Some Early Lines – Midland and South Western Junction Railway

Midland and South Western Junction Railway

Not to be confused with the ‘old’ Midland and South Western Junction Railway, the original name of the Dudding Hill Line in London (authorised 1864, absorbed by the Midland Railway 1874). The two railways have no other connection.

The Midland and South Western Junction Railway (M&SWJR) was, until the 1923 Grouping an independent railway built to form a north-south link between the Midland and London and South Western Railways (LSWR) allowing the Midland and other companies’ trains to reach the port of Southampton.


The M&SWJR was formed in 1884 from the amalgamation of the Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway and the Swindon and Cheltenham Extension Railway.

The Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway

The Swindon, Marlborough and  Andover Railway was incorporated in 1873 and opened in three stages:

  • Swindon to Marlborough, 27 July 1881
  • Grafton to Andover, 1 May 1882
  • the complete line from Swindon to Andover was opened on 5 February 1883, by running trains over the Great Western Railway’s Marlborough branch and a section of the Berks & Hants Extension Railway, as the SM&AR was unable to complete its own line between Marlborough and Grafton.

The Swindon & Cheltenham Extension Railway (S&CER)

The S&CER was incorporated in 1881 and its line was opened that year from Swindon to Cirencester, but financial difficulties halted further construction.

Completion of the line

After the two railways amalgamated, the original intention of the S&CER to reach Cheltenham was realised in 1891, albeit by obtaining running powers over the final 7.5 miles (12 km) from a junction at Andoversford over GWR metals to reach the Midland Railway station at Cheltenham (Lansdown).

In 1892 the M&SWJR secured running powers over the LSWR Sprat and Winkle Line between Andover and Southampton; from then onwards through workings were operated for trains from the Midlands and beyond: Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool were all connected via the line with Southampton at various times over the following years.

The final section of the line to be built was the missing link between Marlborough and Grafton. The Marlborough and Grafton Railway was incorporated in 1893 and the line was opened in 1898; the M&SWJR took formal ownership of the Marlborough and Grafton Railway in 1899.

The success of the line was partly hampered by the GWR’s demand of high fees for connections with its metals at Marlborough and Swindon. The original plan to run shuttles between the M&SWJR’s Swindon Town railway station and the GWR’s Swindon Junction station lasted only a couple of years before being abandoned as too expensive. This meant M&SWJR passengers had to disembark at Swindon Old Town station and travel by road to the GWR station approximately one-and-a-half miles away. At Marlborough, until the M&SWJR built its own line south of the town, the GWR insisted that any passengers wanting to change to its trains at Savernake Low Level station had to travel south from Marlborough on the GWR’s branch line.Swindon Marlborough & Andover Railway Single Fairlie 0-4-4T of 1878.

Most locomotives were bought from Dubs & Co. (and its successor theNorth British Locomotive Companyand from Beyer Peacock..


At the Grouping in 1923 the railway became a part of the GWR. At this time the M&SWJR owned 29 locomotives, 134 coaching vehicles, and 379 goods and service vehicles.


On nationalisation in 1948 the M&SWJR was split between the Western and Southern Regions of British Railways. The line closed on 10 September 1961.

The M&SWJR today

  • A short length has been re-opened as the Swindon & Cricklade Railway
  • The M4 Motorway has been built over a short section of the route between Chiseldon and Swindon.
  • Station Industrial Estate now occupies the site of the Old Town station.


  • National Cycle Network route 45 uses a large proportion of the trackbed between Cricklade and Marlborough .
  • A short length, Andover-Red Post Junction-Ludgershall, remains open to serve the military depot at Tidworth.
  • There have been talks in recent years of a reopening of the Andover to Ludgershall part of the line to serve the growing town and the expanding military base.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some Early Lines – The Derwent Valley Light Railway

The Derwent Valley Light Railway

The Derwent Valley Light Railway (DVLR) (also known as The Blackberry Line) was a privately-owned standard-gauge railway running from Layerthorpe on the outskirts of York to Cliffe Common near Selby in North Yorkshire, England. It opened in 1913, and closed in sections between 1965 and 1981. Between 1977 and 1979, passenger steam trains operated between Layerthorpe and Dunnington — the entire length of track at that time. In 1993 a small section was re-opened as part of the Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton.

