And a song to enjoy?
The Good Doctor was the salvation of our railways! O.K. he may have gone too far in some places, and his accountancy principles for branch lines was undoubtedly flawed.
He worked almost entirely on station receipts which meant that seaside branches were poor money-earners in themselves. His report ignored the contribution made from passengers arriving at the branch terminus; their fare having been entirely allocated to their departure station. In the days before computer modelling and ORCATS revenue allocation, here was no way to include even a proportion in the accounts of the seaside destination.
Agreed, many of Beeching's closures are now re-opened and more may follow. But this is now, and that was then! Things have moved on.
We might well look at the railway from Bristol via Pill to Portishead.
The line opened on 12 April 1867 and was extended to the docks on 5 July 1879. In 1876 Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Western Railway (GWR) took over the Bristol and Exeter Railway and operated the Bristol & Portishead Pier & Railway for 40 percent of the receipts.
On 1 July 1885 the GWR bought the Portishead Railway and it became a branch line of the GWR to serve the pier and dock at Portishead, from which Brunel's steamships sailed to North America.
In 1880 it was converted from the GWR's broad gauge to standard gauge.
The station was rebuilt in 1956; but a bit too late to rejuvenate the branch.
Passenger services were discontinued in 1964 as part of the Beeching Axe, and freight was discontinued in 1981, but the railway was not dismantled.
Part of the banch was rebuilt and re-opened in 2002 to provide a freight link to Portbuy dock.
The original line had 7 stations ...
... although Nightingale Valley Halt was only open from 1928 to 1932! It was to take Bristolians to the "pretties" of Leigh Woods.
The station was to the right of the bridge. Pill had a small but pleasant station ...
... and it, Portishead and Ashton Gate are proposed for re-opening.
Will it ever happen? The Government is reported to be in favour; the local authorities are all keen; even First Great Western thinks it's a spiffing idea although it is not part of their franchise contract (yet?). The only significant problem is ...
In the meantime, we return to First Bus's improvements in their bus service to Pill and Portishead tomorrow.
P.S. Re "The Slow Train"; the fool forgot Goole! It's still open.
And Judas had a poor track record as recorded in John's Gospel. Mary had just anointed Jesus feet with expensive oil ...