Gloucester Midland Lines, Part 1 - North: British Railway History in Colour, Volume 3
Birmingham & Gloucester Line: Defford-Ashchurch-Cheltenham-Gloucester Eastgate-Barnwood Shed Ashchurch-Beckford-Evesham / Ashchurch-Tewkesbury-Upton-on-Severn In 1845, the Midland Railway, outflanked and outbid the Great Western Railway for the purchase of the Birmingham & Gloucester and Bristol & Gloucester railways. As a result, the railway map of Gloucestershire was to have a Midland red spine, with an important and busy main line running through the county from Ashchurch in the north to Yate in the south and with numerous branches breaking off from it.
It also served to turn Gloucester in to one of the country's great railway centres of the steam age, where the Midland had a separate station, goods yards, dock system and locomotive shed. Having originally intended to cover all of these lines in one volume, the sheer variety, quality and number of images collected has dictated that this major study in colour of the Midland lines in Gloucestershire has had to be split in two. Part 1 begins therefore in the north at Defford, from where we head south to the magnificent architectural gem that was Ashchurch station. Here, we alight to travel first eastwards, to the Midland station at Evesham, returning then to head westwards to Upton-on-Severn.
Back on the main line, the journey then is south through Cleeve, Cheltenham Lansdown and Churchdown, to reach the Midland station at Gloucester, renamed Eastgate by British Railways in 1951. There is a visit to the locomotive sheds at Barnwood on the way and finally coverage of the Midland goods yard at Gloucester.