The line gained its nickname of The Blackberry Line in the days when it used to transport blackberries to markets in Yorkshire and London.


The south end of the railway, from Wheldrake to Cliffe Common, was opened on October 29, 1912, with the remainder of the line opening on July 19, 1913. Although it was constructed primarily as a freight line, passenger trains were introduced from 1913, and during World War 1 it was used as a diversionary route by the North Eastern Railway between York and Selby. Passenger services ended in 1926, though freight traffic prospered through World War ll.

In 1923, most British railway companies were grouped into 4 large companies, with the nearby North Eastern Railway becoming part of the London & North Eastern Railway. However, the DVLR remained independent, and continued to do so even after nationalisation in 1948.

In 1964, British Railways closed the Selby to Driffield Line, meaning that the junction at Cliffe Common became redundant. With the connection to Selby now gone, the DVLR was left isolated at its southern end. The line was subsequently run from the Layerthorpe end but traffic generated by the southern section of the track was light so the decision was taken to close the line between Wheldrake and Cliffe Common in 1965. The section between Wheldrake and Elvington followed in 1968. Elvington was closed in 1973, leaving only approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) of track between Layerthorpe and Dunnington on the outskirts of York.

Final years

In 1976, the owners of the railway decided to operate steam trains between Layerthorpe and Dunnington, which was the entire length of the line at that time. A regular summer service started in 1977, with J72 0-6-0T locomotive number 69023 Joem (now preserved at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway) operating the services. By 1979, there were not enough passengers to justify continuing and the service ceased. The railway continued to carry occasional freight trains to Dunnington until 1981 when the grain driers at Dunnington closed and the last major source of freight for the line was gone. On top of that the railway was in desperate need a major overhaul with the majority of the rails and buildings still being the 1913 originals. However, the owners decided that the lack of demand for freight failed to justify any plan of action other than to close the line down. The last train ran on September 27, 1981.

The line today

Until 1990, a small preservation group, the Great Yorkshire Preservation Society, was originally based at Starbeck near Harrogate. When this closed, the society members relocated to the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, and started to rebuild approximately 0.75 miles (1.21 km) of track towards York, including the section under the York by-pass. A new station was constructed using the original station buildings from Wheldrake, and the railway re-opened in 1993.

The line now runs a mixture of 6 diesel and 1 steam locomotive on Sundays and bank holidays.

The track-bed from Layerthorpe to Osbaldwick, along with part of the former Foss Islands Branch Line in York, has been converted to afoot and cycle path.  Whilst future extension of the line towards Osbaldwick may be possible, as of 2010 there are still no formal plans for this.

Canal News – Santa fun on the canal – from Waterscape

Canal Events


 Santa’s grotto boat cruise

10 December 2011

Gloucester Waterways Museum
Llanthony Warehouse
GL1 2EHWorking Narrow Boat Hadar moored in Gloucester Docks outside the National Waterways Museum

  © Copyright Keith Lodge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Gloucester & Sharpness Canal »

River Severn »

Meet Santa in his onboard grotto on a one-hour boat cruise from the Gloucester Waterways Museum.

£7, including children’s presents, tea or coffee and a mince pie.

For times and to book, call Doreen on 01452 318200.

Carols by the canal

10 December 2011Talbot Wharf, Market Drayton, Shropshire

Shropshire Union Canal. This sizeable basin is the base for Holidays Afloat Ltd, who have been at Talbot Wharf since 1947. Since 1962 Holidays Afloat has been owned by the Machin family, now in their third generation at this boatyard.

  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Talbot Wharf
Newcastle Road
Market Drayton

Shropshire Union Canal »

Carol singing by the Shropshire Union Canal at Talbot Wharf. Santa will arrive at the event in an illuminated narrowboat, plus there will be Christmas shopping opportunities, children’s games, hot food and mulled wine. In aid of The Birks Field Centre.



