Bristol to Birmingham railway

7 02 2008


Photo taken July 2007

The Bristol to Birmingham railway line, photographed from Arle Road bridge looking south.

This is the only remaining railway in Cheltenham, the adjacent Honeybourne line having been closed in the 1960s. A century ago the town had five stations. Now it has one.

So, what’s in the pic? Well, the railway cuts straight through the middle of these playing fields (those spoilsport Victorian engineers) and at the far end you can see the houses of Alstone Lane and its level crossing. Sticking up on the left is a small industrial chimney, while the spire over on the right is St Mark’s church. The low bumps of the Cotswold hills fill the skyline. Yellow clumps of flowers at the side of the track are ragwort, and there are also often wild red poppies growing here which had gone to seed by the time this photo was taken. Also the obligatory stray Tesco’s trolley.


Photo taken February 2008

It ain’t quite so pretty looking northbound. There are more Cotswolds in the far distance, but other than that it’s Cheltenham’s grotty industrial parks and a few bits of crap which have been chucked off the bridge. Lovely.



5 responses

26 10 2008
Bog Raver

Just curious…but do you know why the rails on the right in the lower picture have extra rails?

30 10 2008

No idea about the rails. Both pictures were taken from the same bridge, so it’s odd that the extra rails appear on one side and not the other.

2 01 2009

The extra rails were left there following replacement of old line,rekon if they were shorter ‘manageable’ lengths thy may well have been removed by the local lads and weighed in for scrap!

3 10 2011
Peter Whatley

Looking north from the Arle Road bridge. Happy memories, but oh so different from today! I close my eyes ….. the year is 1952 and I am ten years old. Riding my bike home to Orchard Ave. for lunch from Gloucester Road Primary School. The time is 12:27 pm. and I am by the fence on the NE side of the track. Why 12:27 pm? Its “The Pines Express”, typically hauled by a Jubilee or BR Std. 73XXX. Steam, of course. Where the ugly ind. park now is there were extensive sidings for the coal traffic into the gas works. There was also an engine shed and often an 0-6-0 Jinty shunting trucks. I’m glad the old bridge is still there, but I do miss Malvern Road, St. James and all of the other stations of a glorious past.

25 08 2016
Ken Harvey

I remember the allotments to the north east of the bridge. There were bomb craters there for a number of years after the war. It’s where I broke my nose. I jumped off the wall at the west end of my father’s allotment and tripped over pushing my nose onto my brother’s knee. I too went to the GR Primary School. I remember the Central School next door too.

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