Here's a few pics of our trip along the Birmingham Main Line. They're abit out of sync, as these ones of Coseley Tunnel were taken on our trip into Birmingham, hence the direction of the boat. There's been a significant landslip on both sides of the tunnel, which will require quite a bit of clearing up. I notice that there's a stoppage from the 18th February until the 31st March - another reason for leaving Birmingham and getting onto the Shroppie, where it's stoppage free. I say stoppage free - for now - but with the amount of rain we've had, I wouldn't be surprised if there's another major landslip at Woodseaves.
Towpath blocked at the entrance to Coseley Tunnel
landslips on both sides now.
One of the many toll islands where a fee was collected from passing boats carrying cargo
Here we've got all modes of transport on view:- the railway on the left of the picture runs parallel to the BNC main line , we pass under Stewart Aqueduct, which carries the old main line canal, with the M5 on top of that.
View of the M5 piers, like huge concrete triffids emerging from the water
Spon Lane junction which takes you up onto the old main line (or Wolverhampton Level)
one of the many now disused arms leading off the main line
... and another one
Junction off to the right onto the Walsall Canal (which we must do sometime)
Ah yes, the misleading sign posts along the way. Near Bamford Stop, it's apparently 8 miles into Birmingham, when it is actually 5 miles.
Then a mile further on, it says 5 miles. A mile later it's back up to 6 miles.
Workers refurbishing the bridge at Albion Junction, leading to Brades locks.
The corner shop that is no more, at Lock 16 on the Wolverhampton flight. It was very handy for a quick snack stop up or down the flight, whose home made samosas were particularly tasty.
Stone says it was laid 1862
The lovely row of cottages at Wolverhampton top lock
We heard about the imminent stoppage at Hampton Bank/Bettisfield. Apparently, a breach has been averted, but the canal will be closed while emergency piling work is carried out. We toyed with the idea of sprinting back up the Llangollen to be the other side of the planned stoppage on 17th Feb. This would mean being back on our mooring 4-6 weeks earlier than planned, and having a such a short distance in which to cruise. We decided to 'stuff it' and carry on cruising. This means we won't be able to get back up the Llangollen till after the 4th April.