Other illuminated boats are also wanted to join Santa’s boat at the event. For details, contact Lisa Machin on 07925 109 717.

Illuminated boats and carols

10 December 2011The top lock at Stoke Bruerne

A revisit to try to reproduce SP7449 : Canal at Stoke Bruerne – 1964, taken 47 years earlier. Essentially the same scene, although many differences in detail. The tallest building is the waterways museum, the nearest is a restaurant, and in between there are houses.

  © Copyright M J Richardson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Canal Museum
Stoke Bruerne
NN12 7SE

Grand Union Canal »

Celebrate Christmas at the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne. Take an illuminated boat trip and enjoy carol singing by the canal.

There will be a prize for the best illuminated boat, hot soup and roasted chestnuts and Christmas shopping in the museum shop and other canalside gift shops.


Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1866 – Great Southern & Western Railway, Ireland – 0-6-0s

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

 1866 – Great Southern & Western Railway, Ireland – 0-6-0

No. 200 in unrebuilt condition in 1934

 This was the only class of engine on any Irish railway which was built in sufficient numbers or over a long enough period to be regarded as a standard type.  The first engines, Nos. 112, 113 and 115 came out in 1866, followed by Nos. 148 and 150 in 1867.  They were built to the designs of A.McDonnell, who had been locomotive superintendent since 1864, and the class multiplied to a considerable extent for a comparatively small railway, until he went to the North Eastern in 1883.  Thereafter further small batches of about half a dozen at a time appeared under each of McDonnell’s three successors, the last coming out in 1903, by which time the class totalled 111 engines, easily a record for the GS&WR or any other Irish line.  The numbers of the engines eventually filled the complete series 101 – 200, although by no means built in sequence, whilst the final additions of 1901-3 were Nos. 223, 229, 232, 240-3 and 253-6.  Nearly all were built at the Company’s own works at Inchicore.

A plain and straightforward design, not unlike the Dx class of the LNWR, the engines have always been the maids of all work on the GS & WR, which was later the Great Southern and finally the Coras Iompair Eireann, and even though the system is now almost entirely dieselised these old veterans are as much in evidence as any other more modern class on the few steam workings which still remain.  The only major rebuilding had consisted in the provision of Belpaire boilers with superheaters and extended smokeboxes, and most of the remaining survivors are in this form.  Many of the earlier engines to be scrapped had never been rebuilt, the first to go being No. 189 in 1922.

Withdrawal proper really began in 1926.  As late as 1959 about half of them still remained in serviceable condition, although with little work to do.  No. 184 has been restored in its old GS & WR colours for preservation.

Driving wheels – 5’ 1¾”,  Cylinders – 18”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lb,  Tractive effort 17,170 lb,  Weight 37 tons 13 cwt.,  Classification – J15No. 127 as rebuilt, at Valencia harbour, the most westerly railhead in Europe, in 1955

Canal News from Waterscape

Canal News from



Why is canal tunnel on the move?

Netherton Tunnel

The last tunnel built at a cost of over £300,000 it opened on the 20th of August 1858. It was built with two tow paths and wide enough for two boats. Thus is eased congestion in the narrow Dudley tunnel that had to be legged through. Its over 2.5km long, straight and now unlit. Take a torch!

  © Copyright Ashley Dace and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

29th Nov 2011

Engineers from British Waterways are investigating after some sections of the Netherton Tunnel near Dudley were found to be moving.

The tunnel, on the Birmingham Canal Navigations, is 150 years old. Monitoring over the past few years has shown that the lining of the centre sections is moving, causing some of the bricks to bulge and crack.

Over the next two weeks, tunnel experts will be carrying out detailed ground investigations to find the cause of the movement. They will take samples of the earth and rock surrounding the canal tunnel by drilling bore holes at various intervals along the crown (roof) and the side wall sections. These samples will allow specialists to test what material surrounds the tunnel. This, together with other detailed surveys, will help them determine the nature of the movement and the possible cause.

