Notes About This Site
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Given that 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the closure of
the famous Somerset & Dorset Railway, it is appropriate to publish
a photograph which recalls this important cross-country line. This
is the former trainshed of Bath Green Park, where S&D trains from
the south either terminated, or reversed to continue their journey
northwards. After years as a dowdy, unglazed ruin, the building was
restored in 1982 by a consortium comprising Bath City Council, Sainsbury's
and British Rail at a cost of £1.5million. The official re-opening
was performed by HRH Princess Margaret on 1st December of that year.
26th October 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
year's membership of Railway Ramblers costs only £10, and runs
for a full year from your joining date. Membership provides four magazines
a year, plus access to our walks and online gazetteer. For further
details, just click the link here.
Website Visitors Exceed
200,000. The number of visitors to our website since
it was launched in 1997 has just passed the 200,000 mark.
Latest News Stories.
Britain's old railways have never been more in the
news than they are today. Click here
for the latest stories, or here
for details of the various campaigns which we are supporting.
Railway Ramblers on
Facebook. Member Nigel Nicholds has brought us into the
realm of social media by setting up a Facebook page for the club;
you can access it here.
You can navigate around
our website using the menu at the top left of this page, but the
following links may be helpful:
News: Read what's been going on in 2016
This year's news page is updated whenever a new story comes in,
which is at least weekly (and often more frequently).
Photo Galleries: All the new contributions received for
our photo galleries have now been processed and uploaded. Our
2016 and 2017 additions run from galleries 117
and start with a series of pages on the much-loved
Somerset & Dorset Railway, which closed 50 years ago in 2016.
AGM: Our AGM page now shows
the minutes of our 2016 AGM. The 2017 AGM will be held in St.
Albans on Saturday 20th May; see the spring magazine (no. 153)
Your Cake and Eat It: We still recommend the delights
Mum's Fruit Cake, a delicious rambler-reviving recipe. (Try
it and see.)
- Guided Busways:
This expensive and controversial idea is still circulating
in planning circles, so all credit to the local authorities in
Northern Ireland for saying 'No' to plans to concrete over the
popular and well-used Belfast to Comber cycle trail. However,
in January 2015, developers in Surrey spoke at a public meeting
in Cranleigh in favour of converting the equally popular Downs
Link bridleway between Cranleigh and Guildford into a guided busway
(see here). Nothing
more has been heard of this proposal, which may be a good sign
because guided busways have been far from an unqualified success;
to read Christian Wolmar's assessment of the problematic scheme
between Cambridge and St. Ives.
- Message Board. Our
online message board can be accessed by clicking the link here.
Any club member can post a message by entering the username and
password published in the quarterly magazine (just look under
'Endnotes' in the back pages).
Paths and the Online Gazetteer
gazetteer has been brought up to date and now includes all known
railway paths up to 31st October 2016. The previous major update,
to 30th April 2010, formed the basis of the first edition of Vinter's
Railway Gazetteer (see Publications
page), which The History Press published in Spring 2011. This new
update will provide an enlarged and improved second edition: the
book is now at the printers and will be published in April 2017.
(Last updated 1st January 2017)
Standards for Railway Paths
an Engineer? Club members come from all walks of life and
work in all sorts of spheres – including engineering. If you
are an engineer and your work involves designing cycling facilities,
link to the Sustrans Design manual could be very helpful. The
guidance for off-road trails, such as our favoured railway paths,
starts on page 22, but the whole gamut of of cycling provision is
covered here. Members who have been concerned recently about the inconsiderate
behaviour of a minority of cyclists will be pleased to see that Sustrans
emphasises that these trails are for all users. (Economically, it
makes no sense to do anything else.) Any cyclist who tells you differently
is talking nonsense; the message is 'Share with care'.
|This website now runs to over
300 pages, including the linked PDF documents, and we continue to
receive comments about its informativeness and value. We accept that
we are not offering an example of the latest web technology, but our
site was created donkeys' years ago when web technologies were nowhere
near as sophisticated as they are now. A resource of this size, packed
with this much detail, is never the work of a single individual, and
we remain indebted to all those contributors who, either regularly
or occasionally, keep us informed of developments on old railways
in their 'patches'. So long as we have information feeds like these,
we can continue to keep up the good work. Thank you all; your efforts
are greatly appreciated. (Jeff Vinter, Webmaster)
A trio of photographs from Cornwall's Mineral Tramways Project,
whose main trail runs from Devoran (near Truro) to Portreath. The
southern part of this route is based on the Redruth & Chacewater
Railway, but later the Portreath Tramroad is used to reach the north
coast. Top Left: When you drive west along the A30 through
the village of Scorrier, near Redruth, there's no mistaking the location
of the Portreath Tramroad thanks to this sign, situated on the north
side of the road at grid reference SW 722446. Right and Bottom
Left: The trackbed of the Redruth & Chacewater Railway passes
beneath the Truro-Falmouth branch, just after it has left the GWR
main line west of Truro station. The masonry stumps in front of Carnon
Viaduct are the piers from Brunel's original viaduct, which was built
with a timber superstructure. The Falmouth branch was the last GWR
line to have its timber viaducts replaced, this work taking place
during the 1930s. 6th June 2011. (Jeff Vinter)