Walking Britain’s lost railways

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17729
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby Vorpal » 24 Sep 2018, 10:36am

Cunobelin wrote:
There is a problem with these routes

They become cycle routes, they become popular as leisure and commuter routes, and some bright spark then decides po put a bus route, road or tram along it

Or they cannot ever quite get the entire route because some part of it became private property and the owner does not want to give permission to use it.

Blackwater Trail (Maldon branch line) from Olivers Farm to Wickham Bishops is an example.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14721
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby mjr » 24 Sep 2018, 12:01pm

661-Pete wrote:Should we perhaps, rather, be campaigning for these trails to be reinstated as railways?

Eventually, probably, but cycleways are cheaper and protect the corridors from further erosion by enclosures and building. At first, they'll probably become single track railway with a cycleway alongside, then when there's enough people for double-tracking, there should be some nearby carriageway we can recycle into the diverted cycleway!

Most of the converted railways round our way, I can't really cycle on, because I only have a couple of road bikes and the surface isn't suitable. But they certainly make excellent routes for the properly-equipped.

It varies wildly. The stretches in West Norfolk and Norwich City boroughs are tarmacked, but the stretch in Broadland district includes small-fist-sized gravel, deep sand and dirt track in places which IMO are not road-bike/all-weather but others disagree with me on that. I really want us to get more routes and more of the existing ones upgraded to all-weather.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

drossall
Posts: 4679
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby drossall » 24 Sep 2018, 9:09pm

The Hertfordshire Greenways Audax, last weekend, did Hertford to Welwyn, Hatfield to St Albans, Hemel Hempstead via Redbourn to Harpenden, and north of Harpenden via Wheathampstead (diversion here owing to lost track-bed) and on to Welwyn. One of the few lost lines in the county that it didn't touch was Ware to Buntingford - oh, and I believe there are one or two down Watford way.

brynpoeth
Posts: 11965
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby brynpoeth » 24 Sep 2018, 9:11pm

drossall wrote:The Hertfordshire Greenways Audax, last weekend, did Hertford to Welwyn, Hatfield to St Albans, Hemel Hempstead via Redbourn to Harpenden, and north of Harpenden via Wheathampstead (diversion here owing to lost track-bed) and on to Welwyn. One of the few lost lines in the county that it didn't touch was Ware to Buntingford - oh, and I believe there are one or two down Watford way.

Are the greenways shared? How fast may one go?
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"

drossall
Posts: 4679
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby drossall » 24 Sep 2018, 9:39pm

Yes, shared paths. Common sense is needed. In the case of the one from Hemel, depends how fit you are, as it's remarkably steep for a railway (not counting those that, like the High Peak trail, had winding engines). The Alban Way from Hatfield is tarmac and fast where the way is clear. Parts of all paths nearer to towns have more pedestrians, and need some moderation. Some sections of all paths get narrow, owing to encroachment by neighbouring land-owners.

rjb
Posts: 3560
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 10:25am
Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby rjb » 24 Sep 2018, 10:15pm

The West Somerset Mineral Line from Watchet is a nice one to cycle on, until you reach this section up to the top of the Brendon hills. :lol:
WSMR Inclined Plane. Photo by Herbert Hole.jpg


Unless you are going down to Watchet on the coast. :wink:
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

User avatar
661-Pete
Posts: 9453
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby 661-Pete » 25 Sep 2018, 9:35am

Quite a lot of the abandoned railways down our way, were single-track in the days when trains still ran on them. I distinctly remember the time when there were still trains on the Forest Way, a single-track line (with steam trains) that ran between Three Bridges/Crawley and Tunbridge Wells, and succumbed to Beeching. Most of that is now walkable/cyclable (with suitable tyres) but I don't think it would be wide enough to reinstate a railway or tram track and still keep the cycle path.

Narrow-gauge? That might be workable. As far as I know, there are no narrow-gauge lines in south-east England except for the Volks Railway on Brighton seafront (which is still in operation).
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

brynpoeth
Posts: 11965
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby brynpoeth » 25 Sep 2018, 9:43am

The Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is narrow gauge, or is it a miniature railway?
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"

Bonefishblues
Posts: 7163
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby Bonefishblues » 25 Sep 2018, 9:51am

15"

User avatar
661-Pete
Posts: 9453
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby 661-Pete » 25 Sep 2018, 3:31pm

brynpoeth wrote:The Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is narrow gauge, or is it a miniature railway?

Ah yes - forgot that one. Any others?
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

rmurphy195
Posts: 1511
Joined: 20 May 2011, 11:23am
Location: South Birmingham

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby rmurphy195 » 25 Sep 2018, 5:23pm

francovendee wrote:Well, a good subject for a programme but, as with everything on this channel, too many ads.
After each ad. an explanation of what the show is about.
I'll record the next one so I can skip through the ads and guff.


This is how I watch al programs from the commercial channels.

get yourself a copy of Vinter's railway gazetteer, I think this is where these programs are often sourced from
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

brynpoeth
Posts: 11965
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby brynpoeth » 25 Sep 2018, 5:26pm

Hunter Davies
A walk along the tracks
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"

User avatar
squeaker
Posts: 3580
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby squeaker » 26 Sep 2018, 11:08am

661-Pete wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:The Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is narrow gauge, or is it a miniature railway?

Ah yes - forgot that one. Any others?

Would Brooklands in Lancing have counted? (Didn't really go far - but probably going further soon :( :roll: )
"42"

User avatar
honesty
Posts: 2549
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 3:33pm
Location: Somerset
Contact:

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby honesty » 20 Oct 2018, 1:47pm

Just watching the Somerset and Dorset line episode. I really want them to extend the two tunnels route to Burnham now!

dodger1
Posts: 17
Joined: 24 Aug 2018, 10:03am

Re: Walking Britain’s lost railways

Postby dodger1 » 20 Oct 2018, 5:26pm

What I'd like to do is close another railway line that managed to escape Beeching. LISKEARD to LOOE branch line.
Not that I'm against the railway, but I think it would make a fantastic cycleway.
It has around 2500 passengers per week on average, although this is heavily weighted by the much higher numbers in June, July and August, so it's probably significantly loss-making. Much of the time in the winter months it seems to be empty. One of the stations on the line is the second-least used station in the Country!
One problem with the line is that it misses out all the local villages, whereas closing it and improving the bus services would vastly increase accessibility and allow much lower car use for local journeys.
Mind you, if we could just put in a cycleway next to the railway, that would be lovely for those wanting to travel uphill from Looe to Liskeard after cycling down through the East Looe Valley.
The success of the Camel Trail in helping revitalise Wadebridge and Padstow (also here in Cornwall) helps make a case for an equally scenic cycleway between Looe and Liskeard.