Cyclists celebrate the last train

Written by Pete Davison on .

The 50th anniversary of the last train to travel between Swindon and Marlborough will be marked on Saturday, September 10 by cyclists.

The former railway line between Coate and Marlborough is now a cycle path, and is well used by particularly horse riders, runners, walkers and cyclists.

It passes through Chiseldon and down the Og Valley to Marlborough, giving access to a variety of circular routes and providing a gateway to the North Wessex and Marlborough Downs.
The route is managed by Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, which relies on grants, donations and volunteers to maintain it.

The Friends of the Railway Path wants to help Sustrans promote, develop and maintain the railway path to encourage a wide variety of users and make it an interesting place to visit.

They plan to do this by encouraging and coordinating volunteer maintenance along the path, securing funding for maintenance and development, and producing material describing the routes accessible from the path, and its history and environment.
Three special events are being held to mark the launch.
On Saturday, September 10, enthusiasts will cycle along the path from Coate to Marlborough and back – a distance of about 22 miles – marking the 50th anniversary of the last passenger train to use the railway line.  Cyclists will meet at 10am in the car park at Coate Water, and expect to be back by 4pm.

On Saturday, September 17, members are holding a workday to cut back ivy and small trees and tidy the path. Volunteers should meet at the Barnfield Lane access to the path in Marlborough (grid reference SU 202 691) at 10.30am.

And on Saturday, October 22, the group will hold an exhibition celebrating the history of the path and looking to its future, in Marlborough Town Hall from 9.30 am to 2.00 pm.