Expert investigation

British Waterways’ senior manager Dean Davies said: “The Netherton Tunnel is well known to suffer from ground movement, and we do monitor this on weekly basis. We are currently concerned about the amount of movement happening in the centre section of the tunnel, which is a common weak spot in tunnel design. We need to carry out further investigations to find out exactly what may be causing the ground above and below the tunnel to move.

“The tunnel is still structurally sound. However, we need to start looking into this problem now and also decide how best to stop the movement getting any worse. Ultimately, we want to ensure the tunnel lasts another 150 years”

During the works, the canal will restricted to boat traffic at various intervals and the west side towpath will remain closed. For details of restrictions, check the waterscape stoppage pages or sign up for email alerts.

Netherton Tunnel and Tividale Aqueduct

Coming out of the northern end of Netherton Tunnel, Dudley, looking towards Tividale Aqueduct, which carries the Wolverhampton Canal Level over the Netherton Tunnel Branch.

  © Copyright Martin Clark and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Lock Keeper of the Year


British Waterways’ employee is top of the locks

Saltersford Locks on the River Weaver

The River Weaver here divides as the original course of the river crosses the canalised Barnton Cut, more or less at the locks. The Trent & Mersey canal runs close and parallel near the top of the wooded bank in the background. Public footpaths run between the river and the canal towpath and along the river bank upstream to the Winnington swing bridge and (the North Cheshire Way) Dutton Locks downstream.

  © Copyright Mike Harris and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

1st Dec 2011

The Hotel Boat section of the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO) has awarded Bryn Jones, a British Waterways’ lock keeper on the River Weaver with its annual Lock Keeper of the Year award.

Bryn has worked for British Waterways for almost 30 years and has over 20 years’ experience as a lock keeper. He is familiar with the whole of the River Weaver navigation, working as relief lock and bridge keeper before taking responsibility for Saltersford Locks.

Recipients are nominated and voted for by all APCO Hotel Boat operators so that they can recognise the support and assistance they receive as they take holidaymakers around Britain’s inland waterways. The award was presented at the Association’s recent national AGM, held this year in Llangollen at a hotel beside the River Dee.

Neil Thomsett and Gill Cookson, joint chairs of the Hotel Boat section of APCO, presented the award to Bryn, who was joined by British Waterways North Wales & Borders colleagues Wendy Capelle and Stephen Maguire.

Fantastic ambassador for the River Weaver

The River Weaver near Anderton, Cheshire

The deciduous woodland is part of the Anderton Nature Park east of the famous boat lift. The narrowboats will use the lift to join the Trent and Mersey Canal fifty feet higher in level.

The River Weaver is navigable in its lower reaches, and flows in a curving route anti-clockwise across west Cheshire and into the Manchester Ship Canal. Before that canal was built the river flowed into the River Mersey at Weston Marsh.

  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Neil thanked Bryn for all his hard work, great humour and invaluable information, saying: “The Weaver navigation is such a lovely river – beautiful Cheshire countryside, fascinating industry and the drama of descending the Anderton Boat Lift and entering the vastness of Saltersford Lock. Bryn is always on hand to answer holidaymakers’ questions and help hotel boat crews as he works us through.

“Saltersford is a big deep lock and our safety is paramount for Bryn, whilst he imparts amazing statistics and history to our clients marvelling at the 1.4 million gallons of water the lock holds. Meanwhile he is a fantastic ambassador for the area around the Weaver, showering holidaymakers with tourism information and guiding us to local amenities. Plus anything he doesn’t already know he will find out and pass on as we return up river.”

Bryn was delighted to receive the award and adds: “I am honoured to win the award on behalf of the Weaver team, it is a first for the river and it is wonderful to hear how the experience of boating the River Weaver and the service that British Waterways gives is so appreciated by the hotel boat holidaymakers and crews.”


Chairs appointed for Canal & River Trust Waterway Partnerships29th Nov 2011

The Canal & River Trust has appointed chairs to a number of the Waterway Partnerships that will play a role in the management of canals and rivers across the network.

