jn

Gloucester Yard Jn

JUNCTION Clifton Maybank 1 Over Jn
Tuffley Jn 3 Horton Road Jn
To Dorchester To Standish Jn 5 High Orchard
6 Docks
7 Docks Branch West
8 Hempstead

To Newport To Tytherington To Gloucester

New Passage Pier

Severn Tunnel 6A


Yate South Jn To Swindon

Holesmouth Jn PATCHWAY
8 11
ST ANDREWS ROAD 9 Westerleigh Jn
Westerleigh Yard

Portishead 1

SEA MILLS Mangotsfield Jns North

7 Avonside Wharf 7 See inset above E Feeder Bridge Jn
8 Patchway Jn F North Somerset Jn
9 Filton West Jn 13 G Bristol West Jn
10 Filton Jn H Marsh Jn
11 Stoke Gifford Jn BRISTOL
12 Canons' Marsh Goods TEMPLE MEADS
13 Wapping Wharf
To Taunton J St Annes Park Jn

Parson St Jn To Radstock To Bath Green Park
-3- To Bath Spa

Route Description and Historical Notes

0 0 Our tour begins in Platform 12 at CREWE station (OP 4/7/1837 by the Grand Junction
Railway), on what is now the West Coast Main Line (WCML), formerly the London &
North Western Railway (L&NWR) main line.

0 23 We leave the WCML at Crewe South Junction and head R passing the former Crewe
Diesel Depot R and DRS sidings L. Connections from the Independent Lines join L and

0 56 R at Gresty Lane and as we continue ahead we pass DRS's Gresty Bridge Depot L
before reaching Gresty Green Sidings L and R.

We are now on the Crewe and Shrewsbury Railway (OA 2/9/1858) crossing the flat
2 61 Cheshire Plain and pass the site of WILLASTON station (OP 2/9/1858; CP 6/12/1954)
4 37 before NANTWICH (OP 2/9/1858). The signal box from here is now near a car park on

the east side of Crewe station! This line was re-signalled in 2013 from the South Wales
ROC at Cardiff.

4 69 At Nantwich Market Drayton Junction the Great Western Railway (GWR) Nantwich and
Market Drayton Railway to Wellington (OP 20/10/1863 to Market Drayton; CP 9/9/1963;

8 71 CA 6/3/1967) diverged L. We continue through WRENBURY (OP 2/9/1858).

The former Whitchurch and Tattenhall Railway from Chester (OP 1/10/1872; CP
13 45 16/9/1957; CA 23/3/1964) converged R at Whitchurch Chester Junction, before we pass
13 67 WHITCHURCH station (OP 2/9/1858).

13 75 A little further on at Whitchurch Cambrian Junction the Oswestry, Ellesmere and
Whitchurch Railway (later Cambrian Railways) to Oswestry (CP 18/1/1965; CA
29/3/1965) diverged R.

18 59 A 1 mile branch diverged L to Prees Heath Army Camp before PREES (OP 2/9/1858).
22 00 We carry on through WEM (OP 2/9/1858) and YORTON (OP 2/9/1858), which together

with Nantwich, Wrenbury, Prees and Wem narrowly escaped closure under the
28 01 Beeching Review although HADNALL (OP 2/9/1858; CP 2/5/1960) wasn't so lucky,

closing before that Review.

There was a branch L to the Sentinel Waggon Works, which built many locomotives,
both steam and diesel, before the line from Chester via Wrexham (OA 14/10/1848 by the
32 48 Shrewsbury and Chester Railway) converges R at Crewe Junction. Here we join the
32 59 GW and L&NW Joint line, shortly before we reach Platform 4 at SHREWSBURY station
(OP 1/6/1849 as Shrewsbury General; RN Shrewsbury by British Railways (BR)) and
collect further passengers.

32 61 Part of the station is located on the Severn Viaduct; we can all view the River as we re-
32 65 start and head towards Shrewsbury & Hereford and Shrewsbury & Wolverhampton

Junction, where we curve R with the very substantial Severn Bridge Junction signal box
L, which controls the junctions south of the station. Like Crewe Junction box its name
board bears simply the word “Shrewsbury”. The line diverging L is the GWR and
L&NWR Joint line to Wellington (OA 1/6/1849 to Oakengates); we have joined the Joint
line to Hereford, originally OA 21/4/1852 from Shrewsbury to Ludlow by the Shrewsbury
& Hereford Railway (S&HR). The route from here to Newport is known these days as
the Welsh Marches line (formerly the North and West route).

33 02 At English Bridge Junction (controlled by Severn Bridge Junction 'box) the Abbey
Foregate Curve converges L, O 1/5/1867 by the Joint company to enable through
running between the Wellington and Hereford lines. Between the Abbey L and our route
was the Shrewsbury Abbey terminus of the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Railway
(S&MR). The platform edging is visible on the far side of the car park L. The
optimistically entitled Potteries, Shrewsbury & North Wales Railway opened the 18 mile


line from Shrewsbury to Llanymynech on 16/8/1866. In its initial form it floundered and
CA 22/6/1880. Early in the 20th century, Colonel Holman F. Stephens took an interest
in the line, which RO 13/4/1911 as the S&MR. Shortly after the outbreak of the Second
World War it came under military control. When operations ceased in 1960 BR took
control of the Shrewsbury terminus, installing a connection from the Severn Valley line to
serve an ESSO oil terminal on the terminus site.

33 26 We continue over the Abbey Foregate Viaduct to reach the site of Coleham Goods, with
its Network Rail sidings R.

33 36 At the former Severn Valley Junction the course of the GWR Severn Valley line can be
seen diverging L (OA 1/2/1862; CP 9/9/1963; CA 9/9/1963 beyond the headshunt of the
junction for Shrewsbury Abbey), although the first overbridge has been in-filled. The first
section of this line remained open to serve Shrewsbury Abbey Oil Terminal, until CA

33 42 5/7/1988. Shortly afterwards at Sutton Bridge Junction the former double, now single-
track GWR and L&NWR Joint line to Buttington and the Cambrian lines diverges R.
Originally constructed by the Shrewsbury & Welshpool Railway it OA 14/2/1861 to
Minsterley and OA 27/1/1862 from Cruckmeole Junction to Buttington Junction with the
Oswestry & Newton Railway.

The first footbridge over our route marks the course of the S&MR line on its way to
Llanymynech. We head out of Shrewsbury, under the A5 bypass and curve L around
35 51 Sharpstone Hill to pass the site of the former Tarmac sidings L at Bayston Hill.

35 78 We head south through the Shropshire countryside past the site of CONDOVER station
(OP 21/4/1852; CP 9/6/1958). Cound Brook, a tributary of the River Severn, meanders

38 79 along the valley floor L to draw alongside our line before the site of DORRINGTON
station (OP 21/4/1852; CP 9/6/1958) is passed.

41 77 The hills that form the Long Mynd close in R as we pass the site of LEEBOTWOOD
station (OP 21/4/1852; CP 9/6/1958).

With Caer Caradoc Hill L (Caer being Welsh for fort) and views of All Stretton church R
we cross the user-worked All Stretton No. 1 level crossing and beyond the next
44 31 overbridge pass the site of ALL STRETTON HALT (OP 29/2/1936; CP 4/1/1943; ROP
45 37 11/3/1946; CP 9/6/1958). Shortly afterwards we pass the second station at CHURCH
STRETTON (OP 23/5/1914). The first station (OP 21/4/1852; CP 23/5/1914) was north
of the overbridge under which we have just passed and the station building R is still
46 09 extant. We continue south through the narrow valley and breach the Summit, some 613
ft. above sea level.

46 54 The remains of Brockhurst Castle are R before we pass the site of LITTLE STRETTON
HALT (OP 18/4/1935; CP 4/1/1943; ROP 11/3/1946; CP 9/6/1958), situated before the
next overbridge.

48 10 With the A49 L sharing the valley floor we pass the site of MARSH BROOK station (OP
21/4/1852; CP 9/6/1958), which preceded the level crossing. The valley opens up

49 37 before we pass the site of Marsh Farm Junction, where the course of the GWR line from
Buildwas (OA 16/12/1867; CP and CA 31/12/1951) converges L. A little further south

51 05 and with Wistanstow church R we pass the site of WISTANSTOW HALT (OP 7/5/1934;
CP 11/6/1956), situated before the road bridge leading to the village.

51 64 We continue across the Onny River to reach Stretford Bridge Junction, where the course
of the Bishop's Castle Railway converged R (OP 10/1865; CP and CA 20/4/1935). A
mound of earth just round the corner and visible from the main line marks the site of the
inaccessible Stretford Bridge Junction Halt on the north side of the branch. After

51 73 crossing the route of Watling Street, now a minor road, we pass the Craven Arms Down


52 22 Goods Loop L before we pass Craven Arms Signal Box (formerly Long Lane Crossing,
the 'box was reconstructed - badly - with UPVC cladding around the original in 2000)

52 51 and proceed through CRAVEN ARMS station (OP 21/4/1852; RN Craven Arms &
Stokesay 7/1879; RN Craven Arms 6/5/1974).

Craven Arms became a junction from 1/10/1860 when the Knighton Railway (later
L&NWR Central Wales line) opened to Bucknell for freight, extending to Knighton and
OP 6/3/1861, the line to Knighton being doubled in 1871. Central Wales trains used a
bay platform R of the current Platform 1 and there was a large carriage shed north of the
station on the west side, where once a 'secret' British Rail Western Region emergency
mobile control train was hidden. Each of the then six BR regions had two such trains,
provided as late as 1961 until 1970 as part of the 'Cold War' response.

Between 10/1965 and 3/1966 the line to Llandrindod (Wells) was singled with the
Central Wales line junction being moved north to just beyond the platform south end and
a new facing crossover (recently removed) installed north of the station. Craven Arms to
Llandrindod at 32 miles was the longest single track section on the passenger network
until the new passing loop was commissioned at Knighton in 1990 with reopening of the
second platform there.

52 65 These days the L&NWR Central Wales line runs R parallel to our route, although the
original junction was 6 chains further south. Over four weekends recently the layout was
changed yet again with a replacement facing crossover at the south end of the platforms
and from 8/10/2018 the junction moved 4 chains south, shortening the Central Wales
line by that amount! Originally 2 chains further south this is still the 'zero' point for the
Central Wales Line. This means that Central Wales trains now use platform 2 (L) at
Craven Arms rather than platform 1 (R).

We pass Stokesay Castle L and turn south east through a narrow valley, shared with the
55 47 River Onny and A49 L past the site of ONIBURY station (OP 21/4/1852; CP 9/6/1958),

with the substantial station building L and tiny signal box R beyond the crossing, quite
possibly the smallest still in operation on the network.

57 74 We pass the site of BROMFIELD station (OP 21/4/1852; CP 9/6/1958), with the signal
box L before the crossing and Ludlow Racecourse also L beyond the station site.

59 71 After passing under the A49 Ludlow Bypass we reach the site of Clee Hill Junction,
where the course of the Joint freight-only Clee Hill branch (OG 1/6/1867; last section CG
15/10/1962) converges L, as we enter the outskirts of Ludlow.

60 16 LUDLOW station (OP 21/4/1852) follows. Here we join a section of line OA 6/12/1853
60 21 by the S&HR to Hereford Barr's Court before we pass through the 134 yard Ludlow

Tunnel. We curve R through the town alongside the River Teme for a time as we head
63 23 south over the River and Ashford Bowdler level crossing. Immediately L beyond there is

a crossing keeper’s cottage of a different design to others on the line as this was briefly
the site of ASHFORD BOWDLER station (OP 6/12/1853; CP 1/11/1855).

64 59 Woofferton Up Goods Line R precedes the signal box L and the site of Woofferton
Junction, where the Joint branch from Tenbury Wells (OA 1/8/1861 by the Tenbury
Railway; CP and CA 31/7/1961) converged L, shortly before we pass the site of

64 66 WOOFFERTON station (OP 6/12/1853; CP 31/7/1961).

67 76 The valley widens before we pass the site of BERRINGTON & EYE station (OP
70 56 6/12/1853; CP 9/6/1958). Continuing south we reach the site of Kington Junction, where

the course of the GWR branch from Kington and New Radnor (OA 20/8/1857 by the
Leominster & Kington Railway; CP 7/2/1955; CA 28/9/1964) can be seen converging R
70 57 as we reach the outskirts of the town and traverse Leominster level crossing.


71 04 At the site of the former Bromyard Junction the GWR line to Bromyard and Worcester
diverged L to serve three through branch platforms L of the current two at

71 12 LEOMINSTER (OP 6/12/1853).

