The Mystery of the Ghost Line
After watering up this morning, we left Sutton Wharf in bright sunshine and I needed to take my sweater off and put my hat on to shield my eyes from the sun, but within a short while the wind picked up and it was sweater on again. Just before we reached bridge 23 it started to rain, why couldn’t it have waited until we were moored up to visit the farm shop?
At Spinney Bank Farm Shop (did I mention before that they do lovely meat and veg?) we noticed a disused railway bridge in the corner of the farmyard, could this be part of ‘The Ghost Line’? [Yes it is, I asked. Apparently all the track is in private ownership but the bridges are still the rail network’s responsibility.]
Apparently when The Ashby & Nuneaton Joint Railway was granted it’s Act of Parliament it was required to include a branch line to Hinckley, this line was built to satisfy the Act’s requirement but was allegedly never used, it seems that some shenanigans was going on here. What changes?
According to Hinckley Past & Present:
14th January 1875 Local Hinckley and Stoke Golding residents petitioned for the Hinckley branch line to be opened, but their [sic] it was not to be. Under the terms of the Railway Act at that time, it had been necessary to build the Hinckley branch line and connect it up to the L & N.W.R line, but the legal opinion was that it was not necessary to open the line to traffic.
However… There is a ghost story published in The Hinckley Times in 2016 about a deaf old lady who was killed by a train on this very line (You know, the one that never had a train run on it) whilst looking for her dog, you’ll have to read it to make up your own mind, but remember the tracks were laid and taken back up again so I guess they used a train for that!
Oh well, the rain seems to be in for the day so we’ll just stay here until the morning.
Oh the joy of being retired boaters with no schedule to keep to. 🙂