Tuesday 17 March 2015

TWSW - SWT [2]

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

1) Chronicle and Echo -
On Sunday night, Northampton Borough Council said Greyfriars, Lady's Lane and Abington Street in Northampton were still shut as crews worked to clear debris from the blowdown. A spokeswoman for NBC said: "Good progress was made in clearing both roads but there is some minor surface damage to Greyfriars and Lady's Lane and work to repair the carriageway will take place early on Monday morning."

2) Stagecoach Midlands website, 0830 Monday 16th
Disruption to all services
Disrupted due to damage caused by the demolition of Grayfriars (sic) bus station.
Due to damage caused by the demolition of Grayfriars bus station buses are unable to serve Lady's Lane and Greyfriars Road (sic).

The following bus stops will not be used
Police Station routes 15, 16, 17 to Kingsthorpe
BBC Radio Northampton Abington Square
    routes 1, 2 , 4, 7 , 8 , 10, 16 17, X4, X46, X47
Delays are expected to all services.
Disruption expected to last until at least Wednesday morning

The Stagecoach info (above) was added to yesterday's blog by a contributor; if you think you have read it before. And the view from the National Express "Coachway" on Victoria Street:-
Back to today's planned blog:-
Connectivity Considerations
At the recent TravelWatch SouthWest meeting in Taunton, speaker Chris Loder (SouthWest Trains business development manager) revals th results of a study into "Connectivity" in South Somerset and the surrounding area. He suggested thn many journeys along busy roads ...
... would be easier if they could be made by train.

If only the various line junctions and train services were still there!

A blog reader sent fbb some information about a link at Yeovil Junction which no longer exists; but it is not quite as simple as it might seem at first. So, by way of background, we look at the history of lines in the Yeovil area.

In 1853, Yeovil greeted its first railway in the form of  branch from the Bristol and Exeter Railway at Durston between Bridgwater and Taunton.
The terminus was at Henford on the outskirts of the town but the line was subsequently extended to what became Yeovil Town. The Hendford terminus became Hendford Halt.
The rather grand glazed roofs were subsequently removed.
Next up, as we are encouraged to say today, is the line from Castle Cary to Weymouth via Yeovil Pen Mill (1856.1857). Mergers and deals brought both of these undertakings into the massive Great Western empire and the two lines were joined allowing trains from Taunton to run through to Pen Mill, a pattern of service which remained until the "Town" line closed in 1966.
But we need to remember that these early GW lines were built to Brunel's chosen broad gauge.

Just three years later a new guy on the block arrived in the person of the Salisbury and Yeovil company, later fully absorbed into the London and South Western Railway.

Now we shall need an fbb diagram or two. First, the original GWR lines.
Then along comes LSWR and its predecessors.
Then the LSWR pressed on to Exeter, opening a station at Yeovil Junction.
The east to north line was then closed, a shuttle ran between Junction and Town and the GWR constructed "sidings" (dotted) for freight interchange.

From this we can see that there were no connections between the two company's lines at Yeovil Junction. 
The LSWR and GWR layouts remained separate (and were operated thus) until a link was installed as late as 1943.
The present track layout is shown in blue below.
Assuming that there is no realistic chance of any of the grey stuff's being re-instated, how does Southwest Trains intend to improve Connectivity? This we shall investigate tomorrow.

Before we do, however, let us indulge in a little nostalgia. Here is a shuttle train from Junction approaching Town in the mid sixties.
The line from Pen Mill is on the left. And here is the same view taken about ten years later.
Note the SR lineside hut still standing! The Pen Mill link is now a very pleasant footpath. This can be seen from the Newton Road former railway bridge starting at the end of the car park. 
The curve of the Junction line is lost under tree growth.
But we can close our eyes and try to remember ...

... Sigh.

 Next SWT blog : Wednesday 18th March 


  1. Judging by the way that the steam is wafting around the front of the planner tank, I would suggest that it's actually running in push-pull mode away from Yeovil Town.

  2. Spell check doesn't recognise the term Pannier Tank - shame on it !