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Ashchurch Loop Lines

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by TicoXotaR, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. TicoXotaR

    TicoXotaR New Member

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    Ashchurch Network.jpeg.png
    This is what the network looked like in the 1930s.

    This is a proposed network after being inspired by driving on a number of old lines that were revisited or brought back to life There are a number of routes that have inspired me to propose this network, The Riviera line 50s, Somerset & Dorset Line and the Weardale & Teesdale network. My proposal are the Old Loop lines that start at the old Ashchurch staton in the South west and end in the West Midlands at Worcester, Bromsgrove and Barnt Green. The Birmingham & Gloucester Railway being the main line connecting both ends.

    The longest of the two Loop lines is the Evesham Loop line or the Gloucester Loop Line. The other and much shorter loop line is the Tewkesbury & Malvern Railway. Both of these loop lines closed in the 1960s along with the old Ashchurch station which closed in 1971. It's always good to bring back lost forgotten lines or networks from history into real life and for us all to drive and explore on TS.

    Evesham Loop Line
    The Evesham Loop line was built in two sections, Ashchurch-Evesham (1864-1963) and Evesham-Redditch (1866-1962) and was at total length of 32.85miles (52.86kms). It had 16 stations in total. Only four of these stations are still in operation. Current Ashchurch for Tewkesbury station (1997), Redditch (1962), Alvechurch (1859) and Barnt Green (1841).

    Between Ashchurch and Evesham, there are four intemediate stops, Beckford, Ashton-under-Hill, Hinton and Bengeworth. The line was double track on this stretch of the loop.

    Just on the final approach into Evesham (MR) was an Iron viaduct for trains from Ashchurch.

    Evesham had 2 stations. The Midland Railway Station where services on the Evesham Loop line stop. The Great Western Station where services on the Cotswold line stop.

    Between Evesham and Barnt Green there are nine intemediate stops. These stops were Harvington, Salford Priors, Broom Junction, Wixford, Alcester, Coughton, Studley & Astwood Bank, Redditch and Alvechurch. A few junctions were made along this section. Between Evesham and Redditch the line was single track with a few passing loops and a Token Block system was in place for the line.

    Broom Junction where the Evesham line becomes a double track at the south end of a triangular junction with the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction railway. Broom Junction is effectively the half way marker between Ashchurch and Redditch.

    The line becomes single track after leaving Broom Junction on the way to Redditch.

    Alcester Station is the start of the Alcester & Bearly branch line which diverges just under a mile to the north.

    On the approach to Redditch station there is Reddich tunnel which is (352 yards) long.

    Barnt Green sees the northern end of the Evesham Loop line reconnects with the Birmingham & Gloucester Rly.

    Tewkesbury & Malvern Line
    The Birmingham & Gloucester Rly opened a 2 mile branch line to Tewkesbury (1840-1964) where the original station was located (1840-1864). There was also a freight yard, Goods shed and a workshop. A small tramway and a single freight line continued to the nearby flower mill. It was not for another 24 years until the Tewkesbury & Malvern line would open (1864-1963). The total length of the branch line was around 13.5 miles.

    Between Ashchurch and Great Malvern there are four stations. Those stations are Tewkesbury, Ripple, Upton-on-Severn and Malvern Wells.

    Leaving Ashchurch we pass under Northway lane bridge.

    In the Tewkesbury area the line is on an embankment to avoid the surrounding flood plains.

    The junction where the Quay branch continues into the town whilst the main branch line turns north into the station.

    Tewkesbury's Second station situated at the southern end of the Tewkesbury & Malvern Line.

    The line crosses the River Avon as it leaves the town still on the embankment.

    After crossing the Viaduct and embankment, the line enters Mythe tunnel (420yards).

    Between Tewkesbury and Ripple the line is effectively single as the other line was used for wagon storage.

    Ripple Station also serves the nearby village of Ukinghall.

    Between Ripple and Upton-on-Severn is the Saxons lode viaduct on the River Severn with a sliding section allowing tall ships to pass beneath the bridge.

    Upton-on-Severn Station as of 1952 was a terminus until it's closure.

    Between Upton and Malvern Wells the line climbs and falls neumorus times and is the longest stretch on the line.

    Malvern Wells Station. In its last year of passenger service it was renamed Malvern Hanley Road.

    Tewkesbury Junction where the branch line ends as it connects with the Worcester & Hereford Rly.

