Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Spa Valley progress
(Groombridge in BR days 4.7.1977)
The Spa Valley is now making the push back to Eridge to link back to the network. It will involve laying a second line alongside the network route to allow the Spa Valley access to Eridge station.
There were some daft things about the original closure. The line remained open until 1985 and was the last real railway closure in the UK. The excuse was the cost of replacing pointwork at the junction with the Hastings line in Tunbridge Wells on electrification. For about six months after closure empty trains continued to run into Tunbridge Wells West as the depot was there. Houses were built right up to the trackbed at Groombridge - amazing as there was already at that time a preservation group. There is now a kink in the line and there's a new halt built for the trains.
June's Steam Railway carries a piece on the line, with the extraordinary conclusion that '[t]here is sadly very little prospect of reinstating the eastward link via Grove Junction to Tunbridge Wells [Central] because West station has been converted into a restaurant. The trackbed has also been breached by a Sainsbury's supermarket and its car park'.
Er ... why not just BUY the restaurant and, eventually, the supermarket and reinstate the link? It is actually essential as without it real trains will be running the wrong way! And real trains will grace this line again in the not too distant future, particularly when the Uckfield-Lewes and Groombridge-Three Bridges lines are restored.
Get some lead in your pencil Steam Railway and stop talking railways down!