From Challow to Stroud – UK Rail Journeys Series 1 – Episode 5
In this episode we continue our journey and travel from our water stop at Challow to Stroud. Our journey takes us along the Golden Valley line.
Click on a ‘thumbnail’ to view the photographs that accompany this podcast:
Our water stop:
A steam engine needs water, lots of water. Mayflower holds over 4,000 gallons. Water comes to the engine by road tanker because there is no infrastructure to water steam locomotives on the mainline network.
The Steam Dreams operations team have worked through the night to organise the supply because yesterday the usual water supplier told them that they are no longer allowed to supply water by tanker.
Because of this we enter the siding at Challow hoping that a tanker is there …….
Onwards to Swindon:
We pass fields and the harvest is in. There is straw on the ground waiting for the bailer. The land is getting ready for ploughing and then next year’s crops.
We steam through the historic Vale of the White Horse. We pass barns in the fields and travel through the sites of long closed stations at Challow, Uffington, Shrivenham and Stratton Park Halt. All long closed memories on the line to Swindon.
We pass the train sidings on our way into Swindon. Urban sprawl has returned! We stop in the 1970’s station where the woodwork on the canopy needs some ‘tlc’ because the paint is peeling off.
There is a lot of Great Western Railway history associated with Swindon – the original station, the works and the growth of the town.
On to the Golden Valley line:
We leave Swindon and take the points onto the Golden Valley line towards Gloucester. Our train is now travelling through farmland again. We pass through the sites of more long closed stations at Purton, Minety & Ashton Keynes and Oaksey Halt before we reach Kemble.
The next 11 miles to Stroud:
We leave Kemble and pass through Tetbury Road Station which saw its last passengers in 1882. The Sapperton Tunnels follow; construction begins in 1839 and completes in 1845. There are now another 6 closed stations before we reach Stroud.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If so, please join me in a couple of weeks time when we continue our journey, travelling from Stroud to Gloucester on the Welsh Dragon.
To visit the Steam Dreams website please follow this link.
AKM Music has licensed Steam Railway for use in this podcast.
© The MrT Podcast Studio 2022