The Remains of Britain's Steam Age Railway
6




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Index and Map

Link to the pre 2011 Pages

Link to pages 31-60

19/09/2012

Hatch Tunnel Northern Portal, the Southern Portal is buried in undergrowth and hidden behind buildings on the Station site.
The very well preserved Hatch Station building is shown above.

19/09/2012

The GW Station at Bridgwater.

19/09/2012

Bridgwater Station.

19/09/2012

Bridgwater Station.

19/09/2012

The north end of Bridgwater Station, showing the remains of the Quay Branch curving away to the left.

19/09/2012

River bridge on the Bridgwater Quay Branch.

19/09/2012

Bridgwater Quay Branch.

19/09/2012

Attractive underbridge near to Bawdrip Halt.

19/09/2012

Retaining wall alongside the line near Bawdrip Halt, which was located around 100m further on. Many thanks for local Dave Bown for correcting me on the location and pointing out that Bawdrip was little more than a concrete Halt with a shelter.

19/09/2012

Cossington Station, a very attractive house, apart from the housing estate behind the camera.

19/09/2012

No longer 2 1/4 miles to the Station.

19/09/2012

The very basic approach to the Southern Portal of Shute Shelve Tunnel.

19/09/2012

A closer view of the Southern Portal, no adornment here.
The profile has been changed by the hanging of a canopy within the Tunnel to protect cyclists and walkers from falling rock.

19/09/2012

The Northern Portal of Shute Shelve Tunnel, sadly the attractive Portal has been left covered in undergrowth. This half of the Tunnel is brick lined rather than bare rock so no netting has been necessary, which preserves the Profile of the Tunnel.

19/09/2012

Shute Shelve Tunnel, although brick lined, not a lot of the actual brick is visable.

Axbridge 1898

19/09/2012

Axbridge Station, survives by the skin of its teeth, next to the bypass.

19/09/2012

Platform view of Axbridge Station.

19/09/2012

Road approach view of Axbridge Station.

Cheddar 1898

19/09/2012

Cheddar Station may as well have been pulled down, as it is so hemmed in by new houses and busineses that there is no way to get a good view of the building.

Wookey 1882

19/09/2012

Wookey Station, with the Goods Shed looking very genuine.

19/09/2012

Wookey Station.

Wells (Tucker St) 1911

19/09/2012

Wells, Tucker St Goods Shed, very well cared for by its new owners.

19/09/2012

Bath Road Viaduct, Shepton Mallet.

19/09/2012

Windsor Hill Down Tunnel, Northern Portal, the quiet one, compared to its neighbour!

19/09/2012

Windsor Hill Down Tunnel, Southern Portal.

19/09/2012

Windsor Hill Up Tunnel Southern Portal.
This is where the real business was done, 1:50 ruling gradient , two thirds of the way into the Southern climb of the Mendips.

 

19/09/2012

Windsor Hill Up Tunnel Southern Portal.

19/09/2012

Windsor Hill Up Tunnel Northern Portal.
Today Windsor Hill is a ver moving and fascinating place, the Tunnels are quietly slumbering in the woods. The down Tunnel would always have been the boring one, trains already slowing, down the 1:50 ready for a stop at Shepton Mallet. In contrast what stories the Up Tunnel could tell, imagine a 9F blasting out of the Portal on its way to Bath, but I think the real experience would have been standing on top of the Tunnel hearing an unassisted Standard 5, leave Shepton Mallet with 7 or 8 coaches, being worked with full Regulator and 45-50%, the sound would have carried for miles, maybe doing 20mph by Windsor Hill, the Staccato blast would rise to a crescendo to suddenly dissapear as the Engine entered the Tunnel leaving the clickety clack of the carriages untill with a roar the engine emerged again and forged its way on toward Masbury.
Legendary S&D Fireman Peter Smith talks of how the Standard 5's thrived on being driven hard, they were allowed the same maximum loading as the Bullied pacifics, so Full and 45% for the whole climb was the norm.
To give an impression of what it must have been like hearing a hard working loco entering the Tunnel, here is a recording of Standard 4, 75014 on 03/09/1996 with 7 on, entering Beasdale Tunnel on The west Highland extension. 75014 is in Full Forward and Full regulator, which of course would not have happened very often.

Sadly I was not old enough to experience the 5's on the S&D, but to give some idea of what it may have been like here is a recording from the Train of 73096 on 04/06/2003 climbing the 1:60 of Bearsted Bank with 10 on. The photo shows her awaiting the off at Victoria on another run on 15/12/2004

The S&D 7F's were of course synonymous with the line.
To give a flavour of what it may have been like here is a recording of 53809 on 26/10/2009 coming up the 1:49 at Darnholme with 7 on.

Although I doubt they would have been driven in this fashion for long, this recording is from the Train, of 53809 on 17/03/1990 leaving Sheffield and climbing the 1:100 to Bradway Tunnel with 12 on, 20 minutes and over 5 miles later
she reached the top a little winded , which of course is quite understandable.

Of course it wasnt always fire and brimstone on the S&D, I recall years ago hearing a 1960's recording of a 7F heading a Mineral train out of Shepton Mallet with a sister banking, as the train crosses Charlton Marshall Viaduct and starts the 1:50, heavy rain starts to fall, the train Engine slips heavily, quickly followed by the banker, both locos then start a real battle to get to Masbury, once one of the Engine slips it causes the other to lose adhesion, this continues as the sound becomes faint as the train heads towards Windsor Hill, by the Tunnels the train would still only have been going at walking pace, but perhaps the relative dryness of the Tunnel would allow the locos to get their feet and make better progress, either way it would be a long hard slog to the Summit.

 

 

19/09/2012

Chilcompton Tunnel Southern Portal.

19/09/2012

Black Dog Halt, thanks to a local the emamel sign reminds passers by of the trails former use.

19/09/2012

Goods platform at Black Dog Halt.

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