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The Midland & South Western Junction Railway (continued). This third and final selection of photographs covers Cirencester to Cricklade. The trackbed from Cirencester to the half way point at South Cerney is privately owned and has no permissive access, but the Cirencester branch of the Thames & Severn Canal, and then its main line, offer a convenient and interesting detour. From South Cerney to the edge of Cricklade, the trackbed has been converted into a multi use trail.

Above: Cirencester Town station – centrally located and always the busiest of the town's two stations – was served by a short branch from Kemble, which closed on 6th April 1964. The building now presides over the Old Station Pay-and-Display Car Park, which is the ultimate ignominy for an old station. Described as 'Victorian Gothic', the building was designed by R.H. Brereton, Brunel's resident assistant, and is now listed. The flat-roofed extension on the left, thankfully in the shade, is a piece of architectural tat added later. 18th April 2015. (Jeff Vinter)

 
Above: The rail replacement bus service. Well, not quite! The club hired this Bedford OB (GDL 667) from Alexcars of Cirencester. It picked up from opposite the Town station and took members on an hour long tour of the local countryside before dropping them off at the start of the towpath on the Cirencester Branch of the Thames & Severn Canal. 18th April 2015. (Ivor Sutton)
 
Above: The Cirencester Branch joined the main line of the Thames & Severn Canal at Siddington Junction, which lies out of site on private land just beyond the arch of this bridge. The Cotswold Canals Trust is responsible for the restoration of this bridge, and many others on the canal, as well as improvements to the towpath. 18th April 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
 
Above: A flight of four locks at Siddington marked the eastern end of the summit level of the main line. The top lock is beyond the bridge seen in the photograph above, but the remains of the middle two locks can be seen here. A modern house has been on the site of the bottom lock, which is out of view in the far distance.18th April 2015. (Ivor Sutton)
 
Above: Between South Cerney and Cricklade, no fewer than four viaducts of this design carry local roads over the old trackbed. This example is just south of South Cerney at grid reference SU 064963. Sadly, not all of the viaducts are in such good condition as this one, with those in more exposed locations suffering from 'blown' brick faces. 18th April 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
 

Left: One feature shared by all four of the old viaducts between South Cerney and Cricklade is their highly distinctive internal design, which can be seen here. It must be admitted that they do make arty photographs rather easy. This sort of thing looks especially dramatic in black and white. 18th April 2015. (Jeff Vinter)

 
Above: A final view of the trackbed, look north west towards South Cerney. The trackbed here is ruler straight and surrounded by the modern Cotswold Water Park, which is based on a series of worked out gravel quarries. 18th April 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
 
Above: Near Hailstone House, this bridge (at SU 083947) carries the old line over the infant River Thames. One can follow the old trackbed south east to Stones Lane, Cricklade, or turn north here to access Cricklade's North Meadow, which is a national nature Reserve. The following picture illustrates why this is worth considering in mid April. 18th April 2015. (Jeff Vinter)
 
Above: This is the view at ground level on Cricklade's North Common. Even standing, the view is impressive, for the whole common is coloured by tens of thousands of these rare snakeshead fritillaries. The common is 'one of the finest uncultivated meadows in Britain … maintained by traditional hay cutting and grazing.' It is the absence of chemical fertilisers which allows these flowers to flourish, and it will come as no surprise to learn that the area is managed by Natural England, and protected. 18th April 2015. (Jeff Vinter)