(All 9.9.2018 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)
The railway at Ashton Court in Bristol has been under threat recently. The problem is that the rent they pay for the site is around 10% of the market price, and something has to give. Sadly it may be the railway.
Despite having lived in Bristol for ten years I was unaware of this railway until early this year. This may be part of the problem, the line just isn't well enough known. Mind you judging by the crowds that were up there on 9 September 2018 perhaps it was just me?
I took 3 of my friend's children, all girls between 5 and 8, and they absolutely loved it! Kids seem to love trains these days! We went on a running day with visiting engines, it was warm and sunny. Despite running about 8 trains at once there were still crowds waiting to get on every train!
There was of course a shadow hanging over everything. I chatted with one of the operators who told me that he wasn't hopeful they'd still be on the site next year. There was a council meeting the following Tuesday. Luckily the decision was to delay any removal of the route before the end of 2019, giving the railway just over a year to try to come up with a solution.
The line operates a couple of times a month in the summer, so if you get the chance please go and help swell their fighting fund, The lines (there are two, two gauges, two slightly different routes) run through woods and along fields, and you can buy 5 tickets for £4.50. There are also Santa trains.