    Great Malvern Station. Trains using the T&MR branch line terminate here with only a hand full continuing on to Worcester.

    Between Malvern and Worcester there are six stations. These are Malvern Link, Newland Halt, Bransford Road, Rushwick Halt, Boughton Halt and Henwick.

    The Worcester viaduct crosses over the City of Worcester and the River Severn with a freight line diverging to the west on the approach to Foregate St.

    Rainbow Hill Triangular Junction. Services to Droitwich Spa, Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Birmingham continue north of Worcester.

    From Shrub hill the line runs south to Norton Junction where services to Evesham diverge whilst Abbostwood Junction connects services from Ashchurch to Worcester.

    Birmingham & Gloucester Line
    The Birmingham and Gloucester railway connects both the south and the north of the Evesham loop line as mentioned earlier. The same can be said for the Tewkesbury & Malvern line services that continue on to Worcester and then head back down to Ashchurch via Abbotswood Junction. The railway is 45miles/72.42km long.

    The start of the Birmingham & Gloucester railway sees both their station along with the Midland Railways located a few hundred yards south east.

    Gloucester yard Junction where trains calling at these stations would turn off from the mainline.

    From Gloucester to Ashchurch there are only a hand full of stations with Cheltenham Spa being the half way marker. These stations are Churchdown, Cheltenham Lansdown and Cleeve.

    Before Cheltenham Lansdown the Banbury & Cheltenham Direct line turns off at the triangular Hatherley Curve Junction.

    Cheltenham Lansdown Station. After 1948 it was renamed to Cheltenham Spa. Besides the current B&GR platforms, the station had platforms serving GWR services to Honeybourne.

    In total Cheltenham had severn stations! These were Cheltenham High St (B&GR/MR), C.High St Halt (GWR), C.Leckhampton, C.Malvern Road, C.St James, C.Racecourse and Cheltenham Spa. Only Cheltenham Spa and Cheltenham Racecourse stations survived.

    The line from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway is part of the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway. Following the line north of Broadway the line will eventually connect with Honeybourne on the Cotswold Line.

    Back to Cheltenham spa and the main line continuing north from Cheltenham High St and before reaching Ashchurch there is only one intermediate stop which is Cleeve.

    Passing through Ashchurch we continue north towards Abbotswood Junction where the line to Worcester diverges. There are a few stations on this part of the line. These are Bredon, Eckington, Defford and Wadborough.

    Between Eckington and Defford is the River Avon Viaduct.

    Abbotswood Junction sees the diverging line to Worcester branch off.

    Norton Junction where the Cotswold line from Evesham joins the line to Worcester after crossing the B&GR.

    Continuing through Abbotswood there was a great concentration of one time stations between Defford and Bromsgrove. There were 13 one time stations and only lasted from 1840-1855.

    The Stoke Branch line from Droitwich and Worcester connects with the B&GR on the approach to Bromsgrove and the southern end of the infamous Lickey Incline.

    Bromsgrove Station is at the south end of the Lickey Incline and house a large goods yard with sidings, Workshops, Warehouses, Engine Sheds and a turntable!

    The Lickey Incline is the steepest gradient in the country, with a gradient of 1in37.7 for a distance of two miles.

    Blackwell Station. Situated at the top of the Lickey Incline.

    Barnt Green station where the B&GR connects with the Evesham Loop Line towards Birmingham.

    Between Barnt Green and Kings Norton there are two stations which are Longbridge and Northfield.

    Longbridge sees the eastern connection of the Halesowen line. The branch line western connection is at Old Hill station.

    At Kings Norton the line splits and rejoins north of Birmingham New St. On the now Cross City line there were five stations withthree still in use as University station wasn't built until the early 1970s. Those stations were Stirchley Street & Bournville (Now just Bournville), Selly Oak, Somerset Road, Church Road and Five Ways.

    After Five Ways there are a series of tunnels before arriving in to Birmingham New Street Station, The northern terminus of the line.

    Between Kings Norton and Birmingham New St via the Camp Hill line, there are six station, these were Lifford, Hazelwell, Kings Heath, Moseley, Brighton Road and Camp Hill.

    Honeybourne Line

    Part of the Honeybourne line is preserved as the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway from Cheltenham Racecourse station to Broadway Station. The total distance from Cheltenham-Honeybourne is about 21miles.

    The line rougly begins at the junction north of Cheltenham Malvern Road station, the junction sees the line continue north whilst the branch goes off to the east to Cheltenham St James Station.

