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Above: 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)
Did You Know?
A 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.
What's New

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.

Quick Links

You can navigate around our website using the menu at the top left of this page, but the following links may be helpful:

  • Latest News: Read what's been going on in 2016 and 2017. This year's news page is updated whenever a new story comes in, which is at least weekly (and often more frequently).
  • New 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 to 129, and start with a series of pages on the much-loved Somerset & Dorset Railway, which closed 50 years ago in 2016.
  • The 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) for details.
  • Bake Your Cake and Eat It: We still recommend the delights of Richard's 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; click here 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).
New Railway Paths and the Online Gazetteer

The online 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)

Engineering Standards for Railway Paths
Are You 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, this 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'.
Thank You
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)
 
Above: 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)