The rails are now being laid for the new extension
No, it isn't April 1st or a nightmare plan to lay third-rail 750V through the streets of Weymouth, but a genuine follow up to Mike Bojko's article on Chard Station.
Look up Chard on Google Maps satellite view, find the Tesco Superstore on the A30 heading East and go South to the cycle track which leads from Tapstone Road to Millfield between the premises of Numatic and Brecknell Willis. About half way along, on the BW side you will see a section of sleepered railway track transected by overhead supports. This was constructed by Brecknell Willis (now Wabtec) to test the operation of pantographs they were building for the BR Class 91 electric locomotives.
Mike is correct in his assertion that Chard is now effectively cut off from the main line for good, but locomotive components made here can still be seen in operation in the North and East, some of which still have Brecknell Willis branding on the pantograph arm and elements of light railways worldwide have begun life here. The factory is currently adjusting to the change from benevolent socialist family ownership to being part of a multi-national railway conglomerate with a strong US work ethic, so we shall have to wait and see how things turn out.
There has been so much tree growth over the past 10 yrs that I can't take a current pic of the rails but attached is one of "our" pantographs adorning 91120 at Doncaster in 2011.
With kind regards, Brian Pibworth Many thanks Brian