Locations: that is individual towns, terminii of branch lines, etc

Banbury branch (LNWR)
The Oxford & Bletchley Railway and the Buckingham & Brackley Junction Railway were promoted by the local landowners Lord Verney and the Marquess of Chndos. The two proposed lines were amalgamated as the Buckinghamshire Railway and were built by the LNWR partly as a measure intended to limit the extent of the GWR broad gauge. The railway reached Banbury on 1 May 1850. The Northampton & Banbury Junction Railway reached a junction with the Banbury line at Cockley Wood on 11 June 1872. Freight services finally ended in 1966 and the track was lifted in 1967. map, diagrs (plans) of stations, facsimile of 1909 timetable. . Bill Simpson. (Branch Line Notebook). Backtrack 1 106-13.

Detailed history of a wayside station and its immediate environs, notably Bawtry viaduct. Located between Retford and Doncaster, the station was opended on 4 September 1849. The buildings were designed by H. Goddard of Lincoln and constructed by Peto & Betts. The station served a convalescent home during WW1. It enjoyed fairly regular visits by the Royal family in the Royal TRainj, mainly for race meetings at Doncaster, when they stayed with Lord Scarborough at Sandbeck Hall (often en route to Balmoral). See Backtrack: Scrooby and Bawtry. Jack Smith.7- 313-21.


Snow Hill

Snow Hill Station, Birmingham (Railway Reflections No. 50). Michael Rutherford. Backtrack, 13, 89-97.

Brill branch
Illus of stations and trains: latter in London Transport period.: LT No 23 leaving Quainton Road; Waddesdon Road station; Manning Wardle tank 'Brill no 1' at Brill; Westcott station; Wotton station; Aveling & Porter engine from the tramway now restored; Rigid 8-wheeled coach used on the last train; The last daylight train; Wooton Tramway paperwork; Brill branch. John Healy. (Photofile)Backtrack .136-8.

Traffic, mainly that from Burwarton, on the Cleobury Mortimer & Ditton Priors Railway/line. Conveyance of road stone from Titterston Clee and Brown Clee Hills in Shropshire, some of which arrived by aerial ropeway. Admiralty traffic during Worl War II, and eventual ownership of line by Admiralty. Map, diagrams. Burwarton revisited. William H. Smith. Backtrack, 5128-32.

Chipping Norton .
Line from Banbury to Kingham originated as branch line to Chipping Norton  promoted by William Bliss, owner of a tweed mill, with assistance from Sir Moreton Peto from junction with OW&WR at Kingham. Opened 10 August 1855. Plans had been by John Fowler. Local company acquired by OW&WR in 1859. There were several proposals for extension to Banbury, but the successful one was surveyed by Edward Wilson. Construction started in 1872, but the line was not opened until 6 April 1887. Notes on train services including Newcastle to Cardiff express, extraction and carrying of ironstone, opening of stations and halts, accidents during construction, retrenchment and closure. The Banbury - Kingham branch. Bill Simpson. [Branch Line Notebooks].Backtrack 2-11

Darlington: North Road Locomotive Works. 125-9.
Locomotives built during LNER and British Railways periods. illus. (b&w): W1 no 10000, the 'Hush-hush'; new D49 292 The Southwold; first Gresley class built at Darlington; pioneer Darlington-built B17 2810 Honingham Hall; first V2 no 4776 under construction; V2 4831 in the yard having its boiler filled for the first time; Darlington built locomotives: A8 4-6-2 T No 2162; Peppercorn Pacific 60130; pioneer B1 8301 Springbok; first Darlington 8F 2-8-0; 4MT 2-6-0 43070; Darlington's first Diesel shunter 12103; The last to be built at Darlington was 2-6-2; Darlington erecting shop with A4 60024, 8F 48272 and J27 65788. Ken Hoole. North Road Locomotive Works, Darlington. BT 1-125 and Personal memories of relatives at Works in post-WW2 period (Pattison).

