Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.


Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.


Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!


Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.


Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.


Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.


Steam emerging from Box Tunnel after GWR King 6024 'King Edward I' has passed with a 'down' special

12th May 2024 - in the gallery below, we see GWR Castle no. 7029 Clun Castle at Chippenham Station on the return leg* of a Birmingham - Plymouth special (* however, this leg 'returned' to Paddington). Following the special, a type 47 diesel-electric may be seen running light engine also on the up line. Interestingly (but perhaps not), a twat came along and stood in the sight line of the waiting photographer BUT a personable young lad saw the waiting photographer, stopped and we had a conversation about bloody inconsiderate twats (my words, not his). The young lad may be see waving at the diesel.

Matt Anderson of Box photographed this Laira to Reading working on 28th February 2024 (below) with the Night Riviera sleeper stock, which does not often run in daylight and not usually via Box.

28th November, 1st, 4th & 5th December 2023 gallery - where we find Bulleid Pacific no. 34046 Braunton with a Steam Dreams Bath Christmas Market special on 28th November and again on 1st December, then a Blue Pullman (HST masquerading as the Midland Pullman) with a Bath Christmas Market special from Newcastle upon Tyne passing through Chippenham on 4th December. Then on 5th December, we see Black 5 4-6-0 no. 45231 The Sherwood Forester powering up the Limpley Stoke Valley and again at Glasses Crossing, Bathampton with the Great Western Christmas Envoy special (from Solihull). Also on 5th December we find Castle class 4-6-0 no.5043 Earl of Mount Edgecumbe at Bathampton Junction with the Merchant Venturer (again from Solihull).  I suppose we should call this gallery The Bath Christmas Market 2023 Steam (and Pullman) Specials Gallery.


Below the gallery you will find two videos: the first shows Black 5 4-6-0 no. 45231 The Sherwood Forester departing Bath Spa for Gerrards Cross and Solihull with the return Great Western Christmas Envoy Special. In the second video we see (! - hear more like) Earl of Mount Edgecumbe at Hampton Row with the return Merchant Venturer.

I had intended to watch Flying Scotsman somewhere on its route through Wiltshire (or even Gloucestershire) on 7th June 2023 with the Cardiff Express. Little Somerford, Brinkworth and Hullavington were explored on the 6th to see if there were any good vantage points but all fell short so I settled on Swindon. But in the end, life got in the way (hospital appointment, sunny afternoon, beer) so I had to settle for my son's short video of the express rushing through Swindon (it was actually scheduled to stop but clearly it didn't). Click on the video file below then select 'Open'.

MP4 video/audio file [2.8 MB]

27th June 2021, Royal Scot can be seen (well, the train can) departing Bradford-on-Avon below

Rebuilt West Country Pacific 34046 Braunton emerges from the Limpley Stoke Valley and approaches Bathampton Junction on the return leg of a Saphos Trains 'Classic Steam' special to the English Riviera on 3rd July 2019

3rd May 2018 and Stanier 'Black 5' 45212 approaches Bathampton Junction with the Cathedrals Express; the Limpley Stoke Valley forms the backdrop.

Stanier 'Black 5' 45212 approaches Bathampton Junction in the Limpley Stoke Valley with the Cathedrals Express on 3rd May 2018

30th November 2017 and a Bath Christmas Market special from Poole passes under the bridges and tunnels to the east of Bradford on Avon station with Stanier Black 5 45212 in charge.

Stanier Black 5 45212 approaches Bradford on Avon station with a Bath Christmas Market special on 30th November 2017

6th September 2017 - railway roundabout in north-west Wiltshire. Peppercorn A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado, with the down Belmond British Pullman at Bradford-on-Avon; an up Freightliner (American company Genesee & Wyoming) goods at Chippenham; a down trial run of one of the new Hitachi dual-mode trains, also at Chippenham and finally the up British Pullman behind Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35028 Clan Line, again at Chippenham.

26th April 2017 - LMS Royal Scot class 4-6-0 no. 46100 Royal Scot at Bath Spa with the return leg of the Horsham-Bristol Cathedrals Express

7th September 2016 - Peppercorn A1 4-6-2 Pacific 60163 Tornado passes Bathampton crossing with the down Belmond Pullman. Six nerds were in attendance at the crossing (five on this side, one on the other), principal among whom were two guys who take great pleasure in watching points move.


This locomotive (indeed all steam engines) is a work of art ... but wait a second ... there's trouble at t'mill, the cabside appears to have dropped, certainly the painted lines outlining the cabside and the tender don't line up and neither do the cabside number and 'BRITISH RAILWAYS' on the tender. I told you I was a nerd.

