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Phase 1

At the extreme end of the Sharpness branch is a set of four freight exchange sidings. Abandoned by British Rail in the late 1990s, these sidings became overgrown and forgotten, with trees taking hold. These are the Oldminster Sidings, which we are now working on to become the operational base for the Vale of Berkeley Railway. In 2017 we were granted a license for the site from Network Rail and since then volunteers have spent many thousands of hours clearing it of trees and vegetation.  


Phase 1a - Site Establishment

The first step towards the full-time occupation of Oldminster Sidings and vacating the Engine Shed is to secure the site, establish vehicle access and provide welfare facilities which are compliant with Health and Safety law.

This involves

  • Creating a temporary unloading facility off Bridge Road to allow the safe delivery of materials and plant required during Phase 1 of the project.

  • Fencing the site's North and East boundaries to provide a secure compound for both the construction works and subsequent occupation of the site.

  • Providing suitable welfare facilities that can be used during the construction phases of the project, to satisfy Health and Safety's requirements.

  • Investigating the availability and cost of installing services, electricity, water and mains drainage to the site, and determining the best value affordable solution for the short and long term.

  • Design, agree with the Canal and River Trust and then construct safe permanent access to the site, which will suitable for HGVs delivering our rolling stock.

Phase 1b - Shed and unloading facility

The key tasks in this phase are:


  • Design a shed which meets both our short term and longer term requirements .

  • Submit a planning application to Stroud District Council.  This will require details of how we will use the site in the future, together with our longer term plans for operating beyond the Oldminster Sidings site.

  • Design a safe road/rail loading/unloading facility.

  • Construct the shed and the unloading facility.

New Oldminster Shed design
rail remediation.jpg

Phase 1c - Rail remediation

The main tasks in this phase are:

  • Determine which tracks need to be repaired or replaced.

  • Design any permanent way (PW) alterations that may be needed to accommodate the shed, the unloading facility and our future operational requirements.

  • Lift track, replace sleepers and modify the track bed and rail layout as required by the final PW design.

Phase 1d - Relocation

The main tasks in this phase are:


  • Plan the removal of all materials, equipment and rolling stock that are currently in the Engine Shed.

  • Disconnect all machines, package them and all other equipment ready for transport.

  • Move all materials in a safe and efficient manner from the Engine Shed to Oldminster Sidings and unload them.

  • Reconnect and commission all machines.

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