Ghost Trains

I had an unfulfilled mission in Mexico City – to jump on my mountain bike and ride the Ciclopista from Chapultepec Park in the centre of Mexico City all the way to Cuernavaca. It’s built on a disused rail line, one of many rail lines than long ago stopped serving trains in Mexico. We have plenty of disused rail lines in the UK too. Thousands upon thousand of miles of them. Thank you Dr Beeching.

Many of the old lines have been either developed on or swallowed up by undergrowth. But some have been transformed into nature walks. You’ll see plenty of signs of Britain’s railway history all over the country, although some might not seem obvious at first glance. But if the pub you just went to looks a bit like a done-over train station, it probably is. Industrial strength iron bridges across large streams or small rivers in the middle of nowhere.  Strange tunnels to nowhere.

There  are more obvious signs. Like the abandoned platform at Ashley Heath. The old station sign is still there. And while one end of the platform has crumbled away, the rest is remarkably intact. There’s no station building to be seen. Maybe there never was one. I did hunt around the internet to see what’s left of the history of Ashley Heath station. I did find a photo of an old ticket and a photo of a level crossing. And Wikipedia didn’t let me done. Here’s a few photos I took.

6 thoughts on “Ghost Trains

  1. Trains are such wonderful things, as are their stations. That would be wonderful to enjoy a drink in a pub that used to be a station. I took some wonderful trips by train from Texas into Mexico when I was growing up. Fantastic to sit back and enjoy the countryside going by. The stops in little villages were the best, with vendors selling all kind of delicious food.

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    1. Other than the metro, I’ve done just one train journey in Mexico. There aren’t many options now to be honest. The ride that is left is breath taking through – right through the Copper Canyon.

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  2. Sister-in-law has a very active line just at the bottom of the garden in Sheen. It seemed that the “Orient Express” steam train would pass by about once a week, chuffing and belching coal smoke and steam as it takes a few lucky buggers on the trip of a lifetime. THAT is, to me, the true wonder of being able to watch these mechanical behemoths cross the landscape. Luckily there are a few aficionados that keep them going. It will be a VERY sad day when the last one is finally caged in a museum.
    Dan in NC

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    1. I think the steam train still has a long and glorious future ahead of it. Fortunately, unlike the Vulcan and other aircraft that enthusiasts try so hard to keep alive, trains have fewer technologically difficult parts and the consequences of a failure tend to be less severe.

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