Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3244
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby Bmblbzzz » 26 Jun 2020, 9:20am

The Bristol-Bath railway path, apparently still the UK's busiest such path, was created over several years/decades by a group of volunteers with wheelbarrows etc, eventually leading to Sustrans. A similar approach could be taken with the Strawberry line and many others; except it's no longer the 1970s.

arnsider
Posts: 220
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby arnsider » 27 Jun 2020, 12:36am

Yes and I remember what that was like before it was tarmac! After a ferw miles you looked like a blinking flour grader!

User avatar
Redvee
Posts: 2219
Joined: 8 Mar 2010, 8:58pm

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby Redvee » 27 Jun 2020, 12:39am

Bmblbzzz wrote:The Bristol-Bath railway path, apparently still the UK's busiest such path, was created over several years/decades by a group of volunteers with wheelbarrows etc, eventually leading to Sustrans. A similar approach could be taken with the Strawberry line and many others; except it's no longer the 1970s.


I first rode the Bristol-Bath path one Saturday after seeing a local news item about it on local BBC evening news, we were driving round Bitton trying to find it and went to the station where we were directed to a lane off the main road and had to clamber up to the path from the road. Apparently the railway is used more now than when it was a railway line.

arnsider
Posts: 220
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby arnsider » 27 Jun 2020, 12:58pm

Well, the Avon Valley Railway have designs on the route from the existing terminal into Bath as far as they can get it.
I'm actually quite a steam buff myself, but I don't like the way heritage railways accumulate large amounts of recovered "Scrap" in the shape of old diesels, old track panels, coaches, trucks, etc etc.
Avon Valley are no exception and Bitton station is like a scrap yard.
Much the same, but ten times worst is the West Coast depot at Carnforth, where every crippled class 47 left is lined up with dozens of derelict coaches and assorted rolling stock.
Planning permission would never be granted for these "Scrap yards"

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3244
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby Bmblbzzz » 27 Jun 2020, 2:22pm

I don't mind the trains stored in the station. In fact, they lend interest when riding by. And I wouldn't mind in principle if they ran their old trains all the way from Temple Meads to Green Park, if it could be done without disruption to the path. In practice this would not be possible, as even if extra land were taken to compensate for width, there would be serious access issues. The ban on new level crossings would probably just make it even worse (I presume this applies to "heritage rail" too).

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 13454
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby Cyril Haearn » 28 Jun 2020, 6:07pm

The solution is a narrow-gauge railway, simples
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

whoof
Posts: 2316
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby whoof » 28 Jun 2020, 6:47pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:The solution is a narrow-gauge railway, simples

Being as towards Bristol in places the former two line railway now has houses built on it and the path that's left for shared pedestrian and cycle access is about 2 metres wide it would have to be Hornby OO gauge.

For the section Bitton to Locksbrook on the out-skirts of Bath where is would be possible to extend the path they would need to replace their whole rolling stock if they changed gauge.

arnsider
Posts: 220
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby arnsider » 29 Jun 2020, 8:46am

Back to the Strawberry line, it wasn't always plain sailing over the existing cycleway stretch.
I remember there being quite a strong resistence to cyclists through Winscombe and didn't we all have to wheel our bikes at one point?
The tunnel used to spook me and i had trouble staying straight and upright, imagining holes in the floor and broken glass!
You leave the old railway alignment going east at the tiny bit abutting on the A371, dropping down a lane to a funny road junction, where you go into the narrow West Street.
Axebridge is a nice little village with a square and picnic seating. There is a shop and a pub.
You can either go east along Jubilee road to the A371 and rejoin the cycleway on the south side, or as I sometimes do, you can turn down the gated road to Axebrighe Reservoir and on up the bank and around the tarmac road around the lake, passing the Bristol Corinthians sailing club house, to a stile and back onto the cycleway.
I've actually been cheeky here and used their cafe, though I haven't a clue if cyclists are welcome.
Well if they were a bit more enterprising, I'm sure it would help their business.
Casterton Golf club up here, are very welcoming to cyclists and on our rounds of Ribblehead and Dentdale, are a great refreshment stop.
Casterton stands close to the disused Ingleton to Lowgill railway that really should be made into a cycleway, but that's another story.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3244
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby Bmblbzzz » 29 Jun 2020, 11:57am

arnsider wrote:The tunnel used to spook me and i had trouble staying straight and upright, imagining holes in the floor and broken glass!

