Kennet and Avon Canal
MILE 35 Grafton, Wiltshire : KAC35.00=KAC36.00

KandAC mile 35
KandAC mile 35 - OS 1inch map, early 19th century
... the canal found this route long since; the upstart railway followed along ...
The Kennet and Avon Canal from mile 35 to 36 rises through the Crofton Flight of locks to its summit level. The Great Western Railway line to the south west is on the north side of the canal; and it and the canal are crossed by the disused route of the Midland and South Western Junction Railway. The towpath is on the south side.
Canal eastwards from Freewarren Bridge; notice the five bar gate.
Freewarren Bridge, Grafton
A high speed train passing lock 58.
Sam Farmer's Lock, Grafton
At about 35m 10ch you can see the piers of a railway bridge. The bridge carried the Grafton Curve from the Berks and Hants Extension Railway, Grafton East Junction, north of the canal, to the Midland and South Western Junction Railway, MSWJR, Grafton South Junction, south of the canal. The curve was built 1905, and was made for operational reasons, not used for regular through running. The Berks and Hants line was part of the Great Western Railway system.
Grafton Curve railway bridge.
Present day railway bridge, plate girder bridge, on the Great Western Railway by the canal.
KandAC lock 57
KandAC lock 56
A high speed train passing by lock 56.
Wolfhall Fields Bridge, Grafton
Excess water from the Crofton Feeder overflows into the canal pound below Crofton Top Lock. As the summit pound was low I think this overflow was not meant to be, something had got clogged in the sluice above.
Crofton Top Lock, Grafton
The Crofton Feeder, a lade from Crofton Pumping Station feeding the summit pound, enters just above the lock.
Crofton Feeder comes from the pumping station on the north side of the railway, turns towards the canal, and ...
... crosses under the railway to approach the canal, with an overflow weir at the side, ...
... then flows out into the canal above Crofton Top Lock, into the summit pound.
KandAC winding point 35.47
The remains of two earlier railway bridges, in one, are just westward (actually north) of the winding point at 35 miles 47 chains. Remember that alongside the railway there was already the Berks and Hants Extension Railway alongside the canal on the north side, running along Pewsey Vale, with a branch to Marlborough taken off at Savernake.
The more westerly part of this bridge carried the Swindon Marlborough and Andover Railway, SMAR, from the BandHR, Wolfhall Junction, north of the canal to run south across the canal on its way to Andover. The Swindon line of the original SMAR linked to the BandH Marlborough branch just south of Marlborough, ran on its competitors rails to Savernake Junction, along their main line until leaving at Wolfhall Junction. The SMAR opened about 1883.
The lack of cooperation between railways (just like today?) prompted the building of a 'cut off' from Marlborough via a new Savernake Station to cross the canal at a slightly higher level which used the more easterly part of this bridge, down to Grafton South Junction on the existing line. With the addition of this line, the Marlborough and Grafton Railway, open 1898, the SMAR was renamed the Midland and South Western Junction Railway, MSWJR. All very complicated.
The remains of the MSWJR railway bridge, from the eastward side.
Savernake Forest is visible to the north.
Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos, mum and ducklings.
Wolfhall Bridge, Grafton
Inquisitive friesian cow in the field by the towpath.
Bartholomew, David: 1982: Midland and South Western Junction Railway (vol.1): Wild Swan Publications:: ISBN 0 906867 08 8

Kennet and Avon Scrapbook 2000