Once these rails formed part of the Midland Railway Mangotsfield and Bath Branch line – but today all that’s left locally is a three-mile stretch lovingly restored and cared for by members of the Avon Valley Railway who operate steam engine-driven trips up and down its short but scenic route.
Based at Bitton station, and having fought to save at least a section of this historic line axed by Dr Beeching, it’s a successful enterprise that has grown and grown in popularity.
In company with husband Darren, and friends Tracey and Pete, l was able to enjoy a ride up and down the track while tucking into a really impressive two-course lunch aboard a First Class carriage.
A birthday present for me, but l would like to share parts of the experience with you.
Find out more about the organisation and the special trips on offer via avonvalleyrailway.org
I’m not sure whether my comment came through on your website, but in case it didn’t here it is:
Richard. If I may correct you – it wasn’t Beeching who closed so many branch railway lines in the 1960’s. He was just the adviser who produced the report. The culprit was Earnest Marples, the corrupt Minister of Transport who had a vested interest in promoting road traffic – or as wikipedia puts it: “It may not be entirely a coincidence that as Beeching was closing railway lines, the government was providing funding for the construction of motorways, which were being built by companies in which Marples had an interest”. Marples was protected by the Macmillan government, but ended up fleeing the country to avoid paying taxes.
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