Chairs have been appointed in Manchester & Pennine, North Wales & Borders, South Wales & Severn and Kennet & Avon. The chairs for the Partnerships in the West Midlands and North West, who have, to date, been trials, have been asked to and have agreed to continue.

A chair has also been recruited for the Museums Partnership, which will be the successor to The Waterways Trust Museums Management Board.

Supporting local waterways

Tony Hales, chair of The Canal & River Trust said: “I am delighted that such a high calibre of people have come forward to chair these important positions of governance within the Canal & River Trust.

“Each will prove to be well placed to champion the interests of their local waterways. The Waterways Partnerships are integral to the stewardship and development of the network, providing new perspectives and insights, opening up new resources and ideas, and giving local people a greater opportunity to support their local canals and rivers: something that is integral to the success of the Canal & River Trust.”

Chairs are now being sought for the remaining Waterway Partnerships in the North East, Central Shires, East Midlands, South East and London and recruitment for the All Wales Partnership is continuing.

Calling on volunteers

The Canal & River Trust is also calling on volunteers who want to actively support the two-century old canal network to join their local Partnership and get involved and advise on how the waterways are used and looked after. Each Partnership will consist of at least eight volunteers who will be drawn from the local community and who will collectively have a broad spectrum of expertise relevant to the development of the waterways.

Experience in fundraising, volunteering, finance, planning and regeneration, boating, environment, heritage, engineering, community engagement, and working with partners in local government are all relevant.

All positions on the Partnerships will be unpaid, but agreed expenses will be reimbursed.

Those interested in joining a newly appointed chair on their local Waterway Partnership or in applying for one of the remaining positions of chair will be able to find role descriptions and application details at from Thursday 1 December.

Applications for membership open on Friday 9 December 2011.

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1866 – London Chatham & Dover Railway – 0-4-2Ts

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1866 – London Chatham & Dover Railway – 0-4-2T

A class of fourteen engines built by Neilson & Co. in 1866 during the superintendency of W.Martley.  The design, however, was by Archibald Sturrock of the Great Northern, which line had also twenty similar locomotives.  Both railways’ engines were built for working the through services between the two lines from Hatfield to Herne Hill via the Metropolitan Railway.

The LCDR engines were numbered 81-94, and for some reason, possibly on account of their having been built in Glasgow, were given Scottish names, Iona, Staffa, Clyde, Spey, and so on.  These, however, were all later removed.  The engines gave good service for many years, and some lasted to be absorbed into SECR stock at the 1899 amalgamation with the South Eastern.  They had 459 added to their numbers and they were scrapped during the early 1900s.  They were built with ‘haystack’ fireboxes, but were rebuilt with flat topped boilers in later years.

Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Trailing wheels – 4’ 0”,  Cylinders – 17”x 24”,  Weight – 41 tons 10 cwt. Pic – No.83  Jura as originally built

Canal News – Early December Events – Waterscape .com

Canal News

Walsall Canal View

The Canal near the Black Country New Road at Great Bridge

© Copyright Gordon Griffiths and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Restriction: Walsall Canal

Bradley & Forsters Bridge to Forsters Bridge

Tuesday 29 November 2011 – Friday 9 December 2011
A 50 metre stretch of towpath between Bradley and Forsters and Forsters Bridge will be affected by boundary wall demolition works being carried out.

The towpath will remain open at all times and towpath users will be escorted through the works.

British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Enquiries: 01827 252000

  Muddy Waters Santa Cruises

03 December 2011 – 04 December 2011
Annie’s Tearoom
Canal Road

Oxford Canal

Oxford Canal at Aynho Weir – © Copyright Shaun Ferguson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A festive canal boat ride from the peaceful village of Thrupp, with Oxfordshire Narrowboats and the child-friendly narrowboat Muddy Waters.

Visit Santa in his floating grotto. Price includes gifts for the children and tea and a mince pie at Annie’s Tearoom for the grown-ups.


