The Somerset & Dorset Railway South of Bath. By the end of 2012, most of the trackbed of the former Somerset & Dorset Railway between Bath and Radstock will be a multi-use trail, thanks largely to the efforts of the Two Tunnels Project whose volunteers have worked tirelessly in recent years to achieve the seemingly impossible – to re-open this heavily engineered line with its tunnels and viaducts as safe, off-road route for walkers and cyclists. There is a telling entry on the group's website: 'My great grandfather, Thomas Andrew Walker, built the Bath to Evercreech line in 1872-4, including the two tunnels. We are delighted with the use to which you are putting this long-forgotten railway.' Bring it on!

Above: On Saturday 24th September 2011, a group of 93 cyclists led by a team of Sustrans rangers enjoyed a preliminary ride over what will soon be the 'Two Tunnels Greenway' between Bath and Midford. Here, the cyclists are gathering prior to the start. They are just a few yards south of what used to be bridge no. 1 on the railway, but that was demolished years ago in connection with road improvements. Nowadays, the landmark for this location is the award-winning Royal Oak pub on the Lower Bristol Road – the Greenway will start a short distance behind it. (Jeff Vinter)

Left: On its way out of Bath, the Somerset & Dorset Railway ran on a high embankment crossing Millmead Road and Monksdale Road in the city's suburbs. The bridges which carried the line over these residential streets were demolished decades ago, and this view gives a clear impression of the drop which users of the current 'linear park' must negotiate to follow the old railway. Fortunately, both of these bridges will are due to be reinstated: new concrete abutments were due to be installed in late 2011, prior to new spans being lowered into place. 24th September 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The Two Tunnels Path is so called because it will pass through long-closed tunnels south of Bath – Devonshire and Combe Down. This is the northern portal of Devonshire Tunnel, which until recently was entirely buried beneath spoil. As can be seen, the builders who blocked this end of the structure did not intend anyone to pass through again – probably ever. 24th September 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: This little seen viaduct carries the line over a footpath in Lyncombe Vale, which is situated between the two tunnels. When Devonshire Tunnel is re-opened in 2012, walkers and cyclists will cross over the viaduct rather than having to take a rather awkward diversion around and underneath it. 24th September 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Left: Cyclists head south through Lyncombe Vale towards Combe Down Tunnel. The rather knobbly surface here is probably 50 year old railway ballast topped with 50 years' worth of leaf mulch. When the path builders come through here, this will be replaced with a 2 metre wide all weather surface. 24th September 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The first of 93 cyclists emanate from the total darkness of the mile long Combe Down Tunnel back into daylight. When the Two Tunnels Greenway is complete, the tunnel will be illuminated, but it was quite an experience to walk through with only torches to light the way. 24th September 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Right: Tucking Mill Viaduct is situated between Combe Down Tunnel and Midford. In time, the Greenway will run over the top, but repairs to this neglected structure must be carried out first. The viaduct is rather larger than this picture suggests, but it is difficult (if not impossible) to obtain a complete view from the footpath which runs beneath it. It's no good stepping back either, since there is a large lake immediately behind the photographer! 24th September 2011. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: A rather more expansive view of Tucking Mill Viaduct, which was built to accommodate double track although only a single line ever crossed here – the double track started immediately south of nearby Midford station. 24th September 2011. (Jeff Vinter)