A1 4-6-2 Pacific 60163 Tornado with support coach and A1 Trust headboard between Box Tunnel and Potley bridge on 5th Sept 2016
Stanier LMS 4-6-0 Jubilee 45699 Galatea emerges from Box Tunnel with a support coach on 13th August 2016. Picture by Don Smith.
LMS Princess Class 4-6-2 Pacific 6201 Princess Elizabeth enters Frome station with the down Cathedrals Express on 23rd August 2016
LMS Coronation Class 4-6-2 Pacific 46233 Duchess of Sutherland runs through Chippenham Station on 6th August 2016 bound for Bristol
The 'up' Belmond British Pullman on the Brunel Viaduct west of Bath Spa behind Peppercorn A1 Pacific 60163 'Tornado' on 11th May 2016
The 'up' Belmond British Pullman in Sydney Gardens, Bath on 23rd September 2015 hauled by Peppercorn A1 Pacific 60163 'Tornado'
The 'up' Cathedrals Expres in Sydney Gardens, Bath on 22nd September 2015 hauled by Thompson B1 4-6-0 no. 61306 'Mayflower'
Bulleid Battle of Britain Pacific 34067 'Tangmere' enters Bath Spa across the Brunel viaduct with a return special to Poole on 20 June 2015
Thompson B1 4-6-0 61306 'Mayflower' departs Bath Spa with the down Cathedrals Express on 4th June 2015
Merchant Navy Pacific 35028 'Clan Line' in Sydney Gardens after leaving Bath Spa with the 'up' British Pullman on 13th May 2015
Cooorrr - the power of steam - 34067 Tangmere in Sydney Gardens, Bath on 7th March 2015
34067 Tangmere in Sydney Gardens with a Bath Christmas Market special on 6th December 2014 (Jake Jacobs of Box on the footplate)
'Jake' Jacobs of Chapel Plaister - footplate crew of 'Black 5' 44932 at Bristol Temple Meads - 25th November 2010
70013 'Oliver Cromwell' about to enter Alderton tunnel with a down special
Lesley, the Hawthorn postmistress, and 34067 'Tangmere' at Newbury
LNER Peppercorn A1 Pacific 60163 'Tornado' at Ladbrook Lane, Corsham on 29th May 2010
Faresaver steam bus in Leafy Lane
In Wadswick Lane looking south towards Salisbury Plain at the turn of the century

Steam engine Yorky powering the swinging cradles at Carter's Steam Fair, Victoria Park, Bath - 4 August 2013.

Not steam I appreciate but this was also at the Steam Fair and I haven't seen one for years:


Thingley Junction in the 90s


In the 90s, Thingley was being used by a steam preservation society or enthusiast as temporary storage for steam paraphernalia. I believe that 4953 Pitchford Hall (frame seen in the photographs) was bought by a Dr John Kennedy in 1984 so maybe all this stuff was his. If my memory serves me correctly (but probably not!) I did hear a rumour many years ago that the Avon Valley Railway (Bitton) was involved. Click on image to enlarge and view caption.

Archive steam shots from the early 60s using a hopeless camera (a bad workman always blames his tools). I used to belong to the Bristol Locomotive Society and went all over England, but mainly 'up north' and the (east) Midlands, on Sundays, searching for steam. The pictures get progressively worse but it was grim and grimy at the end of the Industrial Revolution. The 'WD' at Hullavington, for example, just looks like a grey blur but the top of the signalbox and the larches are in focus! More to come (you'll be pleased to know!) .....

We used to cycle to Hullavington from Chippenham to see the more exotic engines (Britannias, WDs) to be found on the South Wales line. The named trains (Capitals United, Red Dragon, South Wales Pullman etc) caused some excitement as they would often be pulled by Kings and were occasionally double-headed which was something rarely seen on the Bristol line. Hullavington was a lovely country station, surrounded by larches, with a signalbox, sidings and coal yard.


On one occasion, I was standing on the down platform when the signalman came tearing out of his signalbox to tell me to get off the platform. Apparently my bright red shirt could have been taken by a driver to be a red flag indicating that trains must stop. I spent the rest of the day either on the footbridge or in the waiting room. Lucky in a way as I 'acquired' a collection of luggage labels I found there - see some examples below.

More recent shots. More to come ...

A video of Bittern twixt Box and Middlehill tunnels on 3rd September 2014 follows ...

And a video of Battle of Britain 34067 Tangmere drifting through Sydney Gardens on 6th December 2014

... and a video of Black 5s 44871 and 45407 arriving at Bath Spa on 16th December 2014

... and a video of 34067 Tangmere at Sydney Gardens, Bath on 7th March 2015

... and a video of 35028 Clan Line in Sydney Gardens, Bath on 13th May 2015

... and a video of 61306 Mayflower departing Bath Spa with the down Cathedrals Express on 4th June 2015

... and a video of Nunney Castle at Chippenham Station

Reg and Colin's great railway adventure in the tracks of the Titfield Thunderbolt - June 2013

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© Paul Turner