£7. To book, call 01865 356140 in office hours, or email

Christmas music at Foxton Canal Museum

04 December 2011

Foxton Canal Museum
Middle Lock
Gumley Road
LE16 7RA

Grand Union Canal Leicester Line

Bridge 53 Grand Union Canal Leicester Section.  The summit level of the Leicester Line is at 412ft, runs 20.5 miles between Watford locks to the south and Foxton locks to the north going through practically nowhere, and does it very well.  © Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Christmas music at Foxton Canal Museum. Plus, the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust’s grand prize draw.

For more details, or to volunteer to help out, call 0116 279 2657.

Wharf Inn Christmas Fayre on the Oxford Canal

03 December 2011 – 04 December 2011

Wharf Inn
Wharf Lane
Fenny Compton
CV47 2FE

Oxford Canal »

Unusual and handmade Christmas gifts will be on sale at the Wharf Inn on the Oxford Canal.

There will be stalls in the pub and in a heated marquee, selling gifts, spices, cakes and homemade Christmas puddings, hamper orders, bird boxes, sticks and turned items. Stalls will include Cartia handmade fashion jewellery, Crafts in Wood and the Cheese Boat with a selection of yummy cheeses and chutneys. Plus learn how to make a Christmas wreath on Sunday at 4pm.


Historic fly-boat is an education

18th Nov 2011

A historic Shropshire Union fly-boat will be used to teach children about canal heritage, thanks to a £4,000 grant from the Waterways Trust.

The Saturn is a cheese fly-boat, which used to deliver cheese to Manchester, via the Llangollen Canal and Shropshire Union Canal. The Shropshire Union Fly-Boat Restoration Society (SUFBRS) will use the money towards an educational programme, including visual age, future plans for more horse-boating, and for on-going maintenance of the boat. The society is also installing traditional white cloth coverings on the boat, which will have the added benefit of providing wet weather shelter.

Keeping canal traditions alive

The Waterways Trust chief executive Roger Hanbury said: “We are delighted to be able to provide this support to Saturn. This project helps open up the story of our waterways, keeping alive the traditions and culture of the canals for future generations to enjoy and learn from. This grant has been made possible due to the generous support of Tony Hales CBE.”

SUFBRS chairperson Sue Cawson said: “The Saturn Project would like to say a very big thank you to Tony Hales and The Waterways Trust for this grant. It will make a real difference to our work with schools to improve the activities we provide. It is a real delight spending time with all our visitors, young and old, passing on our knowledge of the canals and boats of the past – especially Saturn.”

The overhaul of Saturn on Ellesmere Dock has just been completed and SUFBRS would like the thank Craftmaster Paints for providing the paint and BW North Wales & Borders Waterways for the use of the dock. Boatbuilder Adrian Polglase and the Project’s boat manager, artist Tony Lewery, worked with and directed the volunteers.


Some Early Lines – The Lambourn Valley Railway

The Lambourn Valley Railway

The Lambourn Valley Railway (LVR) was a minor branch railway line running from the town of Newbury, Berkshire north-west to the village of Lambourn. It was opened in 1898. In 1904, the locomotives were sold and two steam railmotors were hired from the Great Western Railway (GWR). The GWR took over the line in 1905.

The line closed to passenger traffic in 1960, but a section between Newbury and Welford remained open for freight traffic to RAF Welford until 1973. A special passenger service operated on 3 November 1973 between Newbury and Welford Park to give the public a final trip over the line; a nine-coach train made four runs in each direction, and unusually, a special souvenir booklet was produced.Midland & South Western Junction Railway 2-4-0, later GWR No. 1335, nears Welford Park with an up Lambourn Valley train.   J.F.Russell-Smith


At the opening, there were seven intermediate stations; after Newbury, where the GWR station was used, these stations were Speen, Stockcross, Boxford, Welford Park, West Shefford, East Garston and Eastbury, before the terminus at Lambourn.  The line ran from a bay platform at Newbury with a connection into the main London-bound platform, and ran parallel to the double track main line west of the station for half a mile (800 m) before veering to the north. It was single-track throughout with passing loops at several of the intermediate stations. Two of the stations were soon renamed (Stockcross becoming Stockcross & Bagnor, and West Shefford becoming Great Shefford).  After the GWR took over, a further station was opened at Newbury West Fields Halt between Newbury and Speen, whilst two existing stations (Stockcross & Bagnor, and Eastbury) were downgraded to halts on 9 July 1934.A pre-war shot on the Lambourn Valley line, with an 0-6-0 shedding its load. – Lens of Sutton

The connection to RAF Welford was added in the 1950s. The line north of this point was lifted in 1962.