As we leave the outskirts of the town the A49 Leominster bypass, parallel and L, is on
the trackbed of the Bromyard line (OA 1/3/1884 to Steens Bridge; CP and CA
15/9/1952), which formerly connected with our route at the Leominster (South End)
signal box, and masks where the line curved away west. We continue past the site of
73 40 FORD BRIDGE station (OP 6/12/1853; CP 5/4/1954) as we head south. The stub of the
branch was used for wagon storage which were cleared for a final railtour on 26/4/1958).

The Up and Down lines diverge both horizontally and vertically (built like this to ease the
75 44 gradients for freight trains) before we negotiate the 1,054 yard single bore Dinmore Old

Tunnel, built in 1853 when the line OA as single track, (the single bore Dinmore New
Tunnel OA 1891 is R). All the other structures on the line were built originally for the
subsequently-provided double track. Emerging from the tunnel we pass the site of
76 19 DINMORE station (OP 6/12/1853; CP 9/6/1958) beyond the road bridge, with its
impressive station building L. Continuing south through a broad valley we negotiate
78 09 Wellington level crossing.

The line from Moreton Park (formerly Moreton Camp MoD Depot) converges R before
we pass the signal box L preceding the level crossing, beyond which is the site of
79 45 MORETON-ON-LUGG station (OP 6/12/1853 as Moreton; RN Moreton-on-Lugg; CP
9/6/1958). The station was famous for reputedly in its early years having the ticket office
situated in a huge hollow oak tree with a circumference of 19m.

Aggregate is brought in by road to the MoD site from Tarmac's Dolyhir Quarry (ironically
itself served by the New Radnor branch until 9/6/1958) and transported in regular block
train loads to the south east. It is also home to the D2578 Locomotive Group (no public
running) where the BLS has enjoyed many private visits, including in MoD days.

82 02 A reverse 'S' bend with the River Lugg L takes us to Shelwick Junction, where the
single-track GWR line from Ledbury and Worcester (OA 13/9/1861) converges L. We

82 78 continue to Barrs Court Junction, where we diverge L from the GWR line towards Barton

83 28 We curve L to where the now lifted Joint curve from Brecon Curve (OA 2/1/1893; CA
9/1995 and severed by 25/9/2013) converges R, which latterly served the Hereford

83 59 Bulmer's Cider Mills and EON sidings. We continue to HEREFORD station (OP
6/12/1853 as Hereford Barrs Court; RN Hereford 1893), where we pause to pick up

83 70 passengers. Beyond the platform ends was the site of Barr's Court Junction South,
marked by Hereford (formerly Aylestone Hill) signal box L and we join a GWR-only line
(OA 2/6/1855 by the Hereford, Ross & Gloucester Railway) to cross the River Wye on

84 55 Eign River Bridge.

84 75 A little further on at Rotherwas Junction we bear R from the GWR route to Ross-on-Wye
(OA 2/6/1855 to Hopesbrook; CP and CA 2/11/1964) onto a L&NWR line (OA

87 06 17/07/1866) to Red Hill Junction, where the course of the line through Barton Goods (CA
1/8/1966) converged R and we join the GWR line to Newport, OA 2/1/1854 from
Hereford Barton to Panteg & Coedygric Junction near Pontypool by the Newport,
Abergavenny & Hereford Railway (NA&HR). Heading south west we pass through the

88 10 51 yard Red Hill Tunnel under a minor road.

Bearing L around Blakemore Hill the signal box L is at the end of the former Down
90 34 platform of TRAM INN station (OP 2/1/1854; CP 9/6/1958; CG 5/10/1964), whose Up

platform was staggered and on the other side of the level crossing.


93 10 The valley narrows as we pass the site of ST DEVEREUX station (OP 2/1/1854; CA
9/6/1958) beyond the road overbridge, with the remains of Kilpeck Castle L.

Continuing south west the A465 draws parallel and R before we reach the start of the
95 58 Pontrilas Up Goods Loop. The end of the loop marks the site of the junction where the

GWR Golden Valley Railway (GVR) from Hay converged R, just before we pass
96 14 Pontrilas Signal Box and the site of PONTRILAS station (OP 2/1/1854; CP 9/6/1958),

where the GVR had a bay platform R and the station building still stands R. The GVR
OA 1/9/1881 to Dorstone and OA 27/5/1889 to Hay Junction with the Midland Railway
(MR), then CA 23/8/1897 from Dorstone to Hay Junction and CA throughout on
20/4/1898. The line was purchased by the GWR and RO 1/5/1901, before the final CP
6/12/1941 and CA 10/6/1969 at this end, formerly serving a Royal Ordnance Factory.
There is a local campaign to reopen the station to break up the 24 miles between
96 22 Hereford and Abergavenny without one. The 37 yard Pontrilas Tunnel follows.

101 22 Crossing the River Dore we follow the River Monnow valley past the site of PANDY
station (OP 2/1/1854; CP 9/6/1958).

103 56 Llanvihangel summit precedes the site of LLANVIHANGEL (MON) station (OP 2/1/1854
as Llanfihangel; RN Llanfihangel (GW) 1/1/1900; RN Llanvihangel (Mon) 10/12/1910;
CP 9/6/1958).

The A465 again draws parallel and L as we progress south past the site of the second
106 55 ABERGAVENNY JUNCTION station (OP 20/6/1870; CP 9/6/1958), which had an island
106 58 platform R for Merthyr trains. Beyond the platform ends at Abergavenny Junction the

L&NWR "Heads of the Valleys" line to Merthyr diverged R. Its course and that of the
south-facing curve (the latter CA 5/8/1964) should be visible R. The first station at
107 00 ABERGAVENNY JUNCTION (OP 1/10/1862; CP 20/6/1870) was situated near the
south-facing, original curve from the Heads of the Valleys line (OA 29/9/1862; CP
6/1/1958; CA 5/4/1971 to Brecon Road Goods), replaced by the L&NWR to improve
access from the Shrewsbury direction to the Valleys line.

107 58 We skirt the east side of the town around Ysgyryd Fach L to pass ABERGAVENNY
MONMOUTH ROAD station (OP 2/1/1854 as Abergavenny; RN Abergavenny
Monmouth Road 19/7/1950; RN Abergavenny 6/5/1968). Your BLN Editor remembers
how busy the goods yard here was with general traffic during a two week family holiday
in 1964, with a small steam engine shunting most of the day.

Leaving the town once again the A465 draws parallel and L as we head south past the
110 26 site of PENPERGWM station (OP 2/1/1854; CP 9/6/1958), after which we curve L away
110 70 from the road to cross the River Usk on Penpergwm River Bridge.

113 03 Continuing south we pass the site of NANTYDERRY station (OP 2/1/1854; CP
9/6/1958), situated beyond the road overbridge and with its station building L, which
served a sparse local community, before we pass the much larger village of Penperlleni

115 47 L on the way to Little Mill Junction, preceded by Little Mill Junction signal box R, where
the remnants of the Glascoed branch (the former line from Monmouth, latterly serving an
MoD site and now only a short siding for tamper stabling) converge L (OA 2/6/1856 to
Usk by the Coleford, Monmouth, Usk & Pontypool Railway; CP 13/6/1955; CA

117 14 Now heading south west we reach the second station at PONTYPOOL & NEW INN (OP
1/3/1909 as Pontypool Road; RN Pontypool 1/5/1972; RN Pontypool & New Inn
19/5/1994), a sad reflection of its former glory as a major junction with bay platforms.
The first station (OP 2/1/1854 as Newport Road; RN Pontypool Road 5/1854; CP
1/3/1909) was a little further south and beyond the road overbridge; the station building
and a section of platform are now a private residence L.


117 34 Beyond the south end of the platforms was Pontypool Road Station South Junction,
where the GWR line to Neath diverged R (CA 15/6/1964). OA 20/8/1855 to Crumlin
Junction by the NA&HR it later linked with the Taff Vale Railway at Quakers Yard. A
major engineering achievement on this route was the Crumlin Viaduct over the Ebbw
River. A connection to the Vale of Neath Railway thus linked Pontypool to Swansea and
Neath. The course of the line has been obliterated by the A4042, built over the

We continue on the Pontypool, Caerleon and Newport Railway (PC&NR), OA
117 53 21/12/1874 from Pontypool Road North Junction to Maindee Junction. At Pontypool

Road East Junction a spur OA 1/2/1875 diverged R to join the Monmouthshire Railway
and Canal Company (MR&CC) at Panteg & Coedygric Junction (CA 9/10/1967). The
MR&CC opened the first line between Newport Mill Street and Pontypool in 1852 (OA
1/7/1852 Pontypool Crane Street to Newport Marshes Turnpike Gate; OA 9/3/1853
Marshes Turnpike Gate to Mill Street; OA 5/1855 Mill Street to Dock Street). The line
was extended to Blaenavon and OA 2/10/1854.

118 00 After crossing Afon Lwyd, at the next overbridge was the site of the short-lived PANTEG
station (OP 21/12/1874 as Sebastopol; RN Panteg 1/1875; CP 1/8/1880?). It was
replaced by Panteg & Griffithstown station on the GWR line to Blaenavon, which was a
short distance west.

With the demolished Panteg Steelworks R, now the site of new housing, and Pilkington
118 51 Bros (Fibreglass Limited) sidings L, at the modern-day Panteg & Griffithstown the
118 57 Panteg Down Goods Loop diverges L, re-joining the Down Main close to Panteg

Junction, where a spur from the Neath line (CA 2/1964) converged R. This again has
been obliterated by the A4042.

119 68 The Afon Lwyd appears L with Croesyceiliog beyond before we pass the site of LOWER
PONTNEWYDD station (OP 21/12/1874; CP 9/6/1958; CG 25/1/1965), situated before

120 08 the Station Road overbridge and slightly north of the modern station at CWMBRAN (OP
12/5/1986), built to serve the new town of the same name R. An earlier similarly-named
station on the MR&CC line CP 30/4/1962.

With the former Girling Limited factory R and the recreation ground L, after we pass
121 22 under the next overbridge we reach the site of Llantarnam Junction, where a spur from

the PC&NR (O 4/1878; CA 2/5/1980) converged R. This provided access from
Blaenavon Big Pit Colliery (and previously many others) before it CA 2/10/1980, though
little remains of the trackbed at this end. The pit is, of course, a National Coal Museum
and the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway operates over part of the line.

121 31 The site of LLANTARNAM station (OP 21/12/1874; CP 30/4/1962; CG 7/9/1963)
precedes the Newport Road overbridge as we curve L to head south east through the

123 04 site of PONTHIR station (OP 1/6/1878; CP 9/6/1958; CG 30/4/1962), situated just
beyond the user-worked crossing. The station house L remains in residential use.

124 36 With the Afon Lwyd L a 135o curve R takes us past the site of CAERLEON station (OP
21/12/1874; CP 30/4/1962; CG 25/11/1965), situated in a rather cramped location
between two overbridges and with the station building L now a veterinary centre. The
town is well known for its Roman fortress and amphitheatre.

125 42 A loop of the River Usk appears L before we bear L to cross the river on St Julian's
River Bridge, noting the Newport Model Engineers' 5" / 7¼" layout R, and encounter the

125 60 M4 for the first time today, passing underneath the road.

125 78 With the River Usk R we reach Maindee North Junction where we diverge L on the now
126 60 single-track 'Hereford Loop' bidirectional spur (OA 17/9/1874) to Maindee East Junction.

Here we join the South Wales Railway (OA 18/6/1850 from Chepstow to Landore) and


weave across from the Up Main to the Down Relief line to the site of the former
126 78 Nettlefolds Branch Junction, where we are due to diverge R to access the East Usk No.

2 Reception Road. Here it may be possible to discern remnants of the Nettlefolds
Branch which diverged R to serve the Great Western Wharf on the river bank and later
the Newport Corporation power station and other works adjacent to the river. OG
2/1875 the line remained in use until CA 31/3/1973; your compiler remembers in the
early 1970s seeing an 0-4-0 steam locomotive, which latterly worked on the line, in the
sidings adjacent to the main line.

Passing the remains of East Usk Junction Sidings R we are booked to take the Up Relief
127 52 line at East Usk Junction, where the Uskmouth Branch diverges R. Authorised by the

East Usk Railway Act of 1885, powers to build the line were transferred to the GWR in
1892. OG in sections between 1898 and 1901 as a single line, it initially served several
large steel works. The line was doubled in readiness for the opening of the coal-
powered Uskmouth "A" power station, then one of the largest in Europe, in 10/1953.
Uskmouth "B" O 1959 and operated on and off until 2017, while the "A" facility C
26/10/1981. ''B'' station is currently closed and being converted to burn 'energy pellets'
made from non-recyclable waste (card, paper, biogenic and plastic) otherwise destined
for landfill. Generation is due to begin at the end of 2020 with a predicted plant life of 20
years though with no resulting rail traffic.

