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Briar Hill is an estate to the South of Northampton Castle Station, and the line which runs past here is the 'Northampton loop' of the West Coast Main Line.
Railway type and traffic
The line sees mainly multiple units running between London Euston and Birmingham New Street on a regular basis. Some Virgin services also pass here.
Most WCML freight traffic uses the loop, including DB Schenker and Freightliner workings.
Although normally quite quiet, care should be taken at all times, although the canal stretch normally only sees anglers and the occasional resident walking their dog.
From the M1, Junction 15:
Head north towards Northampton on the A45. Continue until you reach the junction where you need the A45 West (Mere Way).
Keep heading west, turning right (4th exit) at the next large roundabout. You will soon pass a playing field on your right. Here you need to look for a left down Rothersthorpe road. Follow this road, going straight over a small roundabout, and you will soon come to another roundabout, at which you need the third exit down Ringway. Follow this road to the end and park. On the opposite side from the houses, you should notice a footpath which crosses the old railway line which has recently been lifted (2005?) With only a few steps, you will soon be at the canal. Follow the canal to the right for one of the shots which can be had here, or follow the path over the bridge to your right, and this will take you to the other shots.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Northampton, Briar Hill map co-ordinates
There is plenty of room to park at the bottom of Ringway, but do remember to lock up, and use crook locks etc if you use them.
Nothing in the immediate area, but Briar Hill estate does have some local shops, including a fish and chips shop. However, I prefer to go elsewhere.
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Northampton, Briar Hill
Northampton, Briar Hill general view map
Northampton, Briar Hill close up map
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Northampton, Briar Hill
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Update Fed 2017:
Now the forested area in view from the satellite picture, where most access would be available, is now regarded as private land, with a sign from NCC. The canal view and that from the footpath are still available.
Very limited these days due to excessive growth of the line side shrubbery. However, a few shots can still be had here. The best shots are of southbound trains which can be photographed from the eastern side of the line in the mornings, and these can be had until early lunchtime. This shot can be had from the canal side, and a similar shot from between the canal and the river.
General views - All photographs © Jason Rodhouse unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north
Fig 2 - Looking north
Fig 3 - Looking north east
Fig 4 - Looking north east
Fig 5 - Looking west
Fig 6 - Looking west
Fig 7 - Looking east
From the footbridge crossing the river.
Fig 8 - Looking east
From the canal
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