Company Info

e.ntm\vbuttonCompany Info

 

All views and opinions expressed on this page attach solely to the webmaster and are not to be taken as representative of the Rother Valley Railway Supporters Association.

Webmaster at Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway October 2005

My Name is Gemma Barclay and I have been involved in the Rother Valley Railway project now for two years.  Apart from my interest in rail, I am a long distance walker and cyclist.  The 'great' railway culls, particularly from Beeching / Barbara Castle onwards (although the 50's also saw closures, such as of course the K&ESR to passengers and the Bluebell + M&GNJR, decimating Norfolk) have culminated in a major public transportation crisis with a car culture that is choking this country to death.  Even though the destruction mainly happened before I was born, the damage is evident every time I wish to travel.  Most places that I wish to go could have once been reached by train, avoiding any use of the car.  Many times now, what should be a straightforward walk has been severely compromised by transportation limitations and buses are no replacement whatsoever (try taking a bicycle on one!) 

It is true that most of my travel is for leisure purposes, but the same concerns affect those travelling for work and business.  The bright shiny future of the car has gone badly wrong and has literally left scars everywhere, composed of old trackbeds, abandoned stations and isolated communities.

I find working on this restoration project extremely valuable.  Physically I have never been fitter, and as a rather shy person it has been wonderful to work as a team with the other volunteers and feel part of something selfless and ultruistic, ultimately giving a beneficial and vital rail link back to the Rother Valley.  I just hope that the few remaining detractors eventually see the overwhelming benefits of this endeavour and can work with us and help undo a small part of the damage inflicted on our transport infrastructure.

Unfortunately, central government has still not started funding essential projects such as Uckfield Lewes reinstatement or even Willingdon Chord, so around the country, heritage rail volunteers and paid staff are the only people at present trying to reverse the damage!

The Railway will drastically boost the fortunes of The Kent & East Sussex Railway, with a mainline connection enabling passengers to travel all the way to Tenterden and all places in between, with many beautiful walking and cycling opportunities all along the route.  Local businesses will see a positive impact on revenue and some relief will come to the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) from no necessity to traverse the valley by car to link at Bodiam with the KESR.  Bodiam castle will see a greater proportion of visitors arriving by train.  Robertsbridge will likely become a far more attractive tourist destination than it is at present.

I will be posting visits to trackbeds and other heritage lines here


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