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Written by Gary S. Smith - 26 Nov 2007
last update by Mark Bearton - 11 Mar 2009
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Location notes
A countryside location, just north of Rugeley Trent Valley station on the West Coast Main Line in Staffordshire.
Railway type and traffic
Scheduled main line passenger trains are class 390 Pendolinos and class 350 Desiro EMUs, plus class 221 Voyagers. Classes 150, 150/2 and 170 provide the local Birmingham - Walsall - Stafford service. This route is often used by charter trains.
Main line freight (including coal and departmental trains) hauled by DRS, DB Schenker and Freightliner locomotives (classes 60, 66, 67, 86, 90 and 92).
The new Rugeley bypass runs close to the main line in the flood plain of the River Trent.
Road directions
From the north:
After the junction of the A51 and the A513, follow the A51 (Lichfield) from the roundabout on the outskirts of Rugeley, cross the river and, shortly after crossing the canal, park at the first field entrance on the left.

From the south:
Follow the A51 (Stone), past the power station, under the two railway bridges, straight over the roundabout with the B5013 and park at the second field entrance on the right.

From the B5013 from the east:
Pass Rugeley Trent Valley station and under the railway and over the river; at the roundabout, turn right onto the A51 (Stone) and park at the second field entrance on the right.

From the A460 from the west:
Enter Rugeley; at the first roundabout (the old A51) take the B5013 (Abbots Bromley) past the bus station; at the twin mini roundabouts continue along the B5013 past the church, over the canal and mini roundabout, then turn left onto the A51 (Stone); and park at the second field entrance on the right. Alternatively, turn left at the first roundabout and head along Western Springs Road - the old A51, now the A460 - towards Stone and over the first roundabout. Immediately after leaving the built-up area, turn right at the roundabout onto the bypass, cross the river and park at the first field entrance after crossing the canal.

From Penkridge:
Follow the Penkridge Rugeley road (watch-out for the dear!). After the Forest Centre, take the first left (Shooting Butts Road), signed Etching Hill, and continue along Etching Hill Road. At the bottom of Bower Lane, turn left onto the main road, turn right at the roundabout onto the new bypass. Cross the river and park at the first field entrance after the canal.

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Rugeley Bypass map co-ordinates
There are several wide, surfaced field entrances on both sides of the A51, avoid blocking these entrances. Your vehicle will always be in view, should you have to move it.
Public transport
The location is a 10-15 minute walk from Rugeley Trent Valley station which has hourly services from Birmingham and also hourly stopping services from London, Stafford and Crewe.
From Rugeley Trent Valley railway station, walk/cycle down the station drive, under the railway and over the river. At the roundabout turn right and walk along the A51 (there is a pavement and cycleway).

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The nearest amenities are in the centre of Rugeley - about 2km away.
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.
Rugeley Bypass

Googly map
Streetmap links
Rugeley Bypass general view map
Rugeley Bypass close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Rugeley Bypass

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Photographic notes
The new Rugeley bypass runs close to the main line, with both the road and the railway elevated at the same level above - and separated by - a narrow field. Southbound trains appear from beneath a plate girder bridge that is flanked by its approach roads. Three trees limit the photography of northbound trains; however there is another opportunity to photograph northbound trains closer to the station.
This is a location for photographing both southbound and northbound trains for much of the day. The main line runs NW - SE and the sun appears on the photographer's side of the trains by 11:00 BST (10:00 GMT).
From late afternoon the setting sun starts to fall onto the cab fronts of northbound trains. However, at the same time, the occupation bridge starts to appear in shadow, and, in September and October, the shadows the road embankment encroaches onto the field in the foreground.
Photography is unhindered by the catenary wires and the subject can be framed by the gantries or easily caught between gantries. Southbound trains might stop at the adjacent signal gantry. The three trees test the photographer's skill and cast their shadows onto trains from late afternoon. There are expected to be further landscaping works of the bypass route during the winter of 2008. This is a flood plain and the countryside in the background will not be prominent. There are distant electricity pylons in the background.
Unfortunately for videography there is very little warning of approaching trains (unless you post a look-out beyond the canal!) and there is road traffic noise.

General views - All photographs © Gary S. Smith unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north

Fig 1 - Looking north

Fig 2 - Looking north

Fig 2 - Looking north

Fig 3 - Looking south east

Fig 3 - Looking south east

Fig 4 - Looking south east

Fig 4 - Looking south east

Fig 5 - Looking south east

Fig 5 - Looking south east

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