Saturday, 4 January 2014

Bridport reawkening ...

I do think it's time to start seriously looking at rebuilding this branch throughout from Maiden Newton to West Bay. Bridport is far too large not to be rail served, and the need will only increase in the future. This line always struck me as very rural (except in Bridport itself) which suggests there is little if any encroachment and the cost of purchasing the route would not be ridiculously high. As well as offering a full passenger and freight service it would surely make an excellent heritage style line as well. It is in a busy tourist area but the nearest steam line is a good hour away, so it's an open market. Bridport itself should provide plenty of volunteers. British seaside resorts are seeing a huge revival and West Bay would be an excellent terminus for this fantastic line. In 1975 even the Dorchester to Castle Cary route was a struggling single line, it now is much busier. It's this line's time!


  1. Population c. 13,000. Several larger towns do not have rail including [internet search] Gosport (60,000) Daventry (30,000 ),Coalville(35,000), Ilkeston (28,000), Washington, Leigh...

    As you said, it is rural, ergo no traffic.

    British seaside resorts experiencing a revival? Many seaside towns and villages have suffered decades of economic decline and there is a government task force to address the issue.

    Re a tourist line Bridport-West Bay closed in 1930 due to poor traffic returns. The site of East Street is under Bridport's ring road.

    Sustrans have funding to use the old line as a cycle path from Maiden Newton to Bridport (Wiki). I guess one could try and work with them, but where would you go to? Powerstock (3.5 miles), but there would need to be some attraction?

  2. There are plans to build 800 houses on the west side of the town in the local plan. More potential customers! The track bed is clear to the outskirts of the town but the station is completely built on and there would be no way to get to west bay. Its been said that had the line survived only a couple of years more it would have turned a profit. Would certainly be great to see it back but I can't see it being used for freight.