We continue east through the outskirts of Newport on what since 1941 has been a four-
track section. Prior to then the line to Severn Tunnel Junction West had been just two
tracks, with Up and Down goods loops being added at Bishton in 1920. We proceed
128 43 under the A48 and pass Llanwern West Junction, where the lines servicing the Llanwern
Steelworks diverge R.

Officially O 25/10/1962 by HM The Queen, the £150M Spencer Steelworks was the first
oxygen-blown integrated steelworks in Britain. Now owned by Tata Steel and no longer
producing steel, operations include a hot strip mill, two pickle lines, a cold strip mill and a
hot dip galvanising line which rolls around 1.5 million tonnes of steel coil a year for the
automotive, construction and general engineering industries.

129 68 With the village of Llanwern L little remains at the site of LLANWERN station (OP
10/1855; CP 12/9/1960), before we pass the main steelworks buildings R.

131 49 The Llanwern Works East Connection converges R just before we negotiate Bishton
131 53 Level Crossing, after which the relief lines diverge R from the Main Line to allow the Up
132 24 Relief to climb and cross the Bishton Flyover, currently being electrified with the other

lines here, after which we descend onto a four-track section of line now paired by
direction. The Flyover was constructed at the same time as Llanwern Steelworks to
avoid conflicting moves with trains from the works heading east.

133 55 The Magor Crossovers precede the site of MAGOR station (OP 19/09/1851; CP
2/11/1964), which is marked by divergence of the Relief and Main lines, the space
previously being occupied by the passenger platforms.

135 40 A gentle 'S' bend takes us under the M4 to the current Severn Tunnel Junction, shortly
135 74 before we pause to collect passengers on Platform 4 at SEVERN TUNNEL JUNCTION

station (OP 1/12/1886), which has recently been substantially refurbished; the current
(improved) layout with the re-opened fourth platform dates from 4/1/2010.

At the east end of the current Platform 4 was the loading bay for car-carrying trains
through the Severn Tunnel to Pilning which ran from 1924 to 6/10/1966. Tarpaulins
could be hired for an additional charge to protect the car in the tunnel. The GWR
provided special trucks for the service, which were kept on permanent standby at
Patchway, Pilning and Severn Tunnel Junction. Prospective customers had to give 24

- 10 -

hours' notice to book their car onto what, in 1955, was one of four daily services (three
on Sundays). By 1926 there were rival services when the Aust to Beachley ferries
began carrying small motor cars and the service came to an abrupt halt after the first
Severn Road bridge (now the M48) was opened on 8/9/1966. Interestingly this bridge is
now Grade 1 listed! Tolls were abolished on this bridge and its newer M4 cousin from
17/12/2018. Previously they were only charged into Wales; you were 'free' to leave.

As we leave the station on a line OG 1/9/1886 and OP 1/12/1886 from Severn Tunnel
Junction to Pilning Junction, L was the site of Severn Tunnel Junction locomotive shed,
which finally C 12/10/1987. Our line begins to descend and we are booked to traverse
the Up Tunnel Loop L, while Caldicot Halt (OP 12/9/1932; RN Caldicot 5/5/1969) can be
glimpsed R on the Gloucester line above us. After re-joining the Up Main line we
137 04 continue descending into the 4 mile 628 yard Severn Tunnel. Interestingly this is one-
signal section when passenger trains are running to prevent them being stopped in the

141 58 We emerge into daylight only briefly before passing through the 97 yard Ableton Lane
141 66 Tunnel, after which we are booked to traverse the Up Pilning Loop. Visible L and R are

flood defence banks protecting the Severn Tunnel.

142 70 We re-join the Up Main line and continue through PILNING station (OP 1/12/1886; RN
Pilning High Level 9/7/1928; CG 29/11/1965; RN Pilning 6/5/1968), which now has a
minimal passenger service of two trains a week in the Up direction only, since the Down
platform was CP 5/11/2016 on removal of the footbridge for electrification works. These
are both Cardiff to Taunton trains on Saturdays, allowing a short day out by catching the
first out and returning non-stop through Pilning to Severn Tunnel Junction (at no extra
charge) in time to catch the second back! Return tickets are also valid to Severn Beach.
Thanks to the efforts of the station promotion group and publicity there was 108%
increase in passenger numbers from 230 in 2016-2017 to 478 in 2017-2018.

143 20 The Down Pilning Goods Loop can be seen R, while the route of the line from New
Passage Pier (OA 8/9/1863) is at a lower level and L. CA 1/12/1886, the line ROG
5/2/1900 as a through line to Avonmouth via Severn Beach and ROP 9/7/1928 before
final CP 23/11/1964. Traffic ceased from this end of the line on 26/6/1968 and it was
taken out of use on 1/9/1968. At the Severn Beach end the line was retained for wagon
storage as far as the Green Lane Crossing.

The Severn Beach line carried one of the iconic traffic flows from Avonmouth Docks:
bananas. The first ship dedicated to the banana trade and operated by Elders & Fyffes
was the SS Port Morant, which sailed from Kingston Jamaica in March 1901. By 1910
the company was importing fruit at the rate of 200,000 bunches (a stem of around three
to five feet in length) per week. Because of the perishable nature of bananas, special
unloading facilities were constructed along with dedicated banana vans, including steam
heating for cold weather and ventilators for when the weather was hot. By 1938 the
facilities in Avonmouth's 'N' Shed allowed 28 of the vans to be loaded simultaneously on
a 'merry-go-round' system. While traffic for London travelled via Henbury, trains for the
North & West Route (via Hereford) travelled via Severn Beach to reverse at Pilning
Junction before heading through the Severn Tunnel. The MR also ran express 'banana
specials' via the Clifton Extension Railway (CER; GWR & MR Joint), Kingswood
Junction, Mangotsfield, Ashchurch, Broom and the Stratford-upon-Avon & Midland
Junction Railway to London St. Pancras! Banana traffic ceased at Avonmouth in the

Just after we cross Station Road, L on the Severn Beach line was the site of Pilning Low
Level station (OP 8/9/1863 as Pilning; CP 1/12/1886; ROP 9/7/1928 as Pilning Low
143 42 Level, CP 23/11/1964). The Down Pilning Loop ends R close to the site of Pilning
Junction, where the New Passage route converged L.

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The line from Pilning Junction to Patchway was doubled in conjunction with the opening
of the Severn Tunnel. To avoid the steep gradients on the original branch, the Up line
was engineered with a constant 1 in 100 gradient. This is evident as we begin to climb
above the Down line R.

144 43 The Down line begins climbing and draws level at the site of Cattybrook Siding signal
box, where there was a siding serving Cattybrook Brickworks L. The brickworks was
constructed when the Bristol & South Wales Union Railway (B&SWUR) was building the
line to New Passage Pier. The line's engineer, Charles Richardson, was so impressed
by the quality of the clay dug out of Patchway Tunnel that he decided to lease a few
acres of land at Cattybrook in 1865. The brickworks went on to supply 76,400,000
bricks for the Severn Tunnel. Cattybrook bricks were also used for building Portishead
Power Station, Fry's factory at Keynsham and the Imperial Tobacco Company offices in

The B&SWUR opened as a single-track broad-gauge railway and included a 1 in 75
climb for two miles from Narroways Hill Junction to Filton, a 1,245 yard tunnel at
Almondsbury and 11/4 miles of 1 in 68 down to Pilning. The pier at New Passage gave
access to the ferry to Portskewett on the Monmouthshire side, which itself was at the
end of a mile-long branch. The line was converted to standard gauge 7-9/8/1873,
doubled when the CER OA 1/10/1874 and quadrupled from Narroways Hill Junction to
Dr Day's Junction in 11/1891.

Continuing up the incline the Down line rises above ours and diverges slightly R before
144 57 we enter the 1 mile long Patchway New Tunnel.

We reach the summit of our climb from the Severn Tunnel just before we pass the
146 36 second PATCHWAY station (OP 10/8/1885 as Patchway & Stoke Gifford; RN Patchway

27/10/1908; CG 5/7/1965). The first station was around 18 chains further north and
close to the previous overbridge. OP 8/9/1863 with the line to New Passage Pier, it CP
10/8/1885 because of the different levels of the Up and Down lines at its location.

146 52 Shortly afterwards at Patchway Junction No. 2 the current South Wales Main Line
diverges L (OG 1/5/1903; OP 1/7/1903) towards Bristol Parkway before we pass

146 60 Patchway Junction No. 1, where the Patchway Chord to Filton West Junction diverges
R. Although the earthworks were completed with the other chords in 1910, no track was
laid for over 60 years and the single-track spur OA 1/3/1971. This spur had a short-lived
summer service of trains from Cardiff to Bristol Zoo, colloquially known as “Monkey
Specials”, disembarking passengers at Clifton Down station.

With the Hitachi Depot (O 2016) L, built on the site of the former spent ballast tip to
147 11 maintain the Class 800/802 trains, we cross over the Avonmouth direct line via Henbury

(OG 9/5/1910 with no regular passenger service).

147 47 At Filton Junction No. 2 the bidirectional Filton West Loop (now known as the Filton
Chord) converges R. OA 9/5/1910 this carried a restricted passenger service from
22/3/1922 until 10/7/1922, then continuing until CP 23/11/1964. However, a workmen's
service to and from North Filton Platform (adjacent to the current Filton West Junctions),
mainly for Rolls Royce (Rodney Works) employees, continued until the last train ran on
Friday 9/5/1986, at which time only 12 passengers regularly used the service. The
reason given for closure by BR was that the access footpath from the A38 required
£18,000 worth of repairs. A future Bristol Metro service is proposed round this curve to
Henbury, with longer-term ambitions for a circular operation via St Andrews Road.

The GWR spur from Stoke Gifford Junction and Bristol Parkway (OG 1/5/1903; OP
147 49 1/7/1903) converges L as we pass the site of FILTON JUNCTION station (OP 1/7/1903

as Filton; RN Filton Junction 1/5/1910; CG 5/7/1965; RN Filton 6/5/1968; CP 11/3/1996

- 12 -

with the opening of Filton Abbey Wood). This had four platforms serving both the South
Wales and Stoke Gifford lines, although the eastern pair were demolished in 1976
(along with most of the station buildings) after having probably been out of use since
3/4/1961 when the stopping train service from Swindon to Bristol via Badminton ended.

We cross the dual-carriageway A4174 and pass the site of the two-platformed first
147 60 FILTON station (OP 8/9/1863; CP 1/7/1903), co-located with what became Filton

Junction yard and latterly a coal concentration depot, one of the last to be rail-served on
BR and with its own internal locomotive.

147 63 At Filton Junction No. 1 we are booked to take the facing connection between the
London and South Wales lines to the Down Filton Main line before we pass Platform 1 at

148 03 the recently-extended FILTON ABBEY WOOD station, which OP 11/3/1996 to serve the
large MoD Abbey Wood site L, including staff previously based in Bath and elsewhere.
The station now has four platforms in conjunction with the re-establishment of four tracks
from here to Dr Day's Junction, completed on 3/12/2018, though all platforms were in
passenger use from 19/11/2018. The route from here to Narroways Hill Junction was
quadrupled in the 1930s, before being reduced to two-track from here to Dr Day's
Junction on 20/2/1984, due to falling traffic levels and expensive work being required on
the bridge north of Stapleton Road station over that eponymous carriageway.

148 58 Descending Filton Bank we pass the site of HORFIELD station (OP 14/5/1927 as
Horfield Platform; RN Horfield 11/1933 following rebuilding associated with quadrupling
of the line; CP 23/11/1964), with the Down platform visible L. Beyond the platform end
at the new Horfield Junction we are booked to move from the Down Filton Main to the
Down Filton Relief line.

We pass the site of Ashley Hill goods yard (OG 4/8/1925; CG 1/11/1966) and cross
149 71 Muller Road before reaching the site of ASHLEY HILL station (OP 8/9/1863; rebuilt with

four platforms 30/4/1933; CP 23/11/1964; CG 1/11/1966), with remains of the Up
platform R. The station is due to ROP and be served by trains to and from Henbury,
with passive provision being made with the recent works for a four-platformed station.

