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The Bristol Railway Archive • View topic - Motorail Services via Mangotsfield

The Bristol Railway Archive

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 4:34 pm 
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Back to the thread, and having looked at my 1967-1968 Bristol Section B2 I can confirm that the motorail services all took the Midland route via Mangotsfield. In fact, by this time ALL passenger trains on the Birmingham - Bristol route were booked via Mangotsfield, including the winter Sunday Severn Tunnel diversions. I do not possess the 1966 WTT for the relevant route but back in 1965 there were still about ten class 1 passenger trains in each direction taking the ex-GW route from/to Yate South Jcn, including the Devonian as Robin has alluded to, and also the traditional Wolverhampton Low Level/ Birmingham Snow Hill - West Country services which were still coming down the Honeybourne line, often behind steam (the last year). I can only assume that with everything diesel hauled by 1967, with fewer summer Saturday trains than previously and with the demise of the Bath Green Park locals, the Mangotsfield route had plenty of paths available and it was quicker too.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:34 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:27 am 
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I understood that the GWR as-was certainly did have to pay "by the mile" for access to the Midland line from Gloucester to Bristol (well, the Midland wasn't going to give it for free), and it was good to get back onto their own metals when the Badminton line was opened. Plus the Midland rather had them there on sufferance, and the line could be congested at times, so it eased up conditions on the old line. Who knows, the Midland may have even insisted on it when the Badminton line was being authorised. Did the GWR actually lose their running powers south of Yate afterwards ? Among the difficulties the Midland/LMS made for their visitors was claiming Standish viaduct was too fragile for GWR 4-6-0s, so they had to use 4-4-0s, latterly the original County class, for longer than elsewhere. Which might have meant they needed to be banked up from Barrow Road to Fishponds, where there was no GWR banker, far easier done from Stapleton Road up to Filton.

The connecting line also provided various other alternatives, such as GWR Gloucester to South Wales if the Chepstow route was blocked, Gloucester direct to Avonmouth docks, Gloucester to Bath, and the east curve allowed Gloucester to Swindon if the Stroud line was blocked. That latter curve seems the one that would have seen the least use, did anything ever run regularly over it ?

My understanding, contradicted by the research here, was that the "Devonian" was seen as an LMR train, including the stock, and ran via Mangotsfield, while the "Cornishman" from Wolverhampton was regarded as a WR train, to the extent of chocolate-and cream stock by 1960, and ran via the connection.


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