Our journey on the heritage Avon Valley
Railway takes us along the surviving section of the
Mangotsfield and Bath Branch Line, travelling through the region's
charming scenery on a preserved train. The line runs for three
miles between Oldland Common and the station at Avon Riverside, but
for practical purposes our journey begins at Bitton, the
intermediate station. On leaving the station, the train travels
northwards, passing through the charming countryside that climbs
away from the River Avon. Here the noise of the steam trains
echoing around the lower valley creates an atmospheric sound.
The Avon Valley Railway then reaches a
flatter terrain, passing through the outer region of Oakland
Common. Before long the railway runs into a wooded area, where
country trails and winding paths run in view of the tracks. Our
train then arrives at the line's northern terminus, Oakland Common.
On arrival the locomotive is uncoupled from the train and runs
around to the other end for the return journey. This part is
especially popular with rail enthusiasts. We then re-board the
train and travel back to Bitton, from where we continue southwards.
This stretch takes us through lush green fields and into the
idyllic rural scenery sloping down to the river.
The final stretch of our journey takes us along the valley and
then across the river itself before arriving at Avon Riverside
Station. Again, the engine joins the other end of the train before
returning to Bitton.