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A farm crossing on a public bridleway close to the village of Wylye, Wiltshire. Situated on the line from Salisbury to Westbury, about twenty miles from Salisbury and likewise from Warminster.
Railway type and traffic
Most of the passenger services on this line are provided by First Great Western using Class 158 units, with a sprinkling of Class 150 and Class 153 units as well. The only other operator is South West Trains who run a handful of services using Class 159s each day.
Freight is relatively sparse, mostly stone trains to/from the Mendip Quarries to/from Hamworthy, Fareham, Chichester and Eastleigh, with the occasional oil train from Fawley and regular engineers trains from Westbury to Eastleigh and vice versa. These are mostly in the hands of DB Schenker Class 59s and 66s, with the very occasional Class 60. There are also occasional MOD workings to Warminster and STP movements from Eastleigh Works heading to Bristol/Gloucester of carriages, wagons or multiple units.
However, if the lines around Basingstoke are blocked due to engineering works, this can yield diverted Freightliners (usually Saturdays) although these are mostly heading south so this location is not the best place to go for them.
The location is within crop fields and is open and quiet. The local area is also quiet and remote, the only people you will encounter will be occasional walkers, the farmer, or fellow photographers.
Coming from the westbound A303, or either way on the A36, drive until you reach the Wylye Mere intersection, and then head westbound on the A303 a short while until you reach the Wylye village slip road. Head along this until you reach a 'T' intersection, turn right and head along the road until you pass some houses on the right. The farm track is the next turning on the left.
Coming from the eastbound A303, the method is much the same, just you will need to turn left off the A303 before you go under the A36.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Bapton, Wylye Valley map co-ordinates
There is not much room for parking, the best place is at the bottom of the farm track which can handle 2 - 4 cars. You might have to move your vehicle for the farmer though. It would be inadvisable driving up the track as this may cause damage to the bottom of your car.
R and R coaches operate the number 56 bus which runs from Sailsbury to Warminster and calls at Bapton Village. Alternatively, if you really fancy the walk/cycle, it is around fifteen miles from Tisbury station on the Salisbury to Exeter line.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location
There is a village shop in Wylye, but otherwise you will need to go to either Warminster or Salisbury, there are many food outlets and supermarkets in the latter.
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Bapton, Wylye Valley
Bapton, Wylye Valley general view map
Bapton, Wylye Valley close up map
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Bapton, Wylye Valley
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The line is pretty much east/west so it favours shots accordingly. However, the best shot from the location is looking east, which is good from 12:00 onwards. The danger of shadows is low, although the ground does slope away to the south. Looking westwards is not the best of vantage points, and if you are particularly looking for a westward shot on this line, there are plenty of much better locations available; the eastwards shot is what this location is good for.
This shot would be good for videos; there is a long sweeping curve and you get fairly good warning of trains coming. The only background noise evident is the A303 which is fairly close by but not too intrusive.
General views - All photographs © J Slatter unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking east
A northbound working heads for Warminster and then on to Westbury.
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