Could Ironbridge to Bridgnorth rail link be restored?

The rusting Severn Valley Railway link between Bridgnorth and Ironbridge could be resurrected as part of multi-million pound plans to regenerate Shropshire's World Heritage Site, it was revealed today.

The rusting Severn Valley Railway link between Bridgnorth and Ironbridge could be resurrected as part of multi-million pound plans to regenerate Shropshire's World Heritage Site, it was revealed today.

Telford & Wrekin Council chiefs are looking at ways of alleviating parking problems in the Ironbridge Gorge and introducing a park and ride scheme.

Regeneration chief Councillor Eric Carter said the plans were still in the very early stages and would take several years to come to fruition, but added it was a project he was very keen to make a reality.

Comments for: "Could Ironbridge to Bridgnorth rail link be restored?"

Observer

A great idea, but where would the additional parking be found as Bridgnorth is already saturated with cars and a lack of parking?

twisting my melon

Take the train instead..

Stabilo Boss

Nice idea but never going to happen with the budget cuts dished out by this government.

Brian, Telford

This recession won't last forever. That could account for the Councillor saying "It would take several years to come to fruition"

Rob, Telford

"The rusting Severn Valley Railway link between Bridgnorth and Ironbridge"

....they might need a bit more than a can of rust remover - this line was lifted in the mid 60s. As far as I know the only rail left is a few yards at Jackfield Crossing on the Severn Valley Way, and I pretty sure there's a housing estate across the route just north of Bridgnorth Tunnel.

Rodney Nosnail

That would be good - even better if they could link it to the Severn Valley Railway; I'm sure that would bring the tourists flocking from far and wide.

Ironbridge to Kidderminster return - now there's a tantalising thought.

Mark, Telford

Great idea, looked at the OS maps and the line of the old railway can be seen from Coalport heading south, this vanishes just north of Bridgnorth, can't see how its gonna link up to the current Severn Valley station, any ideas??

Ray L Fan

Sounds like wires have been crossed here. The park and ride is probably the one planned by Telford Steam Railway at Horsehay. TSR already have long-term plans to relay the line from Lawley (near the M54) to Ironbridge, introducing a park & ride to reduce traffic in Ironbridge. The route from Ironbridge to Bridgnorth is indeed blocked and now a cycle path.

Realist

Sounds a good idea but I don't think Eric Carter has been along that route recently. Starting at the Coalport end there is the access road to to the sewage works. There are houses which use the route for access all along the route. At the other end Bridgnorth golf course may be a little upset as the old track cuts straight through the course. Then as mentioned previously there are the houses at Bramble Ridge, not forgetting that the bridge from the tunnel to the station is missing.

C Ling

An interesting proposal by the councillor. Could http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2010/07/14/telford-is-no-longer-uks-most-car-friendly-town/ have some connection to his thoughts?

Shrops wolf

might also be useful to connect to Wellington to Newport and Stafford line too, logistically a easier line to re-open and also opens the freight depo up to the main line

Brian, Telford

Is there any better way to reduce traffic and increase visitors?

Dave, Bridgnorth

Well Said Mr Carter Now that would make the Ironbridge Gorge a True World Heritage Site to be proud of and gain much need credibility with UNESCO

pat berks

Lovely dream - Unfortunately the not very forward looking planners allowed a bland housing estate to be built north of the tunnel portal in Bridgnorth

Would be nice to get compulsory purchase orders and see them demolished but it'd probably be too expensive

(Seems to be a Bridgnorth disease - 'see a green space , build a house on it')

Observer

If Pat had their way we would ban cars, demolish all houses built after 1970, bring back the horse and carriage and stop local born residents being able to buy local homes.... Pat cries No to new homes already built in Bridgnorth and doesn't want any in Cressage.

Not very forward thinking eh Pat? and if you want to blame anyone then go back to the 1960's and Dr.Beeching.

Pat berks

Not keen on horse drawn carriages but the rest is about right.

And Dr Beeching was evil...alnmost as evil as 'The Developers' who would destroy our green and pleasant land

Rob, Telford

I'd love to see the Severn Valley reopened up to Ironbridge but sadly it's unlikely for the reasons already given. The line from Horsehay down to Ironbridge sounds attractive, especially as there is double track from Lightmoor Junction to the power station.

The missing part of the equation is the 'park" part of park and ride - where's the space for hundreds of parking spaces in the Horsehay area?

I suggested years ago what could be a workable solution, using car parking spaces on Halesfield which are mainly empty on the weekends and bank holidays when the mueums and the Gorge are busiest. Factory owners could be repaid for the use of their carparks with security patrols (weekends and holidays being the peak times for break-ins on the factory estates).