Delph branch. Michael & Peter Fox. 81-8.
A branch to Delph was included in Huddersfield & Manchester Railway and Canal Company authorises in 1845, but the branch was not built until James Lees of Delph pressed LNWR for its construction. It was opened in September 1851. There is no documentary evidence to support horse traction which has been assumed was the source of the "Delph Donkey". On 4 July 1856 the Greenfield to Oldham line was opened and Oldham was the normal starting point for Delph trains. There were train cuts in the 1880s, but these were reinstated following pressure from customers. The Temperance Union ran trips to Delph: 800 school children were taken there from Oldham in July 1898. Stone and shale was conveyed from Ladcastle Quarries. Mixed trains were run. Traffic increased during the construction of Castleshaw Reservoirs whichwere served by a railway from Delph station. Steam railmotor 5507 was tried in July 1910. In 1912 halts were opened at Moorgate (on the mainline, but only served by branch trains) and at Dobcross. The train service was expanded to serve these halts. Measurements Halt opened on 18 May 1932 to serve a factory making meters. The authors note that following start of WW2 "excursion traffic never to return" this is not quite true as Oldham Boy Scouts used to arrive at Moorgate and required an extra pair of coaches to accommodate during the 1949-1954 period. Passenger services ceased on 30 April 1955 and freight (coal) on 4 November 1963. During the period 1949 to 1954 passenger traffic was virtually zero other than for the two trains which served Measurements. Includes map & plans: b&w illus. by J. Davenport of 41280; 84010; 40047; 40057 (both in 1952) and 40060 still lettered LMS including one of driver picking up tablet from signalman Bill Hobson at Delph J, also coal tank 3287 at Greenfield in 1915. illus.: A view of the Delph branch at the turn of the century; Delph station as shown on the rating map; A Peckett 0-6-0 ST at the Castleshaw reservoir site in the late 1880s; An excursion handbill 1897; A map of the Delph branch; LNW 0-6-2 'Coal' tank 3287 on a push-pull working at Greenfield; The steam rail-motor as used on the branch seen at Lees depot Oldham; Fowler 2-6-2T 40060 and train at Moorgate Halt; The driver of Fowler 2-6-2T 40060 takes the branch tablet c1950; Fowler 2-6-2T pushing the Oldham train off the branch; 40059 at the buffer stops at Delph; Ticket samples of the Delph branch; 40047 on the main line just north of Greenfield about to call at Moorgate; 84010 pushes a train near Dobcross; Dobcross Halt; Ivatt 2-6-2T 41280 leaving the Stalybridge-Huddersfield line; NB anyone requiring information about this branch should contact Kevin Jones as he was a regular watcher of this service and sometimes pulled off the levers when Bill Hobson was on duty at Delph Junction! The questionned Sunday services did run. Further information (3-142)

Junction for branch to Oxford opened on 12 June 1844. Cites Ernest Simmons Memories of a Stationmaster (1879). In 1850 the line from Oxfod was extended to Banbury and it reached Birmingham in 1852 when mixed gauge operation began. Train service development is described. The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton reached Newbury in 1882 and Winchester in 1889. During WW2 this line gathered strategic importance and much was doubled and rebuilt for heavier lcomotives. The station was rebuilt in 1883 and the Western loop was opened in 1886. A provender store was opened in 1884 to provide for GWR railway horses. There was a serious fire at the station on 11 March 1886. Duiring WW1 an ordnance depot was opened - this closed in the 1960s. A new engine shed was opened in 1932. The Great Western at Didcot. L.A. Summers. Backtrack 9, 145-51.

The Easingwold Railway. Stanley C. Jenkins and Chris Turner, BRJ 67, 53-82.
Easingwold Railway Bill passed on 23 August 1887 and opened on 27 July 1891. It remained independent in 1923, closed to passeneger traffic on 29 November 1948 and to freight on 27 December 1957. Copious illustrations, including Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST Easingwold and No. 2 (also Hudswell Clarke) and of the many NER/LNER light 0-6-0Ts which were hired to work traffic.

Faringdon branch.
Opened 1 June 1864 by Faringdon Railway Company from Uffington J with GWR. Originally broad gauge. Robert Tertius Campbell, a local squire was a leading figure. Contactor was a Mr Lewis of Carmarthen; Malachi Bartlett of Witney built the stations; Captain Rich inspected. Line taken over by GWR in 1886. B&w illus. include 4651 on mixed train. Maps, timetables. Some notes on the Faringdon branch. Stanley C. Jenkins. Backtrack 5 225-31.

Great Yarmouth see Yarmouth

Helston branch.
The Helston & Penrhyn Junction Railway (14 July 1864) lapsed into oblivion with the failure of Overend & Gurney. The Helston Railway Bill received the Royal Assent on 9 July 1880 for a line from Gwinear Road. On 5 February the GWR agreed to work the line which opened on 6 May 1887: it was absorbed by the GWR in 1898. Plans had been to extend to The Lizard, but these came to nought and bus services were developed instead. Freight and passenger services are described. The development of a Royal Naval Air Station during WW2 brought extra business, and for a time the line was patrolled by an armoured train headed by an F4 ex-GER 2-4-2T. Passenger services ceased on 3 Novemebr 1962 and freight in 1964. maps & plans: b&w The Helston branch. Stanley C. Jenkins. Backtrack 3, 206-12.

