Tales From The Edge
This is an occasional series where I go to the edge of North Bucks and show you what I've found.
Tring railway cutting is deep. It’s so deep it took me two visits to find a way of photographing it.
On the first try, I could get on a footpath right next to the wire fence and could hear trains go by, but couldn’t see them no matter what I did. I was also not in Buckinghamshire, as the county boundary goes along the middle of the road and over the bridge.
On the second try I went into the College Lake nature reserve and walked along the wooden fence by the cutting, but couldn’t see a thing. It’s a nice place to visit, though.
Back to the road and the bridge over the railway, where I found I could stand on the crash barrier at one end of the bridge and hold the camera up high. It took a few goes, but I got a photo of the slow train trundling by on the furthest set of tracks. Fast trains on the nearest tracks were still invisible to me.
That’s great, but it doesn’t show you folks the depth and scale of the cutting. I jumped down and walked to the middle of the bridge; there’s a narrow footpath beside the road.
The bridge parapet is above head height. I put on a long lens, and held the camera above my head. After ten minutes and sixteen attempts, I got the shot.
Folly bridge carries the B488 over the cutting at about it’s maximum depth of 12m, 40 feet. Work began in mid 1835, and the two and a half mile cutting was finished in late 1837. Except for where rock blasting was needed, it was all dug by hand. That’s an enormous amount of earth. The cutting took two tracks and the sides were at a 45° angle.
The cutting was widened in 1859 to take three lines, and again in 1876 to take four. It was widened again in the 1960s during electrification of the line and the sides of the cutting are now at a much steeper angle. No wonder I couldn’t see into it.
More than any I’ve done so far, this is truly a tale from the edge.
Thanks to Roger Runswick for telling me about this place on the edge.