Notes About This Site
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This three-span viaduct over Little Petherick Creek used
to take the Padstow branch of the LSWR into the company's westernmost
terminus, but is now used by the popular Camel Trail. 25th March
2018. (Neil Hebborn)
as at 23rd April 2020
On 22nd April,
Professor Chris Whitty (the government’s Chief Medical
Adviser) warned that social distancing measures may have to
remain in place at least until the end of this year; click this
for the report in The Independent.
In view of
Professor Whitty’s advice to government, it is very unlikely
that the club will be able to resume its programme of walks
any time soon, so members must be prepared for the possibility
of a long hiatus. The pandemic will end when an effective vaccine
is available, but – even though Oxford University started
testing its vaccine today (23rd April) on volunteers –
Oxford scientists have warned that it could take up to 18 months
to get the vaccine into general use due to statutory trialling
requirements, designed to guarantee the complete safety of any
new drug or medical procedure. The committee of Railway Ramblers
takes the view that members' health and safety must come first.
We have plenty
of good people in the club, and committee members have no doubt
that we can produce a succession of interesting magazines during
this period. One idea, already mooted, is to run a series of
‘Great railway walks for when Covid-19 is over’,
but there will be other and better ideas. Take care and stay
safe, everyone. This will pass – eventually.
until Further Notice
16th March, the government introduced radical changes to strengthen
its coronavirus containment policy; see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51917562
for details. That part of the advice which affects Railway Ramblers
was as follows:
1. People should avoid ‘gatherings’
2. People should avoid non-essential travel
3. People over the age of 70 and those usually advised to have
the flu vaccine are most at risk
of the above, the Committee has taken the difficult decision
to suspend the club's national programme of walks until further
notice. We apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment
that this will cause, but in an extreme situation like this
the health and safety of our members must come first.
announcement will be circulated to all members as soon as possible,
and updates will be published here, as necessary.
Postponed to 3rd October 2020
has also voted to postpone the AGM, scheduled for Saturday 16th
May, to Saturday 3rd October, when no other club events have
been arranged (because that was the date for the intended Committee
meeting). However, the 3rd October date is conditional upon
government advice at the time, and assumes that the coronovirus
outbreak will have peaked by then.
much of the AGM is devoted to reporting on club activities during
the previous year, we hope to publish the AGM papers on this
website by mid May, and to include a summary of that material
in the summer magazine, which will be published in June.
wish to bookmark this page so that you can check for developments.
Advice on Coronavirus (Covid-19)
of the advice which has been published is very bulky, so click
for a poster which puts across all the essentials really succinctly
in a single page. If you know the source of this poster, please
let us know via our Contact
page so that we can add a proper acknowledgement.
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.
Channel 5 Series on Abandoned Railways Resumes
The broadcasting of Rob
Bell's new TV series on Channel 5 resumes where it left off
at 20:00 on Friday, 3rd April, i.e. with episode 3 of 6. Tony
Robinson's 'Around the World by Train', which was to have been
shown at that time, now follows at 21:00, replacing Gregg Wallace's
new series . These late changes will be found in electronic
programme guides and probably in newspapers, but not in listing
1 and 2 were broadcast on Sundays 9th and 16th February respectively,
but then suspended because they did not attract the number of
viewers expected. (Andy McLintock and Chris Parker)
Systems Go' for Opening of Bennerley Viaduct
Viaduct straddles the Erewash Valley, and the county boundary
between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. After decades of being
the 'cinderella' listed viaduct that everyone admired but no
one could afford to restore, let alone open for public access,
the charity Railway Paths Ltd, with support from The Friends
of Bennerley Viaduct, has achieved the seemingly impossible
and put together a package which will do both. Click here
for recent pictures, and here
for a brief summary of this exciting news. Further updates on
this project will be found throughout our 2019
and 2020 News page; just search
News Stories. Britain's old railways have never been
more in the news than they are today. Click here
and here for the latest stories,
or here for details of the various
campaigns which we are supporting.
Latest Photo Galleries.
There are new galleries numbered 130,
135 and 136.
Galleries 130 to 134 showcase Chris Jennings' in-depth 2016
photographic survey of Glasgow's lost suburban railways, while
135 features a walk over the lesser-known, off-moor section
of the Haytor Granite Tramway in Devon. Gallery 136 includes
some stunning photographs from Gorseddau Tramway and Quarry
in North Wales. Next up will be a selection of Chris's excellent
photographs of various disused lines in South Wales.
on Facebook. It is a few years now since member Nigel
Nicholds brought us into the realm of social media by setting
up our own Facebook page, which you can access here.
The General Data
Protection Regulation, 2018. The club has responded
to this new piece of legislation by updating its data protection
by following the link here.
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 2020
The current year's news page is updated whenever a new story
comes in, which is usually at least once a week.
Photo Galleries: The last additions were galleries
and 136, and feature the
lost suburban railways of Glasgow (of which there are rather
a lot) plus a couple of remote but scenic tramways on the
UK's 'Celtic fringes'.
AGM: Our AGM page now
gives access to the minutes of our 2019 AGM. The 2020 AGM
will be held in Winchester on Saturday 16th May; see the spring
magazine (no. 165) for details.
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; 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 (see under
'Endnotes' in the back pages). Because the message board is
now little used, we have stopped paying for it; the only difference
you will notice is a few adverts, which should be tailored
to your interests.
Railway Paths and the Online Gazetteer
online gazetteer is correct
to 31st October 2016, although corrections have been made to
rectify minor errors reported in 2017 and 2018. Changes to the
UK's railway path network after that date will be found on the
2016-2019 news pages. If and when a further edition of Vinter's
Railway Gazetteer is published (see Publications
page), those pages will supply all the updates required to both
versions, i.e. online and printed. Please note that The History
Press publishes the book version, so they will have the final
say as to whether or not a new edition appears. The 2017 edition
sold well, but what will make a new edition an attractive proposition
is a resumption of trail-building, which sadly is at a low level
due to a decade of government austerity.
Standards for Railway Paths
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
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 almost the last GWR line to have its timber
viaducts replaced, this work taking place during the 1930s. 6th
June 2011. (Jeff Vinter)