Stourport Branch

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Bewdley to Hartlebury ("Stourport Branch")

BSicon STR.svg To Shrewsbury via Bridgnorth
BSicon BHF.svg Bewdley
BSicon ABZgl.svg Bewdley Jct South (To Kidderminster)
BSicon TUNNEL1.svg Mount Pleasant Tunnel
BSicon HST.svg Burlish Halt
BSicon DST.svg Brindley Street Siding
BSicon ABZg+r.svg Burlish Branch
BSicon BHF.svg Stourport
BSicon ABZgr.svg To Stourport Power Station
BSicon DST.svg Leapgate Siding
BSicon ABZg+l.svg Hartlebury Jct (To Kidderminster)
BSicon BHF.svg Hartlebury
BSicon STR.svg To Worcester

The line of the Stouport Branch (right) and entry to the Triangle (left)

This was the route of the original Severn Valley line dating from 1862, connecting Bewdley and stations to the north with the main line at Hartlebury to the south. The Kidderminster to Bewdley link used by the present day SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society opened in 1878. The area between the two lines is commonly referred to as the Stourport Triangle or Bewdley Triangle.

In the picture, the original path of the Severn Valley Railway is the line curving away to the right. A set of points allows entry to the sidings in the triangle, added by the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society during preservation.

There was an intermediate halt on the branch between Bewdley and Stourport, just on the Stourport side of Mount Pleasant Tunnel at Burlish.

The trackbed of the Stourport line as far as Burlish Park was acquired by the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society when the southern extension was purchased. The trackbed running past houses was immediately sold off as garden extensions, thus offsetting part of the purchase price (the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society had in effect acted as agents for the local residents' association).) The purchase included the modern footbridge and the Halt at Burlish, the platform of which was made from precast concrete sections. Both footbridge and platform were dismantled and stored at Arley for many years before being sold.[1]

Today the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society owns the track bed of the Stourport Branch from Bewdley through Mount Pleasant Tunnel to a point 302 yards beyond its southern portal, a short way north of Burlish Halt. The 1973 Light Railway Order allowed the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society to operate over this section, although it has never been used for public services. The first ¾ mile was re-laid in 1975 for filming of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution to take place. Part of this short length of track is now used as a siding.

Travelling from Bewdley, there are two underbridges on the branch before Mount Pleasant Tunnel is reached. Both are included in the Wyre Forest District Council Local Heritage List. The first (item SVR023*) is an Occupation Underbridge connecting fields on each side of the line. The second (item SVR022*) is a large stone and brick arched bridge with a 30 ft span and 28 ft high, lying on the publicly accessible track from the Bewdley Bypass to the farm near Safari Park curve and also to the Devil's Spittleful (Rifle Range) Bridge leading to the Devil's Spittleful & Rifle Range heathland.

In December 2010 an attempt to build a two-road shed for the storage of up to 50 wagons on the course of the trackbed of the branch failed when the HLFHeritage Lottery Fund (National Lottery Heritage Fund from 2019) turned down an application for funding.[2]

In 2015, Rail Safety Solutions (RSS) entered an agreement with the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society to lease the branch as far as Mount Pleasant tunnel, for the purposes of training Network Rail apprentices in track laying and maintenance. In exchange, the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society would gain ongoing training for its own staff, as well as use of the relaid track for occasional train services.[3] A small section of relaid track can be seen on the site, along with a hoarding bearing the logos of RSS, Auctus Training Solutions and the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society.

See also

Pre-1963 map

References

  1. Peter Pearson and Chris Walton, SVR Forum thread, 21-22 February 2009
  2. Fathers, P., SVR Forum 10 December 2010 (Retrieved 4 January 2018
  3. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 192, "General Manager's Notes", Nick Ralls