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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Demolition Trains

Among the excellent pictures donated to this project by Jim Clemens are some shots of the demolition trains that were sent to remove the line after its closure. Some might consider these a little bleak, but I think that they provide a really interesting bridge between the line as a working piece of industry and the beginning of its reversion to nature. The line itself was dug up by a crane mounted to the back of a van, which lifted the sleepers and rails into empty trucks parked adjacent. John Clements, the farmer at Pigeon House Farm near Upton, remembers:
'I think I was about 10 or 11 when the line was taken up and I have memories of a wonderful old steam crane lifting the tracks. The operator let me up on board to pull a few leavers, which I guess would never be allowed in this day and age of health and safety and risk assessment. It was a wonderful machine to a young lad with unguarded cogs and pulleys and steam issuing forth from every seal and joint. After the tracks were removed they lifted the sleepers and took them away, I assume to be reused.'
The pictures below are mainly untitled but seem to have been taken around the area between Clive's Fruit Farm on Upper Hook Road and what is now Upton Rugby ground. I hope you enjoy them!

The steam-powered crane loads an empty truck.
This is one of my favourite pictures from this entire project, albeit maybe for artistic rather than historical reasons! Upton station is visible in the distance.
Down the line to Upton.
'Demolition Train M.R. Malvern to Ashchurch'. Taken from Upper Hook Road bridge - the permanent way hut has since been removed.
Another shot near Upton, taken approximately where the public footpath runs above the rugby pitches now.

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