More Glory Days 3


Elsewhere we have mentioned the raising from the dead of the Portishead line. It is with delight that we can celebrate here, with more pictures of what appeared at the time to be the last opportunity for passengers to travel on it. These were taken at Clifton Bridge station - an oddity, and here's why:-

Even now, in an era of countryside dilution by urban sprawl, the station site appears to have been far from human habitation. The answer lies in the Rownham Ferry. This once gave access to Bristol across  the New Cut (canal), and then the Avon/Cumberland Basin using two tubular swing bridges designed - it is said - by Brunel as a test for the great bridge at Saltash.

This photograph shows that the slipways for the ferry are still visible at low tide - what happened when the tide was "out", is that boats were lashed together to create a pontoon bridge which you could just walk over. Apparently it had a dangerous reputation! Freight is expected to keep the line busy, but if regular passenger services resume in the fairly near future, a new station on or near the site might be feasible, to bring visitors to the Avon Gorge (access today can be somewhat difficult, especially as "Travellers" have had to be firmly blocked off from occupying the area). Set in rich mud - the Rownham Ferry
Last passenger service train - Clifton Bridge Stn.
The glow of the fire - for the last time.
Setting off down the Avon Gorge. Although the line had for some time been worked by diesel railcars, Hymeks, etc, the sight of a "Matchbox" (Pannier Tank) being turned out for the occasion was stirring. Upon the return of the final train to Bristol Temple Meads, quite a crowd gathered...and then the carriages were whisked away into History.
Arrival at Bristol T.M....
...and disappearing into History.
[News of the latest page to turn in the line's history]
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