Steam Railway (UK) - - NEWS FOCUS -

The Mid‑Hants Rail­way is widen­ing Ro­p­ley cut­ting for a new sid­ing – with the re­sult­ing spoil be­ing tipped at Butts Junc­tion near Al­ton.

A sec­ond sid­ing is needed to store op­er­a­tional coaches and steam cranes that are nor­mally based at Al­ton, dur­ing the six‑ month pe­riod next year when the lat­ter sta­tion is cut off by the re­build­ing of the road bridge at Butts (SR482).

Four ‘Rudd’ wag­ons were hired from the Sev­ern Val­ley Rail­way and used along with the ‘Wa­ter­cress Line’s’ two ex­am­ples to take the chalk dug from the cut­ting to be tipped on the for­mer Meon Val­ley for­ma­tion at Butts – where more car­riage sid­ings are also planned in the long term.

The four‑mile sec­tion from Med­stead & Four Marks to Al­ton is due to close on Jan­uary 11 for the bridge to be re­built and the road lay­out al­tered, to im­prove ac­cess to a new hous­ing de­vel­op­ment on the nearby Treloars Hos­pi­tal site. The line is sched­uled to re­open at the end of July, and new Gen­eral Man­ager Ja­son Houl­ders said that a re­place­ment bus ser­vice is ex­pected to op­er­ate “on key dates and spe­cial events”.


The scale of chalk ex­ca­va­tion for a new sid­ing east of Ro­p­ley is clearly vis­i­ble as vis­it­ing BR ‘4MT’ 2‑6‑4T no. 80078 pi­lots res­i­dent ‘Schools’ 4‑4‑0 no. 925 Chel­tenham down the bank from Med­stead & Four Marks, dur­ing the Mid‑hants Rail­way’s Au­tumn Steam gala on oc­to­ber 20.

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