Currently there are no plans for re-opening the disused branch line for running trains since closed in 1973. Today, the old railway remained open as a track route, known as the Lambourn Valley Way.Ex-MSWJ 2-4-0 later GWR No. 1336, brings the daily goods down the branch during the summer of 1947.  J.F.Russell-Smith


From the opening of the line on 4 April 1898 until the delivery of the LVR’s first locomotives in late 1898, the line was worked by a locomotive loaned from the GWR. This was their no. 1384, a small 2-4-0T which they had acquired from the Watlington and Princess Risborough Railway in 1883; it was built in 1876. Altogether the LVR owned three locomotives:

Aelfred, Chapman and Furneaux 0-6-0T, built October 1898 (works no. 1162)

Eahlswith, Chapman and Furneaux 0-6-0T, built November 1898 (works no. 1161)

Eadweade, Hunslet Engine Company 0-6-0T, built June 1903 (works no. 811)

Although produced by two different manufacturers, the three were generally similar: they were outside cylinder 0-6-0T locomotives with 3-foot-7-inch (1,090 mm) wheels, but Eadweade was slightly larger than the others: its wheelbase was 10 feet 6 inches (3.20 m) and it weighed 24 long tons (24 t) as opposed to 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m) and 23.5 long tons (23.9 t) for the other two. Eahlswith and Aelfred were painted dark blue, lined out in black and white. Eadweade was painted similarly, but had a copper-capped chimney and a brass safety valve cover. Nameplates were brass, with red backgrounds. On 15 May 1904, the LVR hired two steam railmotors from the GWR, and the locomotives were put up for sale. They were sold to the Cambrian Railway in June 1904, where Eadweade became no. 24, Ealhswith became no. 26, and Aelfred became no. 35.Dean Goods No.2532 heads a Lambourn to Newbury train in the summer of 1947.  J.F.Russell-Smith

More info:

154 – Chasewater RailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News Dec 1992 – Part 4 Cannock Chase Colliery Company Transport Development – The Formative Years.

154 – Chasewater RailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces

 From Chasewater News Dec 1992 – Part 4


Cannock Chase Colliery Company

Transport Development – The Formative Years

Mike Wood

Cannock Chase prior to 1840 was an expanse of barren, desolate heathland with no centres of population and without developed rail, road or water networks – on of the last great wildernesses of England.  The villages of Chasetown and Chase Terrace did not yet exist and were twenty years into the future.  Its few inhabitants made a living from the land selling agricultural produce at market in Cannock or extracting coal from shallow bell pits or drift mines.  There was not only coal on the Chase but also ironstone.  Local opencasters had been aware of its presence for many years but made no use of it as the smelting of iron required organisation and equipment well beyond their primitive means.  For the mineral resources of Cannock Chase to be exploited to the full, big business had to take a hand.  In the form of Henry William Paget, landowner and Marquis of Anglesey, and John Robinson McClean, civil engineer, big business was just around the corner.

The Marquis of Anglesey, whose estate encompassed almost entirely what was to become the Cannock Chase Coalfield, did not begin exploitation of the mineral wealth on his lands until the mid 1840s.  By this time, coal had superseded water as the new power base of the industrial revolution with the increasing use of steam driven machinery in factories and for producing iron.  The success of Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ at Rainhill in 1829 had also led to the widespread adoption of steam traction on the new fast-growing railway network.  The comparative late development of the Chase as a coal producing area is almost certainly attributable to the absence of a satisfactory transportation network of roads, railways or canals.