150 17 We continue through a short cutting, within which the abutments of the MR overbridge
(the route of the Ashley Hill Junction to Kingswood Junction line) can be seen L and R

150 27 (OA 1/10/1874; CP 31/3/1941; CA 14/6/1965). We continue descending to Narroways
Hill Junction, where the GWR spur from the CER from Clifton Down, Avonmouth and
Severn Beach, now single-tracked, converges R. OA 1/10/1874 the spur made an end-
on connection with the CER at Ashley Hill Junction, the CER opening to Clifton Down on
the same date. The extension through the 1,738 yard Clifton Down Tunnel to join the
Bristol Port Railway and Pier Company's line to Avonmouth came afterwards on

L was Stapleton Gas Works, which was accessed both from the GWR (OG 12/2/1879)
and the MR (OG 7/4/1895). Gas production ceased on 26/3/1971 and the gas works
lost its rail connection on 25/11/1973. Because of the proximity of the gas works to their
former stadium at Eastville Stadium, Bristol Rovers supporters still enjoy the nickname

Just beyond, R and at a lower level were two rail-served scrap yards belonging to Bird
and Pugsley, which latterly dispatched scrap by rail in 16 ton mineral wagons to a
steelworks in Llanelli (one of which is still in situ, though no longer rail-connected).
Before they closed the Lawrence Hill Class 03 would make the short trip up to shunt the
sidings, though rail traffic had ceased by 1980. L in the distance, and now occupied by
an Ikea Superstore, was the site of Eastville Stadium, home of Bristol Rovers Football
Club, from 1897 to 1986. Latterly a dog racing track, the stadium was demolished in
1998. Further L was a 13-arch viaduct across the River Frome valley which carried the

- 13 -

MR spur from Kingswood Junction on the Gloucester line to Ashley Hill Junction with the
150 51 CER. The viaduct was demolished on 26/5/1968 to allow the M32, which we next cross,

to be built.

150 57 The Stapleton Road Viaduct takes us across the route of the River Frome, although it is
now enclosed at this point, and the eponymous street. The eastern spans L from the
1891 quadrupling have been replaced with the current works. Heading broadly

150 63 southwards through Easton we pass what remains of STAPLETON ROAD station (OP
8/9/1863; CG 29/11/1965), with just two platforms on the Relief Lines (though platform
edging on the Up Main has been provided). This was once Bristol's second city station
and enjoyed something of a renaissance in the 1970s while the Badminton route was
closed in preparation for the High Speed Trains, when trains from South Wales to
Paddington called at Stapleton Road as their Bristol stop, then taking the 'Rhubarb Loop'
on the way to Bath.

151 14 At the site of the former Lawrence Hill Ground Frame the course of the disconnected
spur to the MR diverges R. This spur was built by BR and OG 1/2/1970 following the
closure of the MR line to Yate South Junction via Mangotsfield to initially serve Avonside
Wharf. The line CG 10/1990 beyond the later Refuse Transfer Station on the Avonside
Wharf route. The residual branch CG 24/06/2013. A section of rail was removed at the
junction on 28/09/2013 following pointwork damage in a derailment and the
disconnected branch was officially taken out of use from 31/1/2015.

The ground frame was located close to the former Easton Road Junction, the north end
of a short-lived north-to-west spur to the MR (OA 1885, CP 1886; CA 12/9/1897), which
was briefly used for an MR passenger service from Bristol St. Philips to Clifton Down.

151 20 As we pass under the route of the Bristol & Gloucester Railway (OA 6/8/1835; CA
29/12/1969), now a popular cycle route between Bristol and Bath, the disused spur to

151 29 the MR can be seen ascending R, before we pass LAWRENCE HILL station (OP
8/9/1863), where again only the western two of the earlier four platforms on the former
Relief Lines are in use. R before the platforms was the goods yard, now occupied by a
Lidl store.

151 58 We cross from the Down Filton Relief to the Down Filton Main line and reach Dr Day's
Junction (formerly Dr Day's Bridge Junction), where we diverge L onto the spur to
Feeder Bridge Junction (OP 29/5/1886). This is known as the 'Rhubarb Loop' after the
nearby Rhubarb Tavern, although its correct name is the 'Down Bristol Loop' and
'Up/Down Bristol Loop', the Up line being bidirectional.

152 00 Curving L we cross The Feeder Canal, which supplies water to the Floating Harbour,
152 01 and reach Feeder Bridge Junction, where we converge R with the GWR main line from

Bath and London (OP 31/8/1840 from Bristol to Bath).

152 05 At North Somerset Junction the former Bristol & North Somerset line to Radstock
diverges R (OP 3/9/1873; CP 2/11/1959); this line remains in use to serve St Philip's
Marsh Depot.

The course of a spur from Marsh Junction converged R before we cross the River Avon
152 30 on the Main River Viaduct (OA 10/4/1892 as the Bristol Relief Line to Pylle Hill Junction).

This spur provided a route avoiding Temple Meads for trains from Bath heading for the
south west, though CA 19/7/1970 and is now the site of a cinema complex.

Beyond the bridge the remains of the former East Depot Down sidings appear R; the site
is now a steel stockholding area operated by Freightliner. The Up sidings L have
disappeared under warehouses.

- 14 -

152 75 After the sidings end we pass the site of ST ANNE'S PARK station (OP 23/5/1898; CP
153 03 5/1/1970), of which nothing remains, before entering the 154 yard St Anne's Park No. 2

Tunnel. Shortly after re-emerging into daylight we burrow through Broom Hill in the
153 26 1,017 yard St Anne's Park No. 3 Tunnel (or Foxes Wood Tunnel). We leave the tunnel

on the south bank of the River Avon as we head south east along the Avon Valley.

The former Fry's Chocolate Factory site at Somerdale (completed in 1935, latterly
Cadbury's and closed in 2011 by Kraft Foods) can be seen L, now redeveloped as
155 68 housing, while the A4 draws alongside R for a time before we pass KEYNSHAM station
(OP 31/8/1840; RN Keynsham and Somerdale 1/2/1925; CG 29/11/1965; RN Keynsham
6/5/1974). The GWR provided sidings into the factory site, the connection for which
converged L just beyond the east end of the Up platform, through what is now the
station car park to cross the A4175 Keynsham Road on the level; gates are still present
on the north side of the road where the line crossed.

Beyond the station we cross the River Chew and head into open countryside. From
here L across the valley the route of the MR branch from Mangotsfield to Bath Green
Park (OP 4/8/1869; CP 7/3/1966; CA 31/5/1971 and now both a cycle path, the Bath and
Avon Railway Path, and the Avon Valley Railway (AVR)) can be seen. The AVR ends at
Avon Riverside just east of the MR bridge across the River Avon as the course of the
157 66 MR line draws closer before we pass through the 176 yard Saltford Tunnel.

Beyond the tunnel mouth the River Avon draws close L as we pass the site of
158 24 SALTFORD station (OP 16/12/1840; CG 1/9/1959; CP 5/1/1970), marked by open

space R. Saltford Marina appears L before the River draws parallel and L, with course
of the MR line beyond.

160 36 The River moves away L before we pass under the A4 and enter the 264 yard Twerton
Long Tunnel. With the A36 between our route and the River we pass through the 45

160 59 yard Twerton Short Tunnel, before we join the 638 yard Twerton Viaduct. Towards the
161 21 end of the viaduct we pass the site of TWERTON station (OP 16/12/1840; RN Twerton-

on-Avon 1/8/1899; CP 2/4/1917 as a wartime economy measure). The station building L
at road level remains, though in poor condition.

We cross the High Street and leave the viaduct before passing beneath the route of the
161 42 Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (OP 20/7/1874; CP 7/3/1966), climbing at 1 in 50 from

Bath Junction towards the notorious single-track Devonshire and Combe Down Tunnels
(which are now open as part of a fascinating cycle path / walkway). After traversing a
161 59 shallow cutting and proceeding under Bellotts Road bridge we pass OLDFIELD PARK
station (OP 18/2/1929). Beyond the station we pass the disused Bath & North East
161 62 Somerset Council Refuse Transfer Station R, situated on the site of Bath Goods.

The space between the railway and the River Avon L was once occupied by Stothert
and Pitt (‘crane makers to the world’), who established their first foundry there in 1815,
162 31 before we join the 600 yard Arches & St James Viaduct and curve L across the River
162 60 Avon again to pass the curved platforms at BATH SPA station (OP 31/8/1840 as Bath,
although the station was far from complete at the time, the line from Bristol Old Terminus
having opened on the same day; RN Bath Spa 1949), where we pause to pick up

162 71 Re-starting and leaving the station we join the 355 yard Dolemeads Viaduct. The start
of the Kennet and Avon Canal, where it joins the River Avon, can be glimpsed R before
we cross the River Avon once again, and with views L of Bath Abbey, continue over the

163 18 A36 to the 99 yard Sydney Gardens West Tunnel and almost immediately the 77 yard
163 23 Sydney Gardens East Tunnel. With the Kennet and Avon Canal above and R, a gentle
163 67 curve R takes us past the site of HAMPTON ROW HALT (OP 18/3/1907; CP 29/4/1917

as a wartime economy measure and never ROP).

- 15 -

164 37 A little further on we are booked to traverse the Bathampton Up Passenger Loop. After
164 76 re-joining the Up Main line we pass the site of BATHAMPTON station (OP 2/2/1857; CP

3/10/1966), which was situated immediately beyond the Loop, although little evidence

165 06 The Down Trowbridge line diverges R after the station site before we reach Bathampton
Junction, where we diverge R onto the Wilts, Somerset & Weymouth Railway (WS&WR)
line from Bathampton to Bradford South Junction (OA 2/2/1857 as a single-track broad
gauge line, converted to standard gauge on 18-22/6/1874 with double track coming into
use on 17/5/1885).

A tight almost 135o curve brings us between the Canal R and the River Avon L; a further
168 18 'S' curve along the Avon Valley takes us under the Canal, which crosses on Dundas

Aqueduct. R at this point and at the end of the aqueduct was the start of the
Somersetshire Coal Canal, a short section of which remains. For more details on this
fascinating Canal, which pioneered the use of a caisson lock, readers are encouraged to
consult Kenneth R Clew's book listed in the Acknowledgements.

Heading south the course of the Camerton & Limpley Stoke Railway (C&LSR) line,
which served collieries in the Cam Valley, can be seen converging R. OA 9/5/1910
mostly on the course of the Somersetshire Coal Canal, the line CP 22/3/1915, ROP
9/7/1923 and finally CP 21/9/1925. Although CA 15/2/1951, the residual section to
Monkton Combe was the setting for the film "The Titfield Thunderbolt". We continue
169 07 south past the site of LIMPLEY STOKE station (OP 2/2/1857; CG 4/1/1960; CP
3/10/1966). At the north end of the Down platform R was an offset bay for Cam Valley
trains. Beyond the station site were Up and Down goods loops and sidings, used for
handling coal trains from the C&LSR, which continued to just before the site of
169 76 FRESHFORD station (OP 2/2/1857).

170 14 We cross the river on Freshford Viaduct and curve L under the Canal once again on
170 66 Avoncliff Aqueduct before we pass the simple station at AVONCLIFF (OP 9/7/1906 as
170 69 Avoncliff Halt; RN Avoncliff 5/5/1969) and continue under the canal.

With the River Avon and Canal close by and R we head westwards over the River once
172 15 again on Bradford Viaduct and pass BRADFORD-ON-AVON station (OP 2/2/1857 as

Bradford; RN Bradford-on Avon 1/1899; CG 1/11/1965). Shortly afterwards we enter the
172 24 159 yard Bradford Tunnel with Greenland Mill Level Crossing immediately after we

emerge into daylight.

After crossing the River once again we curve R to cross the River for the final time and
173 70 reach the site of Bradford West Junction, where the course of the Bradford Loop (OA

10/3/1895; CA 5/3/1990) diverged L. The Loop was constructed to allow diverted trains
between Bath and Chippenham when Box Tunnel was closed for maintenance. Curving
174 18 R we reach Bradford South Junction and converge L with the WS&WR line from
Thingley Junction to Westbury (OA 5/9/1848).

174 32 Now heading south we pass under the Kennet & Avon Canal on Lady Down Aqueduct
175 39 and with the River Biss R and housing L we curve L through TROWBRIDGE station (OP

5/9/1848), which once functioned as a busy interchange station for cross-country trains
between Wolverhampton and Weymouth via Melksham, and trains from South Wales to
Brighton and Portsmouth. There was once an Up Bay platform R for trains to
Chippenham and Devizes, as well as an engine shed and turntable, also R.

177 34 Leaving the town we head south and cross Yarnbrook Viaduct, pass Yarnbrook L and
(another) Dursley R before the course of a War Department Siding is seen diverging R

178 72 before we reach Hawkeridge Junction, where the 'Hawkeridge Curve' (OA 16/7/1942,
RN Westbury East Loop from 13/5/1984) diverges L.

- 16 -

179 32 We continue to Westbury North Junction, where we converge L with the GWR Devizes
cut-off (OG 27/7/1900 and OP 1/10/1900 from Patney & Chirton to Westbury) and

179 42 proceed south of WESTBURY station (OP 5/9/1848) on the Down Reception line.

