Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Monday, March 02, 2009
bournemouth to portishead - by train!
One of those no-brainer schemes that is almost on my doorstep - and seems to be taking aeons to take off - is the proposal to return passenger trains to the Portishead branch. It can take up to three hours to do the Portishead to Bristol trip by car, which is all of seven miles. Most of the line is in place - restoration to a new station in Portishead will really be no trouble at all. This line acquired a brand new station in 1954 - probably a sure sign back in those mad days that the line was doomed!
But this does say a lot about the mentality of far too many of us in the dying days of the car. Even now a simple restoration like this takes far far longer than it should. This line should be up and running NOW, carrying hordes of commuters into Bristol (and keeping them OFF the roads) and, in summer at least, balancing hordes of day trippers to the seaside at Portishead (taking even more cars off the roads ...)
But at least this line is now seeing regular freight flows - including the one in the bottom picture, serendipitously snapped last Saturday afternoon from the Cifton side of the Avon Gorge.
And what a line it is making a majestic passage along the gorge and under the world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.
There is, of course, a supporters' society. Find out more here.
Hopefully in 20 or 30 years' time that trip from Bournemouth to Portishead (with a change of trains at Bristol TM) will be made possible! With perhaps an excursion south to Weston on a rebuilt WCPR ...