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A rural location on the GWML between Westbury and Frome in Somerset.
Railway type and traffic
The line is quite busy with FGW HSTs, DMUs on the Bristol to Frome and Weymouth route
All the Mendip stone traffic to and from both Whatley and Merehead passes here. Other freight includes the occasional Westbury to Moorswater cement working and ballast from Meldon Quarry to Westbury. Westbury is also a PW 'hub' and Berkley often sees engineers' trains heading to and from work sites in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. The line also sees its share of excursion traffic including loco-hauled extras for the Glastonbury Festival in June. With luck, Bristol to Weymouth peak summer Saturday loco-hauled trains will continue in future years.
There are two over bridges both carrying quiet country lanes over the line. The one to the east ('Pot Lane') sees the least road traffic but can be very muddy - the farmer herds his cattle over the bridge to reach the next field!
Beware on these lanes as certain local 'businessmen' use them for fly-tipping and it is possible to round a bend and find the lane completely blocked with debris.
The nearest major road is the A36. Just north of where it passes beneath the GWML there is a turning to the west. Follow this beneath the railway and past Frome Market. After about three quarters of a mile, take a turning to the right (Pot Lane) signed for Berkley Marsh. This quickly takes you to the easternmost of the two overbridges. The next turning to the right (Kemp's Lane, then Berlkey Lane) leads to the westernmost bridge. Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Berkley Marsh map co-ordinates
There is limited roadside parking adjacent both bridges. Tuck your vehicle well into the side as large agricultural vehicles use these lanes. There is a bit of lay-by at Pot Lane bridge, but it is often muddy and often blocked by fly-tipping. However, if you can park there, you can watch the line from the comfort of your car!
There really isn't any public transport within walking range of this location so the only option would be a taxi from Frome station.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location
There is a pub called the 'Frome Flyer' on the A361 about a mile from the location 'as the crow flies' - its part of a small industrial estate visible from the westernmost bridge.
The 'Frome Flyer' adjoins a Premier Inn which offers good, predictable, quality accommodation. Otherwise stay in Frome itself, or in Bath, about 40 minutes' drive away.
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Berkley Marsh general view map
Berkley Marsh close up map
Windows Local Live Link
- image quality may vary
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Railway Gen Group
The line runs roughly north-east to south-west at Berkley. Both bridges offer (subject to vegetation growth) views in both directions from both sides of the line, so the location is usable pretty much through the day except mid-late afternoon when the sun aligns with the track. The Pot Lane bridge has the benefit of long views along the line to the east (which might be good for videos), plus a signal that helpfully indicates, by a flashing amber aspect, that the 'up' road is set towards Westbury at Fairwood Junction. Photos looking eastwards can be framed to include the famous Westbury White Horse and the chimney of Westbury Cement Works.
General views - All photographs © Glen Batten unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking east
From the Pot Lane Bridge, north side
Fig 2 - Looking east
Regrettably, this shot from the south side of Pot Lane looking east has been completely obscured by a Network Rail communications mast installed in April 2009.
The only possibility is a very 'head-on' shot from the bridge itself, or in the complete absence of sun and shadows, from the north side using a longish lens.
Unfortunately, the neighbouring Berkley Lane bridge has no decent shot looking east in the morning either, due to trees that encroach on the line side.
Fig 3 - Looking west
Pot Lane Bridge, south side.
Fig 4 - Looking west
From the Berkley Lane Bridge, south side
Fig 5 - Looking west
From Berkley Lane, north side
Fig 6 - Looking east
From Berkley Lane, north side
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