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Meon Valley Railway Restoration

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by stephenvane, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. mrKnowwun

    mrKnowwun Part of the furniture

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    Blimey, that's better tree clearance than NR manage to achieve.
     
  2. OldChap

    OldChap New Member

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    Looking at the picture on the BBC it would appear that the 300k is well spent with all the tree felling and well drained base which perfect for relaying track laying now :)
     
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  3. W14

    W14 New Member

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    These people are unbelievable. The drainage on much of the trail was abominable, making it unusable after wet weather. The trees were completely overhanging the path, shading it and keeping it in a damp condition, as well as adding to the mud through leaf-fall. The lineside shrubbery blocked out all views of the surrounding countryside and was encroaching on the path, narrowing it so that it was almost impossible to pass a horse going the other way.

    But of course, local people liked it like that. It kept it private for exercising their horses. They don't want all these cyclists and walkers from outside the area using it.
     
  4. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    your last line says it all..... finger right on the point , well said
     
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  5. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Oh well, if the walkers don't want it anymore, at least they wouldn't complain at it being relaid as a Railway then.... :Happy:

    (Only joking! But I bet their tune would change if it were a realistic proposition.. Obviously a quiet news day - reporting on the activities of Facebook groups is always lazy journalism).

    Steven
     
  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think I have a little sympathy for the locals, it does look rather bare now all the trees have been cut back, it looked much nicer before. I can't believe some sort of compramise couldn't have been had, whereby they resurface the path and cut down just some of the trees, rather than make it look like rails are ready to go down again...
     
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  7. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    A compromise has been had. They have delayed installing the track until later. :)
     
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  8. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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    Actually this story has been running in the Hampshire Chronicle for two or three weeks now. I haven't walked that stretch for a good few years, and have never ridden down it. My recollection is that it always used to be pretty "bosky" Maybe the current works push it too far in the other direction, there have been reports of a number of motorised vehicles using the new pathway in a way that is friendly neither to walker, cyclist nor equestrian. My recent experience has been in walking parts of the Mid-Hants between Alresford and Martyr Worthy, this path seems to be a good mixture, some hard surfacing, not particularly wet or muddy butt still often shaded by trees with a rather sylvan feeling.
     
  9. Rumpole

    Rumpole Member

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    It always makes me chuckle when people refer to an old railway path as having had a 'natural surface'.
     
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  10. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    Not only that, they've put a layer of ballast down too :)
     
  11. Widge

    Widge New Member

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    I'm sure the County Council have acted with the very best of intentions, but the contractors have completely over-engineered what is only supposed to be a multi-user path. If they were intending to reconnect West Meon to the national rail system by Christmas. they couldn't possibly have done a better job, and in places the trackbed has even been restored to its (never used) double track width. There is a lot of hysteria locally about this but in truth the surface isn't that difficult to cycle on and will undoubtedly settle down in time. What is fascinating is to see a long-closed railway emerging from the undergrowth and in particular the floor of West Meon's down side waiting room rediscovered like a Roman pavement. Whoever knew that was there?
     
  12. Footbridge

    Footbridge Member

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    I did!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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    I think I shall pay a visit soon! I do think that, that in these times of austerity, £300,000 is a lot to throw at a bridleway and a slightly less engineered solution might have been found to increasing ease of access to a range of "service users"
     
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  14. 73129

    73129 Member

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  15. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    How soon we forget our real land of railways, people smoking when and where you liked and Austin A35s! This is what all railway cuttings and embankments looked like when I was a lad. There was not a tree in sight. All vegetation was kept at bay by humans working for the Railway. Compare this view of the GWSR north of Toddington (Stanway) Viaduct even after clearance in 2015 (I don't have a 2015 photo to hand but there's more trees, trust me) with this view taken as recently(!) as 1966. I also recall that it was rare to see a crow or a magpie then in the countryside, farmers and smallholders shot them as they were, and still are, egg thieves. (I'm not condoning shooting anything or anyone by the way!)
     

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  16. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    People forget (most likely never knew) that all what grows in the countryside has been planted by man, and if not maintained by us the landscape will become overgrown so by cutting down those trees/shrubs will be returning it to a year or two when the landscaping was done. Now the trees have gone the grassland flowers will have a chance to bloom and people will love the look of the wild flowers and where the trees have been cut down (coppiced) they will re-shoot from the stumps and so in a years time it will look so different than it dose now.
     
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  17. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

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    Not necessarily planted by man: but there is absolutely no part of the British Isles where the "natural landscape" is not heavily or entirely man-made, apart from possibly the occasional sea stack or islet. A lot of the seeds of those trees probably got there by train!
     
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    All so true. The other point is that if the land is left unmanaged, nature will take charge and trees will seed themselves. (Take the invasion of silver birch in National Trust heathland that is having to be dealt with in critical areas.) That's true of old railway lines as much as the live network. I can think of a beautiful view from the train across a water meadow that is now invisible because Network Rail has chosen not to maintain lineside trees and a green 'corridor' now exists that will come back and bite them at some point in the future.
     
  19. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Even the heather uplands?
     
  20. mrKnowwun

    mrKnowwun Part of the furniture

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    Yeah. Take Dartmoor for example. Used to be forest in pre bronze age, man moved up there, cleared pastures, settled the land, climate changed, and you now have moor. Point being man has changed, or been the catalyst, for changing the way nearly all of the UK now looks. Take the Somerset Levels, Norfolk Broads, - all man made, these islands have been settled for a very long time. Only the high peaks not been affected really.
     
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