Brian, Telford

That idea is fine if you only want to get to Buildwas.

Rob, Telford

Sorry if I didn't make myself clear Brian - I was suggesting that car parking on Halesfield could be used in connection with a bus service into the Gorge.

Sarah at Bridgnorth

According to tonight's Bridgnorth Journal the SVR seems to be rather luke-warm about Eric Carter's proposals. So our major local tourist hot-spot seems unlikely to want a part of it. Are they scared of loosing out to Ironbridge Museum.

max

Without the rerouting of significant sections of the old line, there's virtually no chance of the line to Bridgnorth ever being reinstated, for the reasons stated already. In addition, the route through Jackfield is now used as the community's only road access and it's unstable due to subsidence.

We need a modern light rail system that would run down the coal line to Coalbrookdale to serve Ironbridge, not just the proposed steam service from TSR. This could run up to meet the mainline and into Telford and then link on to Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury. The Midland Metro trainsets are up for renewal soon, perhaps we could have a couple of them?

As for park and ride, there is land at the top of Jiggers Bank, with a new roundabout (designed to serve Lightmoor) that could easily provide an access point, but as someone that lives downhill of the site I'd be very concerned about the increased risk of water being unable to be soaked up by what is currently arable farmland.

Don't we already have a park and ride in the form of the Gorge Connect service that calls at the car park adjacent to Madeley Police Station?

George Stephenson

The Telford Steam Railway has now extended its tracks to Lawley with the help of the housebuilders at Ironstone. The new station is intended to be a park and ride with sufficient room for car parks. The only hinderance is the TSR who are a bit amateur, short staffed and under funded so any station facilities at Lawley amy be some time off yet.

As far as I know, it has always been T+WC intentions to use the TSR line from Lawley and as such it is the council (and the Ironbridge Gorge museum \ trust) which owns parts of the trackbed and some of the buildings.

The Severn Valley Railway know the route from Bridgnorth to Ironbridge is blocked and would need many millions to reopen hence their lookwarn response, they don't have money for this and have to concentrate on running their existing line, not getting diverted onto fruitless causes to please random councillors.

F. Dibnah

Aye-up, im all for any railways to be reopened, as long as they only use steam engines. :)

Pat Berks

With the route through Bridgnorth blocked perhaps they could load the carriages onto a barge near the bypass bridge, sail them upriver then reconnect with the old track just past the Golf Club ?!

atcham jack

i suspect the shrewsbury arm of the shropshire union canal may open first in 2091. great idea though

Sarah at Bridgnorth

Whatever Telford Steam Railway do they can only get to Buildwas directly unless they construct a very tight curve to the south of the river bridge. As was stated they hardly have the resources to offer a P+R to cope with more than a handful of people. Whilst it is true the SVR hasn't got the money to extend any blockage that has since been put in place could also be removed.

Finally, isn't the local MP for the area campaigning for a scheme to be put in hand to stabilize further parts of the gorge to protect the WHS?

'OwDo

It would be more practical to fly visitors in on the backs of all the pigs that have just appeared overhead.

Pat Berks

It would be interesting do a full survey of the trackbed from Brignorth tunnel portal Northwards, so we could determine which bits are still salvageable.

Sarah at Bridgnorth

This could be done as a good example of David Cameron's "Big Society" - local communities taking action in their own interest.

I am not sure if he is expressly thinking about a survey in the manner you describe, but its certainly a possibility worth considering.

Andy H

How ironic it is that nearly 50 years ago the motor vehicle was seen as the answer to all our problems. Now in the 21st century , we are talking about puttting the railways back at huge costs. If only they had the intelligence then to realise what big mistakes they were making and to keep them open instead of running them down, which British Rail was very good at in those days. Look at the Settle to Carlisle line. BR wanted it closed at all costs, according to them, no body was using it and the Ribble Head Viaduct was to expensive to repair. Fast forward to the present day and it is one of the best used lines in the country with huge amounts of passenger and freight use. As a member of the SVR I would give anything to ride on a train to Ironbridge, but I fear as others have said,that the costs would be far too great. Oh Dr Beeching (Good name for a sitcom?) what a fool!

Pat Berks

True Andy, it's tragic how much we've lost since the 1960s. There a disused line right through the middle of the Glastonbury festival ! - you could drop off a sizeable number of people there rather than suffer the traffic queues..

My 'dream line' would be the one running through Much Wenlock down to the junction near Acton Scott. I've walked a fair chunk of that trackbed