Menu
  PHOTO GALLERY GROUP 75
 
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
 

Above: Phil Earsnhaw is one of the club's most accomplished negotiators, and in April 2011 he led a walk in the Penkridge and Stafford area which took in the former branch line to Littleton Colliery. The branch left the Wolverhampton to Stafford main line at a junction just south of Penkridge, and then ran 5 miles east to the colliery, the last deep mine in Staffordshire which closed on 10th December 1993. In the photograph above, the old colliery line can be seen crossing bridge 80A on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (grid reference SJ 932120). To judge by the number of ramblers sitting below the railings, this was their lunch stop. 9th April 2011. (Chris Parker)

 
Above: Here's a rare sight on an old railway – a set of in situ level crossing gates. (In situ they may be, but they could hardly be described as 'intact'!) They are located at SJ 935119, where the branch crossed Micklewood Lane, which links Penkridge with Cannock. 9th April 2011. (Chris Parker)
 
Above: A mile and a half east of the level crossing in the picture above, the branch passed beneath Mansty Lane via this bridge. It looks as if the trackbed here is being used as some kind of haul road. The bridge itself not a thing of beauty, but the brickwork visible on the right suggests that an older structure lies at its heart, modified perhaps as part of a local road improvement scheme, as suggested by the concrete span above. 9th April 2011. (Chris Parker)
 
Above: The site of Littleton Colliery, where the National Coal Board once employed 800 miners and support staff, is now just an empty space which betrays, via the saplings in the foreground, the first signs of landscaping. The miners here breated a sigh of relief in 1992 when the then Conservative government designated their pit a 'core mine', i.e. one that was to be retained. However, by the end of the following year, all of them had lost their jobs. Is it any wonder that coal-mining communities reacted badly to such treatment? 9th April 2011. (Chris Parker)
 
Above: The Manchester & Milford Railway became the former GWR branch line from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen via Strata Florida and Pencader. Between Abertystwyth and Tregaron, parts of the line have been opened up as the multi-use Ystwyth Trail, but it is not continuous along the old trackbed. You can take your choice as to the reasons: some say that EC funding ran out before all the necessary land agreements and purchases could be concluded, while others (including this article in Wikipedia) claim that the problem was lobbying against the trail by councillors on Ceredigion County Council. Whatever the cause, the end result is some unsatisfactory road diversions which have caused many trail users to regard it as needing further work to improve safety. This is the bridge at grid reference SN 683706 where the trail leaves the old railway for a diversion via Penlan Farm. The lack of height under the arch reveals that some infilling has gone on here. 15th April 2011. (Bob Morgan)
 
Left: Viewed from a nearby public footpath, this is the short tunnel at SN 692694 (near Tynygraig or Carradog Falls Halt) on a section of the line that was not used in the trail. 15th April 2011. (Bob Morgan)
 
Above: A road-over-rail bridge at SN 709672 on the Ystwyth Trail near the site of Strata Florida station, viewed from the Aberystwyth (i.e. north) side. 15th April 2011. (Bob Morgan)
 
Above: The Ystwyth Trail leaves the railway trackbed at this point, about one mile north of Tregaron. The trail looks rather stark and sterile here, but a few seasons will green the edges and soften the appearance generally. What is obvious is that Ceredigion CC has installed a first rate multi use trail where it was able to; the pity is the gaps in it, as remarked above. Other pictures of the Ystwyth Trail can be found in Photo Gallery 31 and on the 2008 News page. 15th April 2011. (Bob Morgan)