on Honiton bank
Fifty years ago on Sunday 14 August 1966 the LCGB A2 COMMEMORATIVE RAIL TOUR ran from Waterloo to Exeter. The train was hauled by 60532 Blue Peter, which was then still owned by British Railways. The loco must have been in difficulties because it gradually fell further and further behind the scheduled times, finally stopping on Honiton Bank short of steam. It was there for nearly half an hour building up steam pressure until it managed to restart its 9 coaches. I was lucky to be in the right place to photograph it.
Regards, Mike. Many thanks to Mike for sharing his pictures with us.
The project to re‐open the Portishead line to passenger rail services is now part of the MetroWest programme to improve local rail services across the West of England. This programme will use both existing and disused rail lines that feed into and across Bristol, operating half-hourly services subject to a proven business case being made and infrastructure constraints. Phase 1 of the programme includes re‐opening the Portishead rail line to passenger services and increasing the frequency of services on the Severn Beach and Bath lines. The project is being led by North Somerset Council on behalf of the four West of England councils (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset). A further MetroWest Phase 2 project is also being progressed by the councils.
Ashton Vale Road and Pill Station Consultations
In February/March 2016 we undertook two micro-consultations. One concerned Pill Station, the other Ashton Vale Industrial Estate alternative access. The consultations ran for 28 days and drop in exhibitions were held locally. The Pill station consultation included 4 options for the station forecourt. The Ashton Vale Industrial Estate alternative access consultation included 6 options. A total of 21 responses were received for the Pill consultation, and 45 for Ashton Vale. The majority responded online using the dedicated link, with the rest emailing or writing. Further information is set out in the Consultation Report which is available at
The two micro-consultations were successful in highlighting issues and gauging levels of support for the options. The consultation has raised some important issues that will help inform the development of the Outline Engineering Design. When the Outline Engineering Design has been completed, a further consultation exercise will be launched in spring 2017 to give members of the public, statutory bodies, affected parties and wider stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the Portishead Branch Line DCO Scheme proposals, before a Development Consent Order application is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.
We wish them well and look forward to the re-opening.
David Antony & Roger Winnen
cheers JOHN C
[Mike Morant collection