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The Severn-Dudley Sins

Wednesday 11 December 2019

If Christmas markets are not for you, how about a pre-Christmas ‘Forgotten Tracks’ railtour, the highlight of which will be a journey down the attractive branch line from Madeley Junction in Shropshire to Ironbridge, busy until quite recently with biomass traffic to Ironbridge Power Station. For the moment the branch is being kept operational but it does face an uncertain future. This tour is designed around the short daylight hours of December, with a sensible finish time.

The tour also includes the line from Lichfield to Wichnor Junction, closed at weekends, as well as some interesting route around the West Midlands, plus Chaddesden Sidings in Derby.

The train runs via the West Coast Main Line to Rugby, then via Coventry, Birmingham New Street, Selly Oak, the Lifford Curve, Camp Hill, Bordesley Junction, Landor Street Junction, Castle Bromwich Junction, Park Lane Junction, Sutton Park, Ryecroft Junction, Walsall, Pleck Junction, Darlaston Junction, Portobello Junction, Wolverhampton to Madeley Junction.

Here we join the six-mile branch line which winds its way down the valley, crossing the famous 26-arch Coalbrookdale viaduct. We run alongside the Abraham Darby ironworks furnaces and reach what is now the end of the operational line, a short distance before the sidings that once served the power station with its iconic cooling towers which are being demolished.

The climb back up to Madeley Junction is quite steep in parts. Once back on the main line our route continues via the Oxley Chord and Bushbury Junction to Stafford where we take a leg-stretching break of 25 minutes or so.

Back on board we head up the West Coast Main Line to Lichfield High Level Goods Loop Junction, taking the spur up to Trent Valley Junction and on through Alrewas, Wichnor Junction and Burton-on-Trent to Derby, to travel into Chaddesden Sidings for a reversal. We then head back to Wichnor Junction and Lichfield Trent Valley Junction, passing the derelict ‘up’ platform at Lichfield Trent Valley High Level. Our journey home is via Four Oaks and Aston where we rejoin our outward route.

First Class Dining includes the Great British Breakfast and a four-course Christmas late lunch.

Standard Junior£79.50Good
First Class Non-Dining£129.00Good
First Class Dining£189.00Good
First Class Dining Party of Four£736.00Good

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

London Euston07.5519.55
Watford Junction (for M25)08.2019.20
Milton Keynes Central08.4519.00

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