179 65 At Westbury South Junction the line to Salisbury (OA 9/9/1851 from Westbury to
179 73 Warminster) diverges from the Main Line; we take the Link Line across the Salisbury line

to re-join the Down Main line on the WS&WR line from Westbury to Yeovil and
Weymouth (OA 7/10/1850 from Westbury to Frome). Heading broadly westwards the
Westbury Avoiding Line (OG 1/1933 and OP 3/1933 as one of 16 GWR schemes funded
by the Loans and Guarantees (1929) Act) appears L to converge with our route at
180 76 Fairwood Junction.

184 22 A gentle curve L takes us to Clink Road Junction, where we diverge R from the Frome
Avoiding Line (OG 1/1933, OP 3/1933 and also funded by the Loans and Guarantees
(1929) Act) onto what was opened as a single broad-gauge line, was doubled and
converted to standard gauge by 22/7/1874 and has again been single track since 1970.

184 77 Double track begins again at the Loop as we curve L to Frome North Junction, where
the remaining section of the Radstock branch diverges R. OG 14/11/854 as a single
track broad gauge line, the route was converted to standard gauge by 26/7/1874 and OP
5/7/1875 (from Frome West Junction to the north - the line between Frome North and
Frome West Junctions was not used by passenger trains), after gauge conversion. CP
2/11/1959, coal traffic continued until the last movement on 16/11/1973 and the line
beyond Hapsford continued in use to serve the wagon works in Radstock; the line
remains in use to serve Whatley Quarry.

185 16 Heading south we pass the site of Frome South Junction, where the course of the spur
from Frome West Junction converged R. Possibly OG 26/7/1874 and OP 5/7/1875, CP
came on 2/11/1959 and the spur CA 10/11/1963. We continue over the A362 and

185 22 through the overall roof at FROME station (OP 7/10/1850). The station roof was
designed by J. R. Hannaford, one of Brunel's assistants, and is the last GWR train shed
in normal use. Beyond the station building we join the WS&WR line from Frome to
Yeovil, which OA 1/9/1856 as a single track line. This was doubled in 1881, after gauge
conversion, and reverted to single track in 1970. After crossing a loop of the River

186 30 Frome we reach Blatchbridge Junction, where we converge L with the Frome Avoiding

190 28 A gentle reverse 'S' bend takes us to the East Somerset Up / Down Branch Loop R,
190 42 before we pass the site of WITHAM station (OP 1/9/1856; RN Witham (Somerset)

9/6/1958; CP 3/10/1966; CG 30/12/1963). In later years the station had a number of
design peculiarities: first the station was built to straddle Friary Close, which passes
under the middle of the station; second a small part of the bay platform R had an overall
roof with an extended canopy over the Up Main platform. The Up / Down Branch Loop
is broadly on the course of the bay platform road. Nothing remains of the station
buildings, which preceded the road bridge, while the overall roof was removed between
1958 and 1961.

190 51 Beyond the station site we pass East Somerset Junction, where the remaining section of
the line from Yatton diverges R. OA 9/11/1858 to Shepton Mallet as a single-track broad
gauge line, it was converted to standard gauge on 18-22/6/1874 (the same weekend
that the main line from Frome to Weymouth was converted) and CP 9/9/1963. The line
currently serves Merehead Quarry and the (modern) East Somerset Railway, centred at
Cranmore station. In early days there was an engine turntable in the 'V' of the two lines.

192 22 Now heading south west we pass the site of STRAP LANE HALT (OP 18/7/1932; CP
192 30 6/10/1941; ROP 16/12/1946; CP 5/6/1950), before breaching Brewham Summit and
195 67 descending past the simple two-platformed BRUTON station (OP 1/9/1856; CG

5/4/1965), which was unstaffed from 6/10/1969.

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197 17 Leaving the environs of the village we pass under the course of the S&DJR Main Line
(OP 3/2/1862; CP and CA 7/3/1966) close to the village of Cole L, which was served by
a Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway station, now a well-preserved private residence.

We continue across the River Brue and head west along the river valley to reach the
199 23 start of the Up / Down Passenger Loop L to pass Platform 2 at CASTLE CARY station

(OP 1/9/1856). Platform 3 L which serves Up and Down Weymouth trains, is a relatively
new addition and neither it nor the Loop was present when the Castle Cary cut-off line
was opened.

199 28 A little further on at Castle Cary Junction we diverge L from the Castle Cary cut-off on
the earlier route towards Weymouth, on a line which was singled on 12/5/1968, at which
time the connection from the Weymouth line to the Up Main was also removed.

The Castle Cary cut-off in its entirety OG 11/6/1906 and OP 2/7/1906, though comprised
of three distinct sections: first a new loop from Cogload Junction to Athelney Junction,
where it joined the Taunton (Durston) to Yeovil branch; second a four mile section of that
branch to Curry Rivel Junction, which was entirely rebuilt, being raised above the flood
plain with flood openings at frequent intervals, and third another section of new railway
from Curry Rivel Junction to Castle Cary. With the cut-off from Westbury to Patney &
Chirton, which we passed earlier, together they reduced the distance between
Paddington and Taunton and all places beyond by 201/4 miles, compared with the old
main line through Bristol.

We head south south-west through rural Somerset past the Haynes International Motor
204 07 Museum L and under the A303(T) to pass the site of SPARKFORD station (OP

1/9/1856; CG 7/1/963; CP 3/10/1966). For a small rural location the station had a busy
past: the aforementioned Museum is probably on the site of War Department sidings
(OG 5/1944; CG by 1963) and R beyond the station site were Milk Sidings (OG 1932;
CG 12/1963), now occupied by warehousing.

Continuing south over the River Cam we pass the village of Queen Camel R to reach
206 58 the site of MARSTON MAGNA station (OP 1/9/1856 as Marston; RN Marston Magna

9/5/1895; CG 5/11/1962; CP 3/10/1966), situated just beyond the Marston Bridge. The
station also included War Department sidings L (OG 1940; CG 1953).

The OS Maps name the next three road overbridges (Park, Hummer and Trent) before
we join the Yeo Valley. The river moves close by R before we cross it, curve R and
210 64 regain Double track. The signal box is at the northern end of the platform between the
211 05 two tracks with Platform 1 R at YEOVIL PEN MILL station (OP 1/9/1856). Platforms 2
and 1 R are on opposite sides of a single track, which was designed to allow cross-
platform exchange between Weymouth and Taunton trains. Beyond the platform ends
211 13 we reach Pen Mill Junction, where the course of the Bristol & Exeter Railway to Yeovil
Town, Durston and Taunton diverges R (OA 2/2/1857; CP 3/10/1966 to Yeovil Town; CA
6/5/1968). Here the 'Pen Mill Single' line diverges R. In between the two lines was the
former engine shed.

Now on a section with two bidirectional single lines we curve L and cross the River Yeo
before the course of the Salisbury & Yeovil Railway (S&YR) branch from Yeovil Town
(OP 1/6/1860; CP 1/3/1967) can be seen converging R. At the site of Yeovil South
Junction the 1943 wartime link between the GWR and the S&YR, built by the Railway
Executive, the S&YR line begins moving away R with the River Yeo beyond and starts

Heading south we pass the bridge abutments for the former S&YR direct line (forming a
north-to-east spur) into Yeovil which passed overhead. OP 1/6/1860, the line was CP
19/7/1860 when the extension of the S&YR to Exeter was opened and CA 1/1/1870. We

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212 35 continue past the site of Clifton Maybank Junction, where the route of the GWR Clifton
Maybank branch (OG 3/6/1864; CA 17/7/1937) can be seen diverging R before we pass

212 44 under the L&SWR West of England Main Line. A short distance beyond the route of the
never-completed west-to-south spur from Clifton Maybank (constructed in 1860) can be
seen converging R. In the late 1980s there was a proposal to complete this spur so that
Weymouth trains could call both at Yeovil Pen Mill and Junction stations, though this
never came to fruition. Part of this route is used by passenger services operated by the
Yeovil Steam Centre from alongside Yeovil Junction. We continue south-east over the
River Yeo on Bradford Viaduct.

214 13 We cross the River Wriggle and pass THORNFORD station (OP 23/3/1936 as Thornford
Bridge Halt; RN Thornford Bridge 5/5/1969; RN Thornford 6/5/1974). In double-track
days the wooden platforms here were staggered. Like the next two stations this is a
request stop; all three were originally proposed for closure from 4/1/1965, though
reprieved. Continuing along the valley of the River Wriggle we curve R past Beer

215 24 Hackett L to reach YETMINSTER station (OP 20/1/1857). Beyond here we begin
climbing in earnest up to Evershot Summit, on gradients of up to 1 in 51.

217 28 Heading south through rural Dorset we pass CHETNOLE station (OP 11/9/1933 as
Chetnole Halt; RN Chetnole 5/5/1969), with the village of the same name L. Ascending
towards the summit we pass Bubb Down Hill and the village of Melbury Bubb R before

219 27 reaching the 308 yard Evershot Tunnel. Emerging from the tunnel we pass the site of
219 55 EVERSHOT station (OP 20/1/1857; CG 7/9/1964; CP 3/10/1966).

Now descending along the River Frome valley we continue past the site of
222 77 CATTISTOCK HALT (OP 3/8/1931; CP 3/10/1966). The platform here had been rebuilt

with pre-cast concrete parts by BR's Southern Region in the 1950s when the line was
under its control. When the line was singled after the Halt's closure, the platforms were
re-used to replace wooden structures at Chetnole and Thornford Bridge.

With Nordon Hill L the course of the Bridport Branch can be seen converging R before
223 70 the loop begins and we pass MAIDEN NEWTON station (OP 20/1/1857). R was the bay

platform for trains to Bridport and West Bay: OP 12/11/1857 by the Bridport Railway,
though operated by the GWR from opening, the line was extended to West Bay on
31/3/1884. The former facing branch connection R was used by ECS workings and the
occasional railtour. The West Bay extension CP 22/11/1930, while the original branch
lingered on until CP and CA 5/5/1975, the relatively late date being a consequence of
the difficulty of finding someone to operate the replacement buses!

226 78 Continuing south east along the Frome valley we enter the 651 yard Grimstone &
227 25 Frampton Tunnel, cross the elegant (from road level), though short, Frampton Viaduct
227 48 and pass the site of GRIMSTONE & FRAMPTON station (OP 20/1/1857 as Frampton;

RN Grimstone 7/1857; RN Grimstone & Frampton 1858; OG 1905; CG 1/5/1961; CP
3/10/1966), marked by open space L at the end of a long station approach road.

The A37 draws close R before we pass the village of Stratton R, just beyond which was
228 50 the site of BRADFORD PEVERELL & STRATTON HALT (OP 22/5/1933; CP

3/10/1966). Originally constructed in wood, the Halt was reconstructed in 1959 using
standard Southern concrete components and the Down platform L is still in situ. We
228 61 continue across the A37 and river on Stratton Viaduct.

229 07 Bradford Peverell Viaduct takes us across a minor road with the village of Bradford
230 09 Peverell R before the River Frome Viaduct takes us over the eponymous river. Heading
230 41 south east along the Frome Valley we cross the river once again on Poundbury Viaduct
230 61 before entering the 267 yard Poundbury Tunnel under Poundbury Tumulus.

- 19 -

Emerging into suburbia the track doubles for a passing loop before we pass
231 41 DORCHESTER WEST station (OP 20/1/1857 as Dorchester; RN Dorchester West

26/9/1949), where part of the elegant station building L now houses Domino's Pizza.
231 72 Single track returns as we head south to Dorchester Junction, where the double track

WS&WR spur (presumably OA 20/1/1857) to the Southampton & Dorchester Railway
(which had itself OA 1/6/1847) converges L.

Leaving the town and heading south, with Maiden Castle R we reach the site of
232 67 MONKTON & CAME HALT (OP 1/6/1905 as Came Bridge Halt; RN Monkton & Came

Halt 1/10/1905; CP 7/1/1957), where platforms are still visible L and R.

With the A354 Monkton Hill R, on the route of a Roman Road, we plunge into the 819
234 22 yard Bincombe Tunnel and begin our descent towards Weymouth (at gradients of up to
234 76 1 in 50), emerging to pass the site of UPWEY WISHING WELL HALT (OP 1/6/1905; CP

7/1/1957), just before we cross the old Dorchester Road.

The village of Broadwey appears R and we pass the site of the first station at UPWEY
(OP 1871; CP 19/4/1886) which was just south of the bridge over Icen Lane, before the
route of the Abbotsbury branch can be seen converging R and we pass the second
236 08 station at UPWEY (OP 19/4/1886 as Upwey Junction; RN Upwey & Broadwey
1/12/1952; RN Upwey 12/5/1980). The gradient on the Main Line is such that the
Abbotsbury Branch platform (now part of the car park), which was behind the Up
Platform R, was some eight feet lower at the north end than the Main Line platform!

