(Copyright The Rail Thing - 1962)
Just purchased by The Rail Thing is this slide of Templecombe shed in 1962 - ignore the copyright message!
Look at all the freight wagons around. This is just four years before the line was closed.
Idiot Beeching's biggest error was to deprive the railways of so much freight traffic because he simply didn't understand economics. The cost of maintaining and running freight wagons is minimal. A single load will probably pay for a wagon's maintenance for a year. The net effect of Beeching's attack on freight was to further reduce income, and further increase congestion on the roads. Next time you're stuck behind a lorry, churning out diesel fumes at 25 mph, remember that the freight should be on the railways, not the roads.
I fully expect Templecombe to contain even more freight wagons in 20 or 30 years' time, when the roads between towns no longer exist and rail is the only way to move things. Forget bulk loads, future rail freight will carry everything, though hopefully we won't be using quite as much stuff as we do now!