The first time I ever went through it, I was unprepared. It was a group ride and no one had told me it was there! (or maybe I just hadn't read the blurb). No lighting in the tunnel, I had no lights with me, I felt like I was losing my balance with no horizon to level myself by. So I got off and walked through it. The fact that, as you approach, you can see the exit, makes it worse, cos you don't realise how pitch black it is going to be in there.

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 4953
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby foxyrider » 29 Jun 2020, 11:19pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:
arnsider wrote:The tunnel used to spook me and i had trouble staying straight and upright, imagining holes in the floor and broken glass!

The first time I ever went through it, I was unprepared. It was a group ride and no one had told me it was there! (or maybe I just hadn't read the blurb). No lighting in the tunnel, I had no lights with me, I felt like I was losing my balance with no horizon to level myself by. So I got off and walked through it. The fact that, as you approach, you can see the exit, makes it worse, cos you don't realise how pitch black it is going to be in there.


theres a tunnel?

do you know, i've never noticed, it must be quite short. :wink:
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

User avatar
Redvee
Posts: 2219
Joined: 8 Mar 2010, 8:58pm

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby Redvee » 29 Jun 2020, 11:22pm

Ditto with the first passage of the tunnel here, found a sharp stone and missed the planned train back from Weston. Things have improved since this picture was taken with the addition of lighting on the floor but I'd still take a front light to ride through the tunnel.

Image

Jon Lucas
Posts: 288
Joined: 6 Mar 2009, 6:02pm

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby Jon Lucas » 30 Jun 2020, 6:25am

Looking at the Strawberry Line website, I wasn't aware of the sections of path at Wells (of which there seem to be three) or the section between Rodney Stoke and Draycott. I've been to Wells many times and have never seen any sign of these paths or any information about them. Has anyone here ridden them, and can say what they are like?

arnsider
Posts: 220
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby arnsider » 30 Jun 2020, 9:10am

I certainly echo what has been said about the tunnel and the disorientation and effect on balance of such.
There was a cats eye system in place that was illuminated by a beam breaker switch as you passed from daylight to dark.
I'm not aware of the section at Draycott and will enjoy exploring next time I'm on Mendip.
The Wells Dulcote stretch starts near Morrisons at the west end of the Bye Pass and follows the old track east for around a mile.
There is an unusual high bridge spanning the track with some sort of art work depicting animal antlers I think.
A nice round can be ridden from Priddy west to Long Bottom and down to Winscombe via Shipham.
Then the Strawberry line to Cheddar. Then via Wedmore and Bleadney to Wells. Then Dulcote to Dinder and up to Masbury via the little lane passing Crapnell farm. You can follow the little yellow lanes across Haydon drove back to Pen Hill, then a short bit of the Bristol road to Priddy turn.
Of all the climbs back to Mendip from the levels, Masbury is I think the easiest, with Draycott steep at the other end of the scale!

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 4953
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby foxyrider » 30 Jun 2020, 9:01pm

arnsider wrote:Of all the climbs back to Mendip from the levels, Masbury is I think the easiest, with Draycott steep at the other end of the scale!


They are all bgrs when you've got fifty miles in the legs and haven't seen a hill since you left home! I haven't found an easy route onto the Mendip, well its not too bad from Harptree through Litton on the north side but you have to get there of course. There are certainly a few leg snappers - especially when 42x28 is your low gear but none have beaten me yet! :wink:
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3244
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Strawberry Line closed 29/30 June.

Postby Bmblbzzz » 30 Jun 2020, 9:59pm

From the west through Star and Shipham then left up the minor road at ~ST445576 is easier than from either north or, especially, south.