The Abbotsbury branch OP 9/11/1885 though was not provided with a junction station
until five months later. It CA 1/12/1952.

237 28 We continue our descent past the site of RADIPOLE HALT (OP 1/7/1905; RN Radipole
5/5/1969; CP 2/1/1984), shortly after which the Jersey Sidings appear R before we

238 13 reach Weymouth Junction, where single track resumes and the Weymouth Tramway
238 37 diverges R; we continue to Platform 3 at WEYMOUTH station (OP 20/1/1857), where we

are due to take a break, with the option of a walking tour of the Weymouth Tramway or a
visit to the Rio Grande Miniature Railway.

The Weymouth Tramway OP 16/10/1865 on the same day as the Weymouth and
Portland Railway. Although both were jointly owned by the GWR and L&SWR, the
Tramway was always worked by the GWR. Until 1880 trains were horse-drawn and
throughout its operation trains were limited to walking pace, accompanied by a man with
a red flag! Last used by two Pathfinder local Tours on 2/5/1999, the future of the line is
uncertain. Its status is 'out of use' long term, although as far as Melcombe Regis
Crossing is an Engineers' Siding and was used as such in 10/2013; the last Channel
Island ferry operated from Weymouth on 23/3/2015.

Our break over, we climb back over Bincombe Summit and Evershot Summit before
277 51 descending to pass Platform 3 at CASTLE CARY station, before returning to
290 44 Blatchbridge Junction, where the original line to Frome station diverges L and we
292 52 continue on the avoiding line to Clink Road Junction, where the original line which OA
295 78 7/10/1850 from Westbury to Frome converges L. From here we return to Fairwood

Junction, where the Westbury avoiding line diverges R. The Westbury Up Sidings
appear L before we curve L and are scheduled to take the Up Reception line, bypassing
297 32 WESTBURY station before re-joining the Up Trowbridge line.

297 42 From here we return to Westbury North Junction, where the Devizes cut-off diverges R
302 56 as we continue to Bradford South Junction and curve L to pass through Bathampton
314 14 Junction on our way back to BATH SPA, where we are booked to set down.

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324 73 After re-starting we retrace our steps along the Avon Valley to Feeder Bridge Junction,
325 16 where we again take the Rhubarb Curve to Dr Day's Junction and converge L with the

B&SWUR to access the Up Relief line.

328 21 Ascending Horfield Bank, at Horfield Junction we weave R to access the Up Filton Main
328 71 through Platform 2 at FILTON ABBEY WOOD.

329 11 At Filton No. 1 Junction we continue ahead along the GWR spur to Stoke Gifford
Junction and Bristol Parkway (OG 1/5/1903; OP 1/7/1903). As a reminder that we are in
the Bristol coalfield (one of the earliest in the UK, with coal working first recorded in
1223), R and just out of sight as we cross the dual-carriageway A4174 Station Road was
the site of Harry Stoke Drift Mine, which was not rail-served. In the mid-1950s it was
hoped the coal industry in the area would be rejuvenated by its development. Three
seams were worked; the 5 Coals seam, the Giller's Inn seam and the Great Vein. By
1962 the mine had produced a total of about 465,000 tons of coal, though at a loss of
just over £800,000. Around 180 men were employed when the mine closed on
14/6/1963. Today the area is somewhat changed and occupied by Abbey Wood Retail
Park and MoD Abbey Wood.

329 25 We proceed past the remains of FILTON JUNCTION, where we curve R away from the
330 41 B&SWUR and pass the Hitachi Stoke Gifford IET Depot L on our way to Stoke Gifford

Junction No. 1, where we converge L with the South Wales Main Line (OG 1/5/1903; OP

330 47 Almost immediately we reach Stoke Gifford West Junction, where we are booked to take
330 58 the Up Passenger Loop past BRISTOL PARKWAY station (OP 1/5/1972 and visited on

that date by your compiler). The first of the 'park and ride' stations, Bristol Parkway was
built on the site of Stoke Gifford Marshalling Yard, which CG 4/10/1971. When the line
opened in 1903 the Yard had six dead-end sidings (later expanded to 10 with a capacity
of 1,473 four-wheeled wagons) on both the Up and Down sides, with a Relief and
Refuge loop on the Down side and a loop, cripple sidings and access to a brickworks on
the Up side. All that now remains are five of the Down sidings, used for stabling
Freightliner Class 66s between turns, with the recently extended and expanded station
car park occupying most of the Up sidings.

Initially a wind-swept two-platformed station with very basic facilities, the station was
substantially upgraded and O 1/7/2001, with a third platform on the Up side (current
Platform 4) O 9/5/2007 and the fourth platform beyond the Down Main (current Platform
1) O 13/4/2018.

331 16 We re-join the Up Main line at Stoke Gifford East Junction. L beyond the station was the
West of England Post Office Rail Depot. When the 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2)
building opened in 2002, Royal Mail claimed it would save 250,000 miles of lorry
journeys per year on local roads. However, the depot closed just two years later in 2004
when the Post Office ceased using the rail network. The building is now a Network Rail
maintenance training centre.

Having passed the buildings, L is Hunts Ground Road, the eastern access road to the
station, built on the route of the brickworks siding. The brickworks, which occupied the
higher ground L and is now a small industrial estate owned by the construction company
ISG Pearce Ltd, was opened in 1902 to supply materials for the new railway and was
capable of producing 250,000 bricks per week, which were used to construct the
viaducts to the east and to line Chipping Sodbury tunnel. The brickworks lasted until
1915 and the buildings were demolished in the 1930s. The site was later taken over by
Pugsley, a scrap merchant, after which the sidings were known as Pugsley's Sidings.
We then pass under the new Stoke Gifford bypass, served by Metrobus, which is unable
to access Bristol Parkway as no turning circle has been provided.

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331 57 On a section of line ascending at 1 in 300 to Badminton we cross the M4 Viaduct, which
from the motorway looks much like a coffee table! Shortly afterwards the 139 yard

331 78 Winterbourne Viaduct takes us over a brook and the B4058 before entering a cutting, in
which was Winterbourne goods yard L (now occupied by a builder's merchant, including
the original goods shed) and the former Winterbourne Signal Box R.

332 52 At the end of the cutting we pass the site of WINTERBOURNE station (OG 1/5/1903;
OP 1/7/1903; CP 3/4/1961; CG 7/10/1963) with the station building R in commercial use;

332 56 beyond the platform end we are launched onto the 11 arch, 269 yard long Hackford
Viaduct across the Avon Valley. R and on the west side of the river are the remains of
Huckford Quarry, the output from which may have been for use by the GWR.

333 42 The 95 yard Bristol Road Viaduct takes us over the A432. R at the next road
underbridge are the remains of Ram Hill colliery, once served by one of the branches of
the Bristol & Gloucestershire Railway (B&GlosR; O 7/1832 to Mangotsfield and the
connection to the Avon & Gloucestershire Railway; C by the late 1860s) and now an
active conservation project. A little further on a gentle curve R takes us past the site of

334 02 COALPIT HEATH station (OG 1/5/1903; OP 1/7/1903; CA 3/4/1961), where the station
building R remains in commercial use. L beyond the station site were sidings and a
facing spur down to the B&GlosR, which O 1/5/1903. By the opening of the Badminton
line the former B&GlosR was serving Frog Lane and Mayshill Collieries north of Coalpit
Heath. Coal traffic continued until late 1951 when notice was given by the National Coal
Board to terminate use of the sidings, which were removed along with the connection
between 1953 and 1956.

We continue under a rather spindly footbridge across the main line and sidings, which
gives a good vantage point from which to observe trains, and with the connection
335 26 diverging L cross the course of the B&GlosR on our way to Westerleigh West Junction,
where we cross the former Bristol & Gloucester Railway (B&GR) and diverge L onto the
connection from our route to that line. Although authorised as part of the original Act for
the Badminton line and used during construction, disputes between the GWR and MR
resulted in a colourful early history: OG 1/5/1903 the line was used intermittently until
CG 4/2/1907; ROG 9/3/1908 the line finally OP 2/11/1908.

Engineered by I. K. Brunel the B&GR OA 6/7/1844 from a junction with the B&GlosR at
Westerleigh Junction (north of the current Westerleigh Railfreight Terminal) to Standish
Junction with the GWR line from Swindon to Gloucester. Considered to be an
unnecessary, duplicate route the line CP 29/12/1969 from Yate South Junction to the
Great Western & Midland Junction just east of Bristol Temple Meads. However, the line
from Yate South Junction to the gasworks west of Bath Green Park continued in use
until CA 28/5/1971, when the line was cut back to serve the Westerleigh Railfreight

335 63 A reasonably sharp 90o curve L takes us past the site of Westerleigh North Junction,
where the spur from Westerleigh East Junction converged R, although little evidence
remains. OG 1/5/1903 and subject to the early issues listed above for the west curve,
the spur CG 18/12/1916; ROG 18/2/1918 and CG 10/7/1927, after which the track was
lifted and the North and East Junction signal boxes demolished. The spur ROG
1/7/1942 in conjunction with Government sidings at Wapley and a new Wapley Common
signal box. Final CG came on 4/1/1950, although tracks remained in place until 1967.

The original connection with the B&GR line (by then part of the MR) was by a flying
junction and eagle-eyed participants may be able to spot the bridge abutments where
the Up line crossed the MR. The former Down line connection was double-tracked (OA
336 51 18/1/1970) with the flying junction being removed. We continue past the site of Yate
South Junction, once graced by a small MR signal box L, to pass the modern Up
336 74 platform at YATE station (OP 8/7/1844; CP 4/1/1965; CG 20/6/1966; ROP 15/5/1989).

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Before re-opening the Down platform and station building were R. The goods shed R,
accessed by a wagon turntable because of restricted space, remains in industrial use.

336 77 After passing under the A432 the Down platform appears R before we reach Yate
Middle Junction (formerly Yate Main Line Junction), where the Thornbury branch can be
seen diverging L, with the former goods yard R and an engine turntable in early years L.

The Thornbury branch OA 2/9/1872, CP 19/6/1944 and CG 20/6/1966. After CA the
track was lifted then replaced to ROG 3/7/1972 using track lifted from the Bath line to
serve Grovesend Quarry west of Tytherington, including an interestingly-graded new
level crossing over the Iron Acton bypass. Since then there have been periods of
closure, though the line recently ROG 26/11/2018 for stone from the Quarry to
Avonmouth, for use in construction of the new Hinckley Point 'C' Nuclear Power Station.

After passing under the modern B4059 road bridge and its predecessor immediately
337 58 afterwards, beyond the light industrial buildings L a short branch from Yate No. 1 Colliery

converged L. OG 1883 the line CG by 1890. With Engine Common L we continue north
340 42 through rural South Gloucestershire to enter the 1,401 yard Wickwar Tunnel. The

largest engineering work on the B&GR the tunnel has seven air shafts, passes partly
through mountain lime, which needed no lining, and cost £43,994.

Emerging into daylight we pass the former goods yard R which preceded the platforms
341 40 at WICKWAR station (OP 8/7/1844; CG 10/6/1963; CP 4/1/1965). Nothing remains of

the station, which was crammed into a very narrow site because of the B4060 alongside
R. The village is south of the former station site.

343 42 Continuing north past Little Bristol L we pass the site of CHARFIELD station (OP
8/7/1844; CP 4/1/1965; CG 6/9/1965), whose buildings remain R. Beyond the station
site and overbridge we are booked to traverse the Up Goods Loop, with the Down
Goods Loop R. Originally lay-by sidings, these were converted to loops in 1942. After

344 28 the loops end we cross the Little Avon River and pass the site of Bendall's Siding L,
which served the Huntingford Milling Company's corn mill on the river and was linked by
an elevated tramway. OG 1890 and originally with its own signal box, the 'box was gone
by 1922 (the siding being released from Charfield) and CG is unknown. The company

346 08 also owned a mill at Draycott on the Dursley line. We continue north under the M5.

347 38 A gentle curve R precedes the site of Berkeley Road South Junction, where the course
of the GWR spur to Berkeley Loop Junction on the Severn & Wye Joint (S&WJ; GWR
and MR) line across the Severn Bridge to Lydney can be seen diverging L. OA 9/3/1908
to allow through running via the Severn Bridge when the Severn Tunnel was closed for
maintenance and to allow access to Sharpness Docks from the south, CP came in 1960
following the collapse of part of the Severn Bridge, with CA 1/1963.

