The Abbotsbury Branch, Dorset. Just over a mile of the Abbotsbury branch can be walked, from the western edge of Portesham past the site of Abbotsbury station and down to the main road (the B3157), more or less opposite The Swan Inn on the eastern edge of Abbotsbury village. Despite the line having been closed as long ago as 1952, much remains to interest the railway explorer and historian.

Above: Spot the station! The stone building in the foreground, now surrounded by builder's supplies, was Upwey station in its previous life as the first stop on the GWR branch from Upwey Junction to Abbotsbury. The line closed on 1st December 1952, but the short stub from the junction to this, the first station, remained open for freight until 1st January 1962. 21st February 2009. (Jeff Vinter)

Above: Upwey goods shed survives as a further part of the premises of the local builder's merchant, Buildrite. With the nationalisation of the railways in 1948, management of the branch passed from the GWR to the newly formed Southern Region of British Railways, which may account for the green paint visible in the arch on the left. The running line to Abbotsbury passed the right hand side of the building. A single road ran through the shed on a loop. 21st February 2009. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: Immediately west of Upwey station, the line crossed the minor lane from Broadwey to Upwey village on this fine bridge, the only one known to survive on the branch. The names of these two villages include the suffix '-wey' after the local River Wey, which flows through them. 21st February 2009. (Jeff Vinter)
Left: Just north of Upwey station, on the west side of Dorchester Road (the A354), will be found Railway Cottages. These are the right age for the railway, which opened in 1885, but comparison with the railway buildings above shows that the contractor must have been different, for these cottages are finished in smooth rather than rusticated stones, and feature brickwork around the windows. The local railway staff would have lived here – porters, ticket clerks, goods clerks, shunters, gangers, linesmen, etc. It is difficult in this age of the pared-down modern railway to appreciate exactly how much local employment a branch line provided. 21st February 2009. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The next station west of Upwey was Coryates Halt, which was situated at grid reference SY 628847 – a remote spot south of the hamlet of Coryates, where profuse brambles obscure any trace of the halt's remains (if there are any). After that, trains arrived at Portesham, seen above, where there was a small yard with a loop and a diminutive goods shed. . This is view shows the platform and station building, looking back towards Upwey. 13th June 2009. (Jeff Vinter)
Left: This is the way that passengers would have walked in years gone on their way to the ticket office. The old station has been beautifully restored and is now available to rent as a holiday home. This, and the photographs above and below , were taken on a club visit, arranged by kind permission of the owner. 13th June 2009. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: This is Portesham's diminutive goods shed. A loop ran immediately in front of the building, with a siding to the right of the picture that led off to a nearby quarry. The station was situated on the eastern edge of the village, with a convenient footpath providing a link to the village centre near the parish church. Compared with the inconvenient siting of many rural stations, every stop on the branch was well situated, but that was not enough to prevent its passengers being lured away on to the more frequent Southern National buses. 13th June 2009. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The trackbed from the west end of Portesham to Abbotsbury has been a public footpath for many years. Although little over a mile long, it affords excellent views of the surrounding countryside and, near the half way point, passes this old gangers' hut, which still survives despite years of disuse. Its survival is a testimony to the quality of the GWR's wooden sleepers and the preservative qualities of bitumen. 21st February 2009. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: Abbotsbury goods shed remains intact and in use by the local farmer, complete a with a green-painted end door that looks as if it was painted last by decorators from BR's Southern Region. Note the rusty loading gauge, which hangs precariously in place over 50 years since it was last used. The chalk hills seen to the left are a feature of this line throughout. The platform from Abbotsbury station survives nearby, but the station building was demolished many years and replaced by a modern bungalow. 21st February 2009. (Jeff Vinter)