    From a deep cutting at Malvern Road the line climbs to cross the town on a viaduct which then becomes an embankment.

    On the approach to Cheltenham Racecourse station the line enters Hunting Butts Tunnel roughly 200 yards long.

    Cheltenham Racecourse is the southern terminus of the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway with Broadway being the northern terminus, there are a number of stations in between these were: Bishops Cleeve, Gotherington, Gretton Halt, Winchcombe, Hayles Abbey Halt, Toddington, Laverton Halt before reaching Broadway.

    Beyond Broadway there are two stations before reaching the Cotswolds line to Worcester and Oxford, these stations were Willersley Halt and Weston-sub-Edge.

    At the Junction with the Cotswolds line, the connecting line would branch off immediatly after passing under the main line 90 degrees to the West whilst the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway would continue on to Stratford-upon-Avon.

    After converging onto the Cotswolds line we continue to Honeybourne station with the line continuing on to Worcester via Evesham and Pershore.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  2. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Would love to see these or some of these in the sim. More historic routes all round would be great.

    I had completely forgot that Upton on Severn was once served by the railway. It is a favourite spot of mine. It is amazing to think how many stations Cheltenham had!

    There was a MSTS version of the Evesham branch by Making Tracks which was well made.
     
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  3. Castle4079King6023

    Castle4079King6023 Member

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    This would be brilliant, but could also do with the GWR line from Cheltenham to Honeybourne, including St James station, and also the section of the Cotswold line between Worcester and Honeybourne.
     
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  4. TicoXotaR

    TicoXotaR New Member

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    I agree i'm on board with that route :)
     
  5. Matthew Wilson

    Matthew Wilson Active Member

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    This is a detailed and well thought out proposal, just one point, you have the date of 1992 in tbrackets next to Redditch Station, but Redditch has always had an active station from the date the first one opened - the site of the station has moved several times mind you.
     
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  6. DTG Jamie

    DTG Jamie Staff Member

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    Interesting route ideas TicoXotaR, what locos would you have with each route and what time period for each?
     
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  7. TicoXotaR

    TicoXotaR New Member

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    Overall i would set the network around the 1930s because during the 1950-60s some sections of the branch lines were beginning to close as part of the reshaping of British Railways.

    Steam Locos for each section:
    Gloucester - Birmingham Mainline Section, Evesham Loop Line, Cheltenham Town section, Honeybourne Line:
    • MR 0-10-0 Lickey Banker aka "Big Bertha" (Banking Engine)
    • MR 3835 'Class 4' (Freight)
    • MR 483 Class (Local Express Passenger)
    • LMS Class 3F "Jinty" 0-6-0T (Mixed Usage)
    • LMS Class 7P "Royal Scot" 4-6-0 (Express Passenger)
    • LMS Fowler Class 4F aka "Duck Sixes" (Mixed Usage)
    • LMS Stanier Class 8F (Freight)
    • LMS Stanier Class 5 aka "Black Five" (Express Passenger)
    • LMS Coronation Class (Express Passenger)
    • LMS Stanier 2-6-2T (Mixed Usage)
    • LMS Class 2P 4-4-0 (Local Passenger)
    • LMS Garratt 2-6-0 + 0-6-2 (Freight/Banking Engine)
    Tewkesbury & Malvern Line
    • Midland Railway Johnson 0-6-0 both 2F and 3Fs (Mixed Usage)
    • MR 1833 Class 0-4-4T (Mixed Usage)
    • LMS Fowler Dock Tank (Tewkesbury Goods Yard only) (Freight)
     
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  8. TicoXotaR

    TicoXotaR New Member

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    Thanks for your compliment and i did put 1992 lol, it's changed now :)
     
  9. DTG Jamie

    DTG Jamie Staff Member

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    Ahh interesting selection of locomotives there, have always liked Big Bertha and the Garratts so different to many of the British locomotives of the time.
     
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  10. TicoXotaR

    TicoXotaR New Member

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    Yes they were unique locomotives and were designed to help trains up the Lickey Incline at Bromsgrove station as well as Heavy Freight Workings.
     
  11. prrsteamfan

    prrsteamfan Member

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    If Garratts are going to be on the table for this idea, I'd say that I'm sold already.
     
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  12. TicoXotaR

    TicoXotaR New Member

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    Can't be complete without the Garrats!
     

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