As the spur moves away we continue under the A38 and immediately reach the site of
348 50 BERKELEY ROAD station (OP 8/7/1844 as Dursley & Berkeley; RN Berkeley Road

1/6/1845; CP 4/1/1965). Originally a two-platformed station, it was upgraded when the
MR branch to Sharpness came into existence (OG 2/8/1875; OP 1/8/1876), with the Up
platform being extended and two branch platforms added. After CP the station buildings
348 64 were quickly demolished. Beyond the station site we reach Berkeley Road Junction,
where the aforementioned Sharpness branch (absorbed into the S&WJ on 1/7/1894)
converges L. For some years after CP the branch served Sharpness Docks, though
recent traffic has just been occasional nuclear waste trains serving the Magnox terminal
at Berkeley, which proceed to the former Docks Branch Junction loop to run round.

Our curve R continues past Green Farm L at Tumpy Green before we pass the site of
350 03 Gossington Sidings L. OG 1/7/1916 the sidings were installed to serve a huge munitions

dump that had been installed in the Vale of Berkeley. The branch ran to Shepherd's

- 23 -

Patch on the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal, with sidings to the west of the 'main line'
serving the Depot area. The Depot had C by 1924 and the sidings were removed on

With the village of Gossington L we pass under the A38 Gossington Bridge, followed
350 77 shortly by the M5. Now heading almost due east we pass the site of COALEY

JUNCTION station (OG 22/8/1856; OP 18/9/1856 as Dursley Road; RN Coaley Junction
1/10/1870; RN Coaley 10/1888; CP 4/1/1965; CG 28/6/1968). The station was initially
opened by the Dursley & Midland Junction Railway (D&MJR), after the MR refused to
open a station between Berkeley Road and Frocester.

The D&MJR branch to Dursley OG 22/8/1856 and OP 18/9/1856, continuing as an
independent line until 1861, when it was absorbed by the MR. Along with two short
platforms on the main line there was a sharply-curved branch platform R, the branch
converging with our route beyond the platform ends. CP 10/9/1962, goods trains
continued until 28/6/1968, after which the line operated as a private siding to Lister's
351 24 works at Dursley until CA 13/7/1970. The relatively modern CAM & DURSLEY station
(OP 14/5/1994), which we pass next, was built on the site of the Up and Down lay-by
sidings at the east end of Coaley station.

Heading east and with the village of Coaley away to the south, a gentle curve L takes us
353 14 past the site of FROCESTER station (OP 8/7/1844; OG 2/9/1844; CP 11/12/1961), of

which nothing remains other than an open space R.

Beyond the minor road overbridge the wooded area L marks the start of the Frocester to
Frampton branch. OG 30/7/1917 the line was cheaply constructed using German
prisoner-of-war labour to gravel pits near Frampton-on-Severn, the gravel being used in
concrete for Dock extensions in Avonmouth and London. CG 27/4/1924 the track was
quickly removed and its course returned to agricultural use, though the gravel pits, now
flooded, remain.

354 43 With Frocester village R we pass a sewage works L before crossing Stonehouse Viaduct
(also known as Beard's Mill Viaduct), with Beard's Mill L. Originally of timber
construction, though rather flimsier than Brunel's later West Country viaducts, in 1884
the MR replaced the original structure with metal lattice girders resting on brick pillars.
The girders were themselves replaced in the early 1970s.

Heading almost due north we continue over the River Frome, Stroudwater Canal and
354 74 A419 to reach the site of STONEHOUSE station (OP 8/7/1844; OG 2/9/1844; RN

Stonehouse Bristol Road 17/9/1951; CP 4/1/1965; CG 1/6/1966), where the station
master's house remains R. Originally a simple two-platformed affair, the station was
enhanced when the Stonehouse & Nailsworth Railway's branch to Nailsworth OA
1/2/1867, when a separate branch platform was constructed R and connected to the
main line station by a covered way.

The Nailsworth branch converged R beyond the goods yard and close to the extant
footbridge. Temporary CP came on 1/6/1947 as a result of competition from local buses
and the GWR's services along the Stroud valley, with CP being made permanent from
8/6/1949. Goods traffic (to Nailsworth and Stroud) continued until CA 20/6/1966, with
some of the trackbed now being used by the A419 between Stonehouse and Dudbridge.
The redundant goods yard became the Stonehouse Coal Concentration Depot from
7/10/1966, closing in 1989; an earlier BLS internal visit provided footplate rides,
including the section on the course of the branch.

355 27 Sidings for the Nailsworth branch ended before Old Ends Level Crossing. With a
Recreation Ground R the GWR Kemble line (OA 8/7/1844 by the Cheltenham & Great
Western Union Railway (C&GWUR)) can be seen R and at a higher level, descending to

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356 65 draw parallel and then converge R at Standish Junction, replicating the layout when the
B&GR first OA 8/7/1844. At this time it was expected that the B&GR would merge with
the GWR. However, the MR offered a better deal so on 29/5/1854 OA an independent
route into Gloucester, parallel to and west of the GWR, so Standish ceased to be a
junction until 27/1/1873 when a junction was re-established to allow the GWR to run
south over the MR. Four tracks from here to Tuffley Junction, south of Gloucester,
continued until 1968 when the current layout was introduced.

The Haresfield Down Goods Loop appears R before we negotiate what is now just a foot
357 72 crossing, beyond which was the site of the MR's HARESFIELD station (OP 29/5/1854;

CP 4/1/1965), the site of which is now obliterated by the start of the Up Goods Loop. As
there was no equivalent station on the GWR, the wooden Down platform was very
narrow and had no shelter, being squeezed between the two main lines. A wooden
screen protected waiting passengers from passing GWR trains. After CP the station
was quickly removed to allow for realignment of the track.

359 10 Leaving the environs of Haresfield we cross over the M5 and reach the site of the former
359 52 Naas Crossing, beyond which were connections L to Quedgeley Depot a shell-filling

factory which O 12/5/1916. The factory was served by ammunition trains from the
Gossington munitions depot, as well as passenger trains for workers, serving Quedgeley
Workmen's Platform (OP 13/12/1915; CP 1925) on site. After the end of World War I the
360 09 factory was run down and the original connection at Quedgeley was removed in 1925.
However, during World War II the factory was re-established with its rail connection
controlled from Naas Crossing; during the First World War the connection was at
Quedgeley. The Depot remained rail-connected and in use for storage into the 1980s,
also providing an internal visit for the BLS, with footplate rides on their internal diesel
onto what had been the left-hand running line.

The open land R is replaced by housing as we enter Lower Tuffley and after passing
under the A38 the course of the MR Gloucester Docks line can seen converging L at
361 60 Tuffley Junction. OG 5/9/1898 the branch served the west side of the docks, later
making a connection with the GWR Docks line from Over Junction to Llanthony. CG
came on 4/1/1971. The east side of the docks was served by the MR High Orchard
branch. Beyond the B4072 overbridge the course of the MR Tuffley Loop (OA
22/5/1854; CA 1/12/1975) diverges L, though this is now quite difficult to discern. We
362 76 continue north east along the double-track GWR route to diverge L at Gloucester Yard
Junction. This was formerly known as Millstream or South Junction. The present
avoiding line continues ahead. OA in 1847 by the GWR as the Cheltenham Loop, the
line was CA and removed in 1872, being re-laid and ROA in 1901.

After passing under the (relatively) modern A4302 the Barnwood Curve can be seen R,
which OA 4/11/1840 by the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway (Bham&GR). The
Bham&GR was the first railway to arrive in Gloucester, with its standard gauge terminus
363 49 close to the cattle market. The lines draw close as we cross Horton Road Level
Crossing (previously known as Asylum Road). In the early years this level crossing
incorporated the Cheltenham & Gloucester Railway (C&GR), a 3' 6" plateway which OG
1810/1811 and ran from Cheltenham into Gloucester Docks and crossed both routes on
the level. Later purchased by the Bham&GR the C&GR CA 1861. We continue to
363 54 Horton Road Junction (formerly known as Tramway Junction - a direct reference to the
C&GR), where the Barnwood Curve converges R, with the Gloucester Horton Road
sidings further R (on the site of the GWR's Horton Road engine shed).

Until CA 1/12/1975, at Tramway Junction the MR Tuffley Loop diverged L to pass
through the MR Gloucester station (OP 12/4/1896 and featuring three curved platforms;
RN Gloucester Eastgate 17/9/1951; CP 1/12/1975). This was connected by a high-level
covered walkway to the GWR station.

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L beyond the Junction was the site of the adjacent and separate terminal stations for the
standard gauge Bham&GR (to the north) and the broad gauge C&GWUR and B&GR
(south). Both stations OP 8/7/1844. We are now effectively on a broad gauge line OA
19/9/1851 by the Gloucester & Dean Forest Railway (later the South Wales Railway
(SWR)), whose through Gloucester station is on the site of the current one. The broad
gauge C&GWUR trains then began using the SWR station, with the Bham&GR and
B&GR terminal station CP 12/4/1896 with the opening of what became Gloucester
Eastgate station.

363 77 From here we are booked to take one of the centre roads past GLOUCESTER station
(OP 19/9/1851; RN Gloucester Central, possibly on 17/9/1951; RN Gloucester
1/12/1975). The original SWR station was rebuilt in 1855 with a single 280 yard platform
and a double crossover half way along. The Bham&GR / B&GR station, located in what
is now the car park, had also been rebuilt by this stage with two platforms. Here a
second platform (current Platform 4) was added in 1914 though CP in 1968, being ROP
in relatively recent times and now has a separate entrance with ticket gates.

Beyond the platform ends the platform roads converge and we progress over the 345
364 13 yard Gloucester Viaduct, with views of Gloucester Cathedral L. Continuing above the
364 73 rooftops we leave the city across the River Severn flood plain to the 84 yard St

Catherine's Meadow Viaduct across the East Channel of the river, followed shortly by
365 09 the flood arches of the 172 yard Ham Meadow Viaduct.

With the A40 R we curve L under the A430 and the course of the GWR Gloucester
365 34 Docks Llanthony branch can be seen converging L as we pass Over Junction. OG

20/3/1854 as a broad gauge line, it was converted to standard gauge on 20/8/1869,
thereby providing connections with the MR docks lines. CA came in the 1980s.
Immediately we cross the river's West Channel, with views of the attractive high-arched
road bridge on the old A40 R (the new road bridge to the north O 28/9/1958), and pass
the site of the junction for the Ledbury line, which diverged R (although little remains to
be seen). OA 27/7/1885 by the Newent Railway to Dymock and by the Ross & Ledbury
Railway from Dymock to Ledbury, the line CP 13/7/1959 and CA 1/6/1964 at this end.

A gentle reverse 'S' bend, with the River Severn away to the L, takes us onto a straight
section of track under the A48 and past Minsterworth L and Churcham R to the site of
369 31 OAKLE STREET station (OP 19/9/1851; CP 2/11/1964), situated just beyond the minor
road bridge and where nothing remains.

370 13 We head on across first Ley Level Crossing and then Broken Cross Level Crossing, with
371 21 Broken Cross Farm R, to curve gently L past the site of GRANGE COURT station (OP

19/9/1851; CP 2/11/1964). Once a four-platformed junction station, little now remains.
Beyond the road bridge the course of the line to Ross-on-Wye and Hereford, the start of
which we passed early this morning, can be seen diverging R. OA 11/7/1853 from
Grange Court to Hopesbrook by the Hereford, Ross & Gloucester Railway, the route
from there to Hereford OA 2/6/1855. CP came on 2/11/1964 along with the station (CA
1/11/1965). We continue on the SWR which OA 19/9/1851 to Chepstow East (in other
words the east bank of the River Wye).

372 04 A section of straight, flat track takes us across Westbury Level Crossing; a little further
372 69 on and with the village of Westbury-on-Severn L we pass the site of WESTBURY-ON-

SEVERN HALT (OP 9/7/1928; 10/9/1959), which was located between the bridges over
a minor road and the A48.

A loop of the River Severn appears L before we pass the hamlet of Broadoak L, curve L
374 71 into a shallow cutting and pass the site of NEWNHAM station (OA 19/9/1851; CA

2/11/1964). Situated on a gentle curve, the two-platformed station was enhanced with a
short Down bay platform L, which OP 3/8/1907 with the start of the passenger service

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along the Forest of Dean branch to Cinderford. Trains from Cinderford to terminate at
Newnham travelled wrong-line from Bullo Pill junction to Newnham, as there was no
crossover here.

