Heart of Wessex Line
|Heart of Wessex Line|
|Type||Suburban rail, Heavy rail|
South West England
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The Heart of Wessex Line, also known as the Bristol to Weymouth Line, is a railway line that runs from Bristol Temple Meads to Westbury to Weymouth in England. It shares the Wessex Main Line as far as Westbury and then follows the course of the Reading to Taunton Line as far as Castle Cary.
The cities, towns and villages served by this route are listed below:
- Bradford on Avon
- Castle Cary
- Maiden Newton
Passenger services are currently operated by Great Western Railway. Most services originate from Bristol Temple Meads, or from Westbury. However some services originate from towns and cities beyond Bristol such as Gloucester, Cheltenham and Great Malvern.
Services are provided on Sprinter diesel multiple unit trains built during the late 1980s and 1990s, typically of 2 or 3 coach Class 150, with some Class 158 trains. During the summers of 2008 - 2010 an additional southbound morning and northbound evening train were added to the Saturday timetable to cope with demand between the cities and the seaside resort of Weymouth. This consists of five British Railways Mark 2 coaches hauled by a modern Class 67 (or, on special occasions, 1960s Class 37) diesel locomotive. Outside of, amongst others, the InterCity 125 trains, this is one of the few remaining diesel locomotive hauled regular scheduled services left in Britain.
A Bristol to Weymouth Rail Partnership was created in 1998 so that local authoriites could support the line. In 2003 this was rebanded as the Heart of Wessex partenrship and line. It is designated a Community rail Line.
- "Brighton, Portsmouth and Weymouth - Bristol, Cardiff, Gloucester and Great Malvern" (PDF). National Rail Timetable. Network Rail. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
- "Route Prospectus, Bristol to Weymouth Line" (PDF). GOV.UK. Department for Transport. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
- "Community rail lines". GOV. UK. Department for Transport. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
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- Robert Adley, (1988). Covering My Tracks. Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 0-85059-882-6
- J.H. Lucking,. Railways of Dorset. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society 1968. ISBN(no ISBN)