The Killin Railway Company, independent until the Grouping, was financed largely by the Marquis of Breadalbane & Holland and was constructed to connect the steamer service on Loch Tay with the Callander & Oban Railway. The main engineering feature was Dochart viaduct which was built of concrete. The line was built with a Board of Trade Certificate and was eventually inspected by Major Marindin. The line opened on 13 March 1886. The contractors, who hopelessly underestimated the cost were A. & K. MacDonald of Skye. Special Drummond 0-4-2ST locomotives (262 and 263) were sent to work the line but were not suitable. The line closed on 27 September 1965. Letter from John Macnab concerning landowner and line (Vol. 15 page 58). Killin village railway. Michael S. Elton. Backtrack, 14, 624-32.

Junction for branches to Chipping Norton and Bourton-on-the-Water. There were gradual changes in motive power: from Stars to Castles, and from Metro tanks to the 48XX class. The list of daily routines, such as the opening up of the station, the handling of milk churns, etc is described. A table shows the train formations, motive power, etc of trains passing/stopping/departing at Kingham in September 1936. Includes notes on cattle traffic, handling racing pigeons, agricultural machinery from Lainchbury & Son, sugar beet (for Kidderminster) and coal merchants. See Kingham in the 1930s. Chris Turner. GWRJ, 2001, 34, 62-87.

Lancaster (Green Ayre)
In 1846 two Acts of Parliament were granted: the Morecambe Harbour & Railway Company for a harbour at Poulton which reached St George's Quay Lancaster on 12 June 1848, and the North Western Railway from Skipton to Low Gill with a branch to Lancaster. In October 1846 the North Western took over the Morecambe line, but the two were not conected until June 1850, by which time a connecting line had been built to the Lancaster & Carlisle Station. The Midland acquired the North Western in January 1871 and rebuilt Lancaster Green Ayre (sometimes known as Area). The line linking Morecambe with Lancaster was electrified at 6600 volts 25 cycle AC in 1906 and was later used by British Railways for trials at high voltage. All was closed in 1966 and much of the station site is a supermarket. V.R. Anderson and G.K. Fox. Backtrack 1-130. and See also letter by Crane p. 188.

On  June 1838 the Great Western Railway reached the Thames and erected a station named "Maidenhead" on the eastern bank to the west of the prsent Taplow station. The Wycombe Railway opened in August 1854 and a station more convenient for Maidenhead's town centre was opened on the branch at Castle Hill, but Bradshaw termed this Boyn Hill. In 1861 mixed gauge reached Reading and in 1871/2 a new station was built near to the junction for the Wycombe branch on the southern outskirts of the town and this took the name Maidenhead. Boyn Hill closed and the old Maidenhead station became Taplow which was eventually moved further east. The Wycombe line became standard gauge in 1870. Quadrupling led to another new station in 1891. The train services for the summers of 1914 and 1934 are analysed. Some down expresses stopped at Maidenhead. Freight activity is described. See GWRJ, 2001, (36) p. 183,.

Market Bosworth Station
Photographic feature of station in 1906 Market Bosworth Station. Martin Bloxsom (notes). Backtrack, 13, 318

Meltham branch.
Constructed under an L&YR Act of 7 June 1861. The first sod was cut on 4 April 1864. Opening was hindered by a rock fall in Netherton Tunnel on 19 August 1865 and by landslips at several places, notably in 1868 when opening was further delayed: large retaining walls had to be constructed. Col. Yolland inspected the line in May/June 1869 and it was opened on 5 July 1869. A key customer of the line was Meltham Mills (cotton) which had been taken over by Coates before its closure in 1934, but David Brown took the mills over and started gearbox production which was vital for aircraft production during WW2. Passenger services were withdrawn on 21 May 1949, but freight remained heavy to David Brown's and to the Meltham Silica Brick Co. Despite protests from David Brown the line closed on 5 April 1965. Meltham branch. Alan Earnshaw. [Branch Line Notebook].Backtrack 159-64. New LMS Journal (1, 42) has a concise feature on this branch

