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Date/Time
Date(s) - 17th October 2018
10:30 am - 5:15 pm
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Location
Stafford Station

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A Walk around the new layout on the WCML Norton Junction and the former branch from Swynnerton Junction to Cold Meece: Wednesday 17th October 2018

This walk of 6 miles will cover the revised layout on the WCML at Norton Junction including the new deviation line as far as Great Bridgeford, and then, after lunch, the route of the former branch line from Swynnerton Junction to Cold Meece. It is a joint WM/NW Groups event and will be lead by Ruth Shaw.

Update (added 12th Oct):For a detailed (and illustrated) description of the wartime railways around Cold Meece (serving ROF5) please see the two articles published in the 1993 Autumn and Christmas editions of British Railway Journal. These articles add detail to the Walk Notes and are available to members only: please use this link to the Members Pages. For a plan of the changes at Norton Bridge Junction use this link: Norton Bridge Junction Track Plan

Important Information about the Route: Most of the morning walk uses rural roads. The quality and presence of pavements or verges is variable. At one point it is necessary to walk across a road bridge which is approached by a blind bend. Cars crossing the bridge will not be visible to walkers, nor walkers to car drivers. There is no pavement at all for the length of the bridge.   

The walk will first view the infrastructure remodelling of the West Coast Main Line in the Norton Bridge area. This involved the building of new railway tracks, remodelled junctions and a new flyover. The completed track was opened in March 2016.  The walk will start at 11.00 a.m from the northern end of the new flyover (near to the Izaak Walton Golf Course) on the Stone/Stoke line north of Norton Bridge.

Outward travel to the start of the walk will be by the 10.35 bus departure (DG Bus Service No. 13) starting from Stafford Railway Station – meet at the main entrance to Stafford Station no later than 10:20.

From the end of the flyover the Group will walk south following the route of the new deviation railway line as far as Great Bridgeford – a distance of 3.5 miles.  From Great Bridgeford we will travel on the DG bus service 14 to Yarnfield where there will be the opportunity for a pub lunch, or bring a picnic lunch.  After lunch the walk will be along part of the  track bed of the former branch railway that ran from the NSR main line at Swynnerton Junction to the site of Cold Meece station – a distance of 2.5 miles. This line opened in 1940 and was built to provide a WW2 strategic transport link to the Swynnerton Royal Ordnance Factory.  Return to Stafford is by the DG bus Service 14, from Cold Meece or Badnall departing at 16.45, arriving Stafford town centre at 17.14, from where  it is a 10 minute walk to the railway station.

On this walk there is an opportunity for an early escape but only after what will have to be a shortened lunch break at Yarnfield. The bus departs Yarnfield (for Stafford) at 14.20.

For further information contact Gerald Leach at email: gerald.leach@btinternet.com or telephone 01565 654342.  As the buses we will use for the walks are of small capacity the number of members for this event will have to be limited to 20 and anyone intending to participate should please notify Gerald Leach by Monday 15th October.