An early morning start last week allowed me to view the recently opened new bridge at Chippenham station.
This replaced the previous one which only gave pedestrian access to the centre of town (there is another bridge for getting to the platforms) and the Barrow Crossing which I’ve featured before.
It also allows access to the platforms via stairs and a lift. For some reason the bridge’s windows have locks on them, which are locked. I wonder when they’d be opened and who would do that.
It’s only taken 25 years of campaigning and a few million pounds to get this new bridge installed. If the line wasn’t in the process of being electrified (the old bridge was too low for that), would we still be waiting?
You can get an inkling of what the old bridge was like here.
I was particularly keen to photograph this because I think its days are numbered.
It shows the area where the finished engines would be moved outside and positioned onto the appropriate track to move them around the rest of the site.
I used to walk past here every week on my way from the railway station to my voluntary work at the National Trust HQ at Heelis.
It pleased me that this piece of our railway heritage was still there. However, houses are currently being built on this part of the site and already much of the track has been ripped up.
The buildings on the right of the picture are part of the Steam Museum. It’s a shame they couldn’t have acquired this area to demonstrate what used to happen when this was leaving and breathing industry.
The railway company had its own education centre and library and railway workers were actively encouraged to improve themselves through study and acquiring further qualifications. Sadly this magnificent building is now derelict and no-one seems to want to develop it, except possibly into flats. A community building in keeping with it’s former use is what residents would like, but that doesn’t cover the costs the building needs spending on it to be made fit for purpose again.
So sadly, it just moulders on.