The Newcastle Emlyn Branch. Stanley C. Jenkins and Chris Turner . 242-82.
Great North & South Wales & Worcester Railway had been schemed during railway mania. The South Wales Railway had been formed in 1844 (see Backtrack 15 page 78 for feature by Awdry) and had reached Carmarthen on 11 October 1852. The Carmarthen & Cardigan Railway was incorporated in 1854 and reached Conwil on 3 September 1860; Llanpumpsaint on 28 March 1864, and Llandyssil on 3 June 1864. From thence to Cardigan had to be abandoned due to lack of finance. The Manchester & Milford Haven Railway had been formed  on 23 July 1860 with the aim of constructing a line from Pencader (having obtained running powers over the Carmarthen & Cardigan Railway) to Llanidloes on the Central Wales Railway. A line opened from Pencader to Strata Florida in 1866 and this was extended to Aberystwyth in 1867. Work had statrted at the Llanidloes end but was abandoned. In 1873 a line opened from Whitland to Glogue and this was extended to Cardigan on 1 September 1886. The GWR took over the Carmarthen & Cardigan from 1 July 1881 and extended the original line to Newcastle Emlyn reached on 1 July 1895. There was a short tunnel near Henllan. The line was worked mainly as a branch from Pencader. The traffic from each station (Newcastle Emyln, Henllan and Llandyssul) is described, both passenger and freight. Passenger services ended on 16 September 1952 and the line closed to all traffic at the end of September 1973. A short "preserved" railway on 2 ft gauge operates near Henllan. Many of the illustrations were taken during the period after the end of passenger traffic.  Illustrations include 5819 on shed at Newcastle Emlyn (W.A. Camwell); petrol traffic at Henllan, Pentrecourt Halt on 13 September 1952, and 1472 with former slip coach W7999 (still in GWR livery) at Newcastle Emlyn on 30 July 1951 (R.C. Riley). Ordnance Survey 25 inch plan (1906) of Newcastle Emlyn. Great Western Railway Journal, (37).

History back to Great North of England days. Station was opened in 1841. Station was designed by Benjamin Green. The Leeds Northern Railway opened a separate station in 1848. Includes notes on the Hawes branch.Northallerton. Chris Davies. Backtrack 5 196-203.

Portreath branch.
The branch was opened in 1838 by the Hayle Railway Company and ceased to operate in 1931/2. The line featured a steep engine-worked incline down to the Harbour where there are still extensive remains. Although the harbour's history is covered at length the only mention of the Poldice Tramway (opened in 1809?) is as part of the account of the harbour: substantial remains of this tramway are still evident, including its stone blocks. Centre pages show harbour in 1935. Several reproductions from Ordnance Survey plans of 1906. Illus. include the incline, the harbour in 1850 and 1860; 0-6-0ST 1714 probably on Roskear branch; 1799 at Carn Brea; shed at Carn Brea; Illogan Highway in 1904 with electric tramcar; engine house in 1934.
The Portreath branch. Roger S. Carpenter. British Railway Journal, 1990 (33), 135-7.

Coals to Portreath. Clive Carter. Archive, Issue #1, 55-64.

Brief history plus personal recollections of early post-WW2 period.
See Backtrack Vol. 13: J.M. Fryer. 293-5. and See letter page 625 by Forsyth on motive power seen during WW2.

Motor train (push & pull) working between Rolleston Junction and Southwell as told by former fireman with additional notes from the late Clarence (Charlie) Royston Marriott who also worked at Southwell. He had started work as a number taker at Newark and then became a road motor vehicle driver employed at Southwell from 1932. He participated in the activities of the Midland Railway Sports Club and noted that a mechanical permanent way trolley was employed prior to WW2. An extra coach was used on race days. An LMS bus was employed on the Mansfield to Newark route when passenger train services were withdrawn in 1929.

Jim Jackson. LMS Journal, 0, 27-41.

Tilbury Riverside Station.
The LTSR was promoted by the ECR and London & Blackwall Railway by an Act of 1852. Its primary aim was to capture traffic to the North Kent resort of Gravesend. It opened to Tilbury Fort in April 1854. Tilbury Docks were formally opened on 17 April 1886. On 16 May 1830 Ramsay MacDonald opened a new landing stage and railway station designed by Sir Edwin Cooper. See Clive Berridge. Railways South East  3. 87. See letter by Denham Ford on page 176.

