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Saturday 18 March 2017

Northway Lane Bridge

The final structure passed by the Malvern-Ashchurch Midland branch line on its way through Gloucestershire was Northway Lane bridge. Built to an arched design, the bridge sat just before the final southward turn as the branch line reached its junction with the surviving Birmingham-Gloucester railway (now the 'Cross Country' route). Because the Ashchurch-Upton spur had a nine-year stay of execution after the closure of the Malvern-Upton section in 1952, there are comparatively more historical pictures of this end of the line.

The bridge today survives in its original state despite the disappearance of the railway beneath it. Surrounded by an industrial estate, it is now no longer strictly necessary as an overpass but still provides a reminder of a bygone age nonetheless. In fact, Northway Lane bridge can be seen from the 'new' Ashchurch-for-Tewkesbury station (opened 1997) which replaced the original stop (closed in 1971).

The following two pictures are taken from Roger Smith's excellent Flickr Page and show the last train leaving Ashchurch for Upton-on-Severn in 1961. The tight right-left westward curve is clearly visible in the foreground as the train departs the station.

The Northway Lane bridge pulls into view outside Ashchurch.
Letting off some steam under Northway Lane bridge.

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