375 01 After passing under Station Road we enter the 235 yard Newnham Tunnel. After
375 42 emerging into daylight a short curve L takes us past the site of the short-lived RUDDLE

ROAD HALT (OP 3/8/1907; CP 30/4/1917), possibly located just beyond the A48

As we approach the Severn riverbank the open space R marks the site of sidings
376 02 associated with Bullo Pill Junction, where the course of the Forest of Dean branch (OG

24/7/1854; OP 3/8/1907; CP 3/11/1958; CG 14/8/1967) can be seen diverging R and the
Bullo Pill Dock branch (OG 24/7/1854; CG 12/8/1963 with the rail connection being
removed on 13/10/1963) can be seen diverging L. The Forest of Dean branch replaced
an earlier tramway over the same route, the tramway terminating at Bullo Pill Dock. The
376 31 40 yard Bullo Dock Viaduct takes us across the course of the tramway with views of the
old Dock L.

Moving away from the river a gentle 'S' bend takes us around Bushy Hill R with the
378 15 village of Awre L to Awre Level Crossing, which precedes the site of the simple two-
378 20 platformed AWRE JUNCTION station (OP 19/9/1851; CP and CG 10/8/1959). The

'Junction' in its name denoted the fact that the Forest of Dean Central branch (OG
25/5/1868; CG 29/7/1949 although the line was used for wagon storage until CA
10/8/1959) diverged R behind the Up platform, the course of which can still be seen.
Originally built to serve the New Fancy Colliery, the opening of the Severn & Wye
Railway (S&WR) Mineral Loop in 1872 cut across the Forest of Dean Central and denied
it most of its traffic. By 1878 the line had been cut back to Howbeach Sidings, with
traffic beyond Blakeney CG 1926.

Passing Paulton Court L we re-join the riverbank and reach the site of the short-lived
379 52 GATCOMBE station (OP19/9/1851; CP 1/4/1869). Following the river we pass the

village of Purton R and with views of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal on the other
380 55 bank we pass under the course of the Severn Bridge Railway (SBR), which was

promoted by the S&WR, MR and the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal Company and ran
from Lydney Junction to an end-on junction with the MR at Sharpness.

L at this point the 4,126 ft long Severn Bridge marched across the river, beginning with a
13 arch stone viaduct across our route. Starting with two 327 ft spans across the
navigable part of the river and followed by 19 shorter spans, the bridge ended with a 197
ft swing bridge over the canal at Sharpness. OA 17/10/1879 proposals had been
produced to strengthen the bridge to allow heavier engines when, on 26/10/1960, a
runaway barge collided with a pier, bringing down two spans. The decision was taken to
demolish the bridge, which took place between 1968 and 1970. R an on the
embankment was the site of Severn Bridge station (OP 17/10/1879 as Severn Bridge
(for Blakeney); CP 26/10/1960).

As we continue along the riverbank the course of the SBR curves L to draw parallel
before disappearing into Severn Bridge Tunnel. As we move away from the river the
382 29 course of the SBR can be seen again R before we negotiate Naas Level Crossing.
Moving closer part of the SBR trackbed has been used by the A48 Lydney bypass; it
382 64 reappears before we are booked to traverse the Lydney Down Goods Loop. Otters Pool
Junction, which controlled connections between the SBR, S&WR and our route, was
adjacent to the site of the current groundframe R. Here the S&WR diverges R with the
Dean Forest Railway Lydney Junction station beyond.

North of Lydney Junction the S&WR replaced the earlier horse-drawn Severn & Wye
Tramway. OG 1868, a broad gauge line ran from the junction to Wimberry, near Speech

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House Road. The opening of the aforementioned Mineral Loop in 1872 extended the
line to Drybrook Road. Conversion to standard gauge came on 11-12/5/1872 and in
1873 the line was extended to meet the GWR at Bilson Junction. OP 23/9/1875 and CP
8/7/1929, the victim of bus competition, the line CA 2/10/1967 beyond Parkend. We re-
383 30 join the Down Main line and continue past LYDNEY station (OP 19/9/1951), now just
two bare platforms with basic shelters. In past times there was a footbridge connecting
this station to the S&WR Lydney Junction station.

383 33 Beyond the platform ends we negotiate Lydney Level Crossing. From 1868 until
25/8/1963 our route crossed the line to Lydney Docks L, incorporated in the roadway, on
the level. The Docks O 1813 as an outlet on the River Severn for the Severn & Wye
Tramway. The Tramway (and later S&WR branch) served both sides of the dock basin,
with the western branch continuing all the way to the riverbank, incorporating a number
of coal tips. The last revenue-earning ship called in 1979. A canal, which connected the
main dock basin with Lydney, is crossed immediately as we head south west out of the

386 07 The site of WOOLASTON station (OP 19/9/1851; CP 1/12/1954) precedes Woolaston
Level Crossing. Situated in open land close to the river, the station was some distance
from the place it purported to serve.

With Shepardine Sands L within the river we move inland and taking a gentle curve R
find the course of the Wye Valley Railway (OA 1/11/1876; CP 5/1/1959) above and R;
390 45 this descends to converge R at Wye Valley Junction. Latterly serving Tidenham Quarry,
the line CA 6/1/1964 north of Tintern Quarry. Hereabouts was the site of the temporary
CHEPSTOW EAST station, required because of the delay in completing the Chepstow
bridge. OP 19/9/1851 the station CP 19/7/1852, 10 months after the railway opened
from Gloucester, when a single line opened across the bridge.

390 47 Close by was the site of BEACHLEY JUNCTION station (OP 18/11/1918; CP
390 51 26/10/1920), as is the site of TUTSHILL HALT (OP 9/7/1934; CP 5/1/1959), which was

also known as Tutshill for Beachley Halt.

390 52 The 359 yard Chepstow Tunnel follows, after which we cross the replacement for the
390 78 original 200 yard Chepstow River Bridge over the River Wye. Designed by Brunel, the

original bridge was described as the Great Tubular Bridge and formed the design
prototype for the Royal Albert Bridge in Saltash. The second track over the bridge OA
18/4/1853. However, the flexible nature of the main spans of the original bridge made
them unsuitable for high-speed running (there was a 15 mph speed restriction on trains
crossing the bridge), so the main river spans were replaced in 1962 with the current
modern steel trusses.

391 26 Curving L we pass CHEPSTOW station (OP 18/6/1850) and join the line OA 18/6/1850
by the SWR from Swansea. Between the opening date and the first track over the
Chepstow bridge coming into use, passengers were transported by road to and from the
temporary Chepstow East station. Fairfield Mabey's engineering works were L and
below, served by a steep branch to just beyond Chepstow station, allowing footplate
rides on their internal diesel for a BLS visit, including the connection to alongside the
main line.

391 61 We join the banks of the River Wye along the Sea Wall for a time before passing under
392 77 what is now the M48 on its Wye bridge, a 1,340 ft long cable-stayed bridge which takes

the road from Wales into England, then via the Beachley Viaduct L joins with the rather
beautiful 5,240 ft long Severn suspension bridge. The box sections for the latter bridge
were built at Fairfield-Mabey in Chepstow, with each 132 tonne section then being
floated down the river before being hoisted into position. The opening of the bridge on
8/9/1966 saw the closure of the Aust Ferry, which ran from a pier at Old Passage near

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the village of Aust on the east bank of the Severn to a similar pier on the east of the
Beachley peninsula. From 1926 this carried cars as well as pedestrians and
motorcycles, the ferries having a turntable on the deck to manoeuvre cars into the
limited space available.

Curving R we head south west along the Caldicot Level with views L of the River Severn
and Second Severn Crossing, O 5/6/1996, and one of the lighthouses in the Severn
estuary. After passing under a minor road bridge the course of the 74 chain Portskewett
Pier branch can be seen converging L. OA 1/1/1864 by the B&SWUR, the line served
the ferry to New Passage. The branch CA 1/12/1886 with the opening of the Severn
395 73 Tunnel. We continue past the site of the second PORTSKEWETT station (OP
1/10/1863; CP 2/11/1964). The first station, a simple two-platformed affair close to the
next overbridge, OP 19/6/1850 and CP 1/10/1863, the relocation being a consequence
of the opening of the B&SWUR Portskewett Pier branch. Hereabouts was also a branch
to Portskewett Shipyard, which CA 1878.

A little further on the remains of the Sudbrook Branch can be seen converging L before
396 69 we reach Caerwent Branch Junction, where the branch from what began as the Royal

Navy Propellant Factory, Caerwent, converges R. OG around 1939 with the site, the
line remained in use serving what is now an army training area until recent years. The
private siding agreement terminated in 2008.

396 79 At Sudbrook Branch Junction the Sudbrook branch (CA 1997?) converged L. OG 1878
the line was originally used to support construction of the Severn Tunnel, though after
the tunnelling breached the Great Spring on 16/10/1879, the extant Sudbrook pumping
station was constructed and the line supplied coal for the pumping engines. Following
conversion of the pumps from steam to electric propulsion in 1962 the branch served a
paper mill (which used water from the Great Spring) and was used to store the Severn
Tunnel inspection train.

397 01 After Caldicot Level Crossing and with the M4 L between us and the river, the South
Wales Main Line appears below and R, having exited the Severn Tunnel, before we

397 79 pass CALDICOT station (OP 12/9/1932 as Caldicot Halt; RN Caldicot 5/5/1969), a
simple two-platformed affair.

398 14 Continuing west we are booked to traverse the Severn Tunnel Down Relief line, passing
398 57 SEVERN TUNNEL JUNCTION station R. From here we return to Llanwern Works East
403 02 Connection, where we are booked to traverse the Down Service Line with good views of

the Llanwern Works L. Interference from the works’ large electrical consumption is
blamed for the lack of Wi-Fi in this area!

407 71 Re-joining the Down Relief line we return to Maindee East Junction and diverge R on the
408 53 Hereford Loop back to Maindee North Junction as we head north.

419 03 After returning past Little Mill Junction we are booked to traverse the Abergavenny Up
426 24 Goods Loop, on our way back through Rotherwas Junction to set down in Platform 3 at
450 72 HEREFORD station. After restarting we continue back to CHURCH STRETTON, where

again we pause to set down.

500 44 After a further restart we are booked to traverse the Sutton Bridge Up Goods Loop
501 70 before setting down for the last time at SHREWSBURY station. After restarting we
502 01 continue back to Crewe Junction, where we diverge R to return through Crewe South
534 53 Junction to CREWE station, where our tour ends in Platform 12.

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An Historical Survey of the Midland in Gloucestershire, Smith, Peter, Oxford Publishing
Company, 1985
An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations, Clark, R.H., Oxford Publishing
Company, 1976
An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations Volume 2, Clark, R.H., Oxford
Publishing Company, 1979
An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations Volume 3, Clark, R.H., Oxford
Publishing Company, 1981
An Historical Survey of Selected Great Western Stations Volume 4, Clark, R.H., Oxford
Publishing Company, 1985
An Historical Survey of the Forest of Dean Railways, Smith, Peter, Oxford Publishing Company,
British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer, Fifth Edition, Ian Allan, 1972
Gradients of the British Main Line Railways, ian Allan, 2016
Guide to the Looe Brush Railtour, Branch Line Society, 2019
Guide to the Marching Crompton Railtour, Branch Line Society, 2018
Guide to the Positioning Move Railtour, Branch Line Society, 2019
Guide to the RBF Tracker, Branch Line Society, 2016
Guide to the Great Western Tracker IV, Branch Line Society, 2016 (planned though did not run)
GWR the Badminton Line: portrait of a railway, Robertson, Kevin, Alan Sutton, 1988
GWR Service Timetable Appendices 1945, reprint, Bradford Barton
History of the Great Western Railway Volume 1 1833-1863, MacDermot, E. T., Ian Allan 1972
History of the Great Western Railway Volume 2 1863-1921, MacDermot, E. T., Ian Allan 1972
History of the Great Western Railway Volume 3 1923-1948, Nock, O. S., Ian Allan 1967
Passengers No More (third edition), Daniels, Gerald and Dench, Les, Ian Allen, 1980
Railway Junction Diagrams 1915, David & Charles Reprints, 1969
Railway Stations & Halts – a photographic record in Avon, Oakley, Mike, Avon County Council, 1984
Railway Track Diagrams Book 3: Western, TRACKmaps, Sixth Edition, 2018
Railway Track Diagrams Book 4: Midlands & North West, Trackmaps, Third Edition, 2013
Railway Track Diagrams Book 5: Southern & TfL, Trackmaps, Third Edition, 2008
The Bristol & Gloucester Railway and the Avon & Gloucestershire Railway, Maggs, Colin, The
Oakwood Press, 1969
The Directory of Railway Stations, Butt, R.V.J., Patrick Stephens Limited, 1995
The Railways of Bristol & Somerset, Smith, Martin, Ian Allan, 1992
The Somersetshire Coal Canal and Railways, Clew, Kenneth R., David & Charles, 1970 - Ordnance Survey maps and satellite images – various - Ram Hill Colliery - Bradford Peverell & Stratton station - Thornbury branch – various

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