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Above: This three-span viaduct over Little Petherick Creek used to take the Padstow branch of the LSWR into the company's westernmost terminus, but is now used by the popular Camel Trail. 25th March 2018. (Neil Hebborn)
Did You Know?
A year's membership of Railway Ramblers costs only 10, and runs for a full year from your joining date. Membership provides four magazines a year, plus access to our walks and online gazetteer. For further details, just click the link here.
Out of the Woods

After four years of medical 'adventures', I am now back to full health. During this period, I managed to publish all the incoming news, but not all the contributions to our the Photo Galleries, where a large backlog has built up. Currently (New Year's Eve), I am arranging a programme of walks for the South West in 2019. After that, I intend to bring the Photo Galleries up to date. (Jeff Vinter, Webmaster)

What's New

Latest News Stories. Britain's old railways have never been more in the news than they are today. Click here and here for the latest stories, or here for details of the various campaigns which we are supporting.

Railway Ramblers on Facebook. Member Nigel Nicholds has brought us into the realm of social media by setting up a Facebook page for the club; you can access it here.

The General Data Protection Regulation, 2018. The club has responded to this new piece of legislation by updating its data protection policy and procedures, and its new 'Privacy Policy' can be viewed by following the link here.

Quick Links

You can navigate around our website using the menu at the top left of this page, but the following links may be helpful:

  • Latest News: Read what's been going on in 2018 and, soon, 2019. The current year's news page is updated whenever a new story comes in, which is usually at least once a week.
  • New Photo Galleries: The last batch of additions (in 2016 and 2017) runs from galleries 117 to 129, starting with a series of pages on the much-loved Somerset & Dorset Railway. Some new galleries should be added early in 2019.
  • The AGM: Our AGM page now gives access to the minutes of our 2018 AGM. The 2019 AGM will be held in Leeds on Saturday 18th May; see the spring magazine (no. 161) for details.
  • Bake Your Cake and Eat It: We still recommend the delights of Richard's Mum's Fruit Cake, a delicious rambler-reviving recipe. (Try it and see.)
  • Guided Busways: This expensive and controversial idea is still circulating in planning circles, so all credit to the local authorities in Northern Ireland for saying 'No' to plans to concrete over the popular and well-used Belfast to Comber cycle trail. However, in January 2015, developers in Surrey spoke at a public meeting in Cranleigh in favour of converting the equally popular Downs Link bridleway between Cranleigh and Guildford into a guided busway (see here). Nothing more has been heard of this proposal, which may be a good sign because guided busways have been far from an unqualified success; click here to read Christian Wolmar's assessment of the problematic scheme between Cambridge and St. Ives.
  • Message Board. Our online message board can be accessed by clicking the link here. Any club member can post a message by entering the username and password published in the quarterly magazine (just look under 'Endnotes' in the back pages).
New Railway Paths and the Online Gazetteer

The online gazetteer is correct to 31st October 2016, although corrections have been made to rectify minor errors reported in 2017 and 2018. Changes to the UK's railway path network after that date will be found on the 2016-2019 news pages. If and when a further edition of Vinter's Railway Gazetteer is published (see Publications page), those pages will supply all the updates required to both versions, i.e. online and printed. Please note that The History Press publishes the book version, so they will have the final say as to whether a new edition appears. The 2017 edition sold well, but what will make a new edition an attractive proposition is an resumption of trail-building, which sadly is close to suspended due to a decade of government austerity.

Engineering Standards for Railway Paths
Are You an Engineer? Club members come from all walks of life and work in all sorts of spheres – including engineering. If you are an engineer and your work involves designing cycling facilities, this link to the Sustrans Design manual could be very helpful. The guidance for off-road trails, such as our favoured railway paths, starts on page 22, but the whole gamut of of cycling provision is covered here. Members who have been concerned recently about the inconsiderate behaviour of a minority of cyclists will be pleased to see that Sustrans emphasises that these trails are for all users. (Economically, it makes no sense to do anything else.) Any cyclist who tells you differently is talking nonsense; the message is 'Share with care'.
Thank You
This website now runs to over 300 pages, including the linked PDF documents, and we continue to receive comments about its informativeness and value. We accept that we are not offering an example of the latest web technology, but our site was created donkeys' years ago when web technologies were nowhere near as sophisticated as they are now. A resource of this size, packed with this much detail, is never the work of a single individual, and we remain indebted to all those contributors who, either regularly or occasionally, keep us informed of developments on old railways in their 'patches'. So long as we have information feeds like these, we can continue to keep up the good work. Thank you all; your efforts are greatly appreciated. (Jeff Vinter, Webmaster)
 
Above: A trio of photographs from Cornwall's Mineral Tramways Project, whose main trail runs from Devoran (near Truro) to Portreath. The southern part of this route is based on the Redruth & Chacewater Railway, but later the Portreath Tramroad is used to reach the north coast. Top Left: When you drive west along the A30 through the village of Scorrier, near Redruth, there's no mistaking the location of the Portreath Tramroad thanks to this sign, situated on the north side of the road at grid reference SW 722446. Right and Bottom Left: The trackbed of the Redruth & Chacewater Railway passes beneath the Truro-Falmouth branch, just after it has left the GWR main line west of Truro station. The masonry stumps in front of Carnon Viaduct are the piers from Brunel's original viaduct, which was built with a timber superstructure. The Falmouth branch was almost the last GWR line to have its timber viaducts replaced, this work taking place during the 1930s. 6th June 2011. (Jeff Vinter)