Cheddar Valley Railway

From Strawberries to Stinging Nettles
The Background to the Cheddar Valley Railway Local Nature Reserve

The Bristol & Exeter Railway opened the line from Temple Meads to Bridgwater on 14th June, 1841. A station was provided at Clevedon Road which was renamed Yatton when the company's branch to Clevedon opened on 28th July 1847.

The broad gauge Bristol and Exeter Railway branch from Yatton to Cheddar was opened on 3rd August 1869. In November 1875 it was converted to standard gauge and in January 1876 became part of the Great Western Railway network. The line ran from Yatton to Witham (a distance of 31 and three quarter miles) via Cheddar and Wells and would have taken just under two hours. At Congresbury Station a branch ran to Blagdon via Wrington. This was finally closed to all traffic on 10th June 1963. The last regular scheduled passenger train ran on 7 September 1963. Shortly after freight traffic between Yatton and Cheddar ceased on 1st October 1964, the track was lifted. The secton between Shepton Mallet and Cranmore was established as the east Somerset Railway in 1973. At the eastern end of the line stone quarry traffic is still carried from the Merehead quarry.

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