An alternate history of the railway of the Mellis Valley



Fordbury Dene Railway

Coombe Bissett



Victoria Colliery

Nettlebridge Valley Railway





The Mellis Valley known as the Nettlebridge Vale at its western end, Wadbury Vale in its centre, and
Vellis Vale at its eastern end has a long industrial and transport history.

Coal mining in the Mellis Valley started in Roman times and continued until the closure of Mendip Colliery in 1969. Limestone continues to be quarried in the Vale. Mining and quarrying lead to two serious efforts to improve transport in 1796 the Dorset and Somerset canal was authorised but incomplete it went bankrupt in 1802 and the Nettlebridge Valley Railway was authorised in 1874 but abandoned in 1878. Industry had to make do with inadequate industrial tramways linking to the Somerset & Dorset [S&D] and Great Western [GWR] Railways.

I have changed history with the canal being bought to completion and an expansionist London South Western Railway [LSWR] driving a branch east from the S&D [jointly owned by the London South Western & Midland Railways] at Binegar. In 1923 the London South Western Railway is merged into the Southern Railway and Midland Railway is merged into the London Midland & Scottish Railway. In 1948 the line becomes part of British Railways.

An offshoot of the Pines Express runs via the Mellis Vale with Southern, Great Western and London Midland & Scottish Railways through coaches providing a connection between Southampton and Liverpool & Manchester - the offshoot existed but in the 'real world' ran via Midland and South Western Junction line. Other trains are local with coal and limestone as staple traffic.

The layouts are set between the mid 30s and mid 50s.