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Written by Glen Batten - 01 Aug 2008
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Location notes
About 2 miles south of the village of Wickwar in Gloucestershire, on the former Midland route between Bristol and Gloucester.
Railway type and traffic
Passenger traffic consists of Cross Country class 220 and 221 (Voyager) sets and FGW class 143, 150, 153 and 158 DMUs on local services.
Freight includes Class 66-hauled coal from Portbury to the Midlands and Class 60s on 'Murco' bogie fuel tanks for the nearby Westerleigh terminal.
When the Severn Tunnel is closed for maintenance, FGW HSTs on London-South Wales services use this route to cross the Severn at Gloucester.
Steel traffic may also be seen on weekend diversions.
The location is an over bridge on a relatively quiet country lane favoured by local horse-riders, joggers and cyclists. This is a safe and pleasant rural location, where one can often watch buzzards and smaller birds between trains.
Road directions
The location is best reached from the B4060 between Chipping Sodbury and Wickwar. Take the first turning on the right heading south from Wickwar towards Hall End. The lane descends through a leafy cutting, after which you should turn right to reach the railway bridge.

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Wickwar south map co-ordinates
Parking is possible on the verge close to the bridge, or by the gate giving access to the line for PW workers, who may of course turn up and ask you to move your vehicle so they can get in!
Public transport
There is no public transport to the location and it is a fair hike from the nearest bus routes at Chipping Sodbury or Wickwar.

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There are no amenities at the location but there are pubs and shops in both Wickwar and Chipping Sodbury. It is best to take a supplies, particularly if going for the 'Murcos', as unpredictable running can result in a long wait!
Accommodation is available in Chipping Sodbury and Wickwar, or further afield in Bristol and Bath.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Wickwar south

Googly map
Streetmap links
Wickwar south general view map
Wickwar south close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Wickwar south

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Railway Gen Group
Wiltshire and Avon Gen
Photographic notes
The road bridge is best for south-bound traffic emerging from Wickwar Tunnel. The summit of the line, which is approximatley 1.5 miles south of the tunnel, so steam locos may 'shut off' before reaching the location.
The light is ok from mid-morning until early afternoon (when the sun becomes 'head-on') and then again from mid- or late afternoon from the western side of the line.
During winter, the cutting can be shadowy for much of the day.
By crossing the style and walking along the footpath that parallels the line on the east side, one can reach the small footbridge over the railway from which it is possible to photograph trains in the rock cutting immediately after leaving the tunnel. The footbridge also provides a good location for northbound trains.
It is also possible to obtain good panoramic shots, or videos, of northbound trains from the hill above the tunnel mouth, reachable from the same footpath.
Another option is to drive a short distance to Hall End bridge a little further south, which offers afternoon shots in both directions, subject to tree growth!

General views - All photographs © Glen Batten unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north east

Fig 1 - Looking north east

Fig 2 - Looking north east

Fig 2 - Looking north east

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