Wellington (Salop).
Both the L&B and GJR proposed railways to Shrewsbury, the former via Dudley and Wolverhampton, the latter from Wolverhampton. The Shrewsbury and Birmingham Act was passed on 3 August 1846. In 1847 the Shropshire Union Act enabled Wellington to be connected with Stafford. On the S&BR Oakengates Tunnel was built to broad gauge dimensions to link qith the OW&WR. The S&BR was inspected by the BoT on 2 May 1849 and it opened from Shrewsbury as far as Wellington on 1 June, the remainder following on 12 November. The reader will have to look elsewhere for the battles between the LNWR and GWR to control this railway, but the latter had made a traffic agreement in January 1851 and amalgamation followed on 7 August 1854. Wellington Station was operated by a LNWR/GWR Joint Committee. The LNWR had purchased the Shropshire Union Canal and converted parts of it to link Wellinton with Coalport far below on the Severn. The Wellington & Severn Junction Railway and its extensions also enabled the Severn to be reached, and crossed by the Albert Edward Bridge, through the industrialized area of Ketley, Horsehay and Coalbrookdale, and on to Much Wenlock to Craven Arms. Wellington was linked to Market Drayton in 16 October 1867 and this gave the GWR access to Crewe. Wellington has become a part of Telford and the station remains in existence. The station area is shown on extracts from the Ordnance Survey plan published in 1937. GWR freight included coal handled by John Gough, for the gas works (including outwards traffic of tar to a distillation plant at Welshpool and gas water sent to Oakengates. Smithfield market took place on Mondays where auctions were conducted by Barbers and petrol for Shell. The LMS Queen Street yard handled outwards traffic of toys, Sankey's Iron & Steel castings, damsons and an inwards flow of Guinness, spelter, steel billets. Merchants for fruit, vegatables, timber and coal are described as is parcels traffic. See William H Smith & Chris Turner. Great Western Railway Journal, 2000, 33, 2-35.

Wells (Somerset)
The first railway to reach approach Wells was the Somerset Central Railway which connected Glastonbury to Highbridge: it was broad gauge and opened on 28 August 1854. The Quaker shoemaker, James Clark, was closely involved. The line was extended to Wells on 3 March 1859. The East Somerset Railway was authorized on 5 June 1856 to link Witam with Shepton Mallet, and on 27 July 1857 an extension to Wells was authorized. It reached Shepton Mallet on 9 November 1858 and Wells on 28 February 1862. The third railway to reach Wells was the Cheddar Valley & Yatton, with an Act of 14 July 1864, and opened to Wells on 5 April 1870. The Somerset Central became a part of the Somerset & Dorset and eventually part of the MR/LSWR Joint Railway. The other lines became part of the GWR. All eventually closed. Railways of Wells. K.A. Frost. 70-5.

From October 1902 the Leicesters ran all the year through to Birmingham. From 1902 the GER/GCR ran services from the East Coast to destinations in the Midlands and North. In 1913 there were 1000 fishing vessels based at Yarmouth. The herring industry was worth £1m and 4000 workers travelled down from Scotland to serve the herring industry. Between 1904 and 1914 there were non-stop trains between South Town and Liverpool Street. Between the Wars the Eastern Belle Pullman service reached Yarmouth on the days on which it ran.. The growth of holiday camps on the M&GN line and on the Norflk & Suffolk Joint brought fresh traffic to places like Caister and Hopton: in the case of the former, especially from the Midlands and North. During WW2 theres was severe damage to South Town, Vauxhall and Gorleston North stations. There was a brief Indian summer of traffic in the immediate post-WW2 period, but Breydon Viaduct closed on 21 September 1953 - in the year when the East Coast floods had caused severe interuption at both Yarmouth and Lowestoft. The M&GN lines closed on 28 February 1959; the line from Beccles to South Town on 2 November 1959, but the N&SJ was strengthened to take the diverted traffic. Vauxhall was reconstructed between 1958 and 1961. On 4 May 1970 the N&SJ line was closed. The herring industry ceased in the mid-1960s. The street tramway closed on 1 January 1976 and all freight traffic ceased in March 1985. In 1984 the line from Reedham to Yarmouth was proposed for closure, but the local authorities stepped in to defray the cost. The A47 by-pass (now a linear car-park due to Tesco's activities) used the former formation across Breydon Water. There are still London to Yarmouth trains in summer. The Railways of Yarmouth. K.A. Frost. Backtrack. Part 1. 9-260. and Part 2 (9-292)

Updated 2003-05-14