The first canal to enter the region was not completed until 1797, when the Wyrley & Essington completed its north easterly course from Wolverhampton to Huddlesford Junction near Fradley where it joined the Trent & Mersey Canal.  In connection with this W&E scheme, a large feeder reservoir was created in 1798 by damming Crane Brook at a point one mile north of Watling Street between what are now the villages of Brownhills West and Chasetown.  Norton Pool, as it became known as, was constructed as a storage facility in connection with maintenance of water levels on the main W&E canal. Access from reservoir to canal was via a narrow drain-off channel of approximately 1¼ miles in length to Ogley along the exact course of what eventually became the Anglesey Branch of the W&E or ‘Curly Wyrley’ as it was known locally.

A similar view to the previous photo – the old Wharf Lane bridge can be seen through the new one carrying the M6 Toll.

By 1840 the national canal network comprised over 4,000 miles of navigable waterways providing a means of high capacity, low cost transportation,

It is certain that the presence of a new waterway crossing the southern boundaries of his estate plus imminent construction of the South Staffordshire Railway, due to be opened in 1849, and padding by in the same area as the canal, finally encouraged the Marquis to exploit his underground wealth.

In 1845 the Marquis directed that shafts be sunk at Uxbridge, Hammerwich and Four Mounts on the south eastern shores of Norton Pool, 1½ miles north of the W&E canal and the proposed South Staffs Railway.

The canal company built its Anglesey Branch in 1850 by enlarging its drain-off channel from a main line junction at Ogley.  This branch terminated at Anglesey Basin, a few yards south of Norton Pool where facilities included stables, offices, coal loading chutes and gantries, plus a railway interchange which opened in 1858.  Deep moorings accommodated the endless stream of high capacity canal boats which were to pour their black wealth south down the Birmingham Canal Navigation to fire the industries of Birmingham and the Black Country. These two photographs show the stables and other buildings at Wharf Lane.

News from Waterscape Boaters needed for Canal & River Trust Council

News from Waterscape Boaters needed for Canal & River Trust Council

21st Nov 2011

Boaters are being asked to stand for election for the Canal & River Trust Council and get involved in shaping the future of Britain’s waterways. The nominations for boaters’ positions on the Council open on 12 December 2011.

Seven positions on the 35-strong council are to be filled by boaters or boating businesses. Four positions are to be elected by boat licence holders and two positions elected by boating businesses. The British Canoe Union, which holds a collective licence for around 60,000 individual and club members, will be asked to nominate a person to fill a further position representing all those who use the waterways for waterborne sport and recreation without holding individual licences. A Canal & River Trust employee will also be elected by all employees at this time to serve on the Council.

The Council is the guardian of the long-term values and purposes of the Canal & River Trust. While the trustees are responsible for determining policy and strategy, the Council will have an important role in helping to shape policy, raising and debating issues, and providing guidance, perspective and a sounding board for the trustees. It will also have the power to appoint or dismiss trustees.

Voice for boaters

Members of the Canal & River Trust Council will be expected to bring the experience and perspective of the constituency they represent and to provide a voice for their interests. In exercising this role they will have to at all times act in the interests of the charitable purposes of the Trust. Members will serve for a term of four years.

Tony Hales, chair of the Canal & River Trust, said: “The boating community has a wealth of hands-on experience of the waterways, and having boaters on board is essential to the success of the Canal & River Trust. I am writing to all licence holders and I encourage them to put themselves forward and add their voices to those shaping the Canal & River Trust’s future.”

Boaters wanting to stand for election in any of these groups will need to complete a simple nomination form which will be available for download from from 12 December 2011 until 18 January 2012. To be eligible to stand for election and vote in the election, boaters must hold a 12-month boat licence on 18 January 2012. Nominations must be supported by ten sponsors who each also hold a valid 12-month boat licence on this date.

Voting will take place between 8 February and 9 March 2012 via a designated website or by SMS text. Voting by post will also be possible, but only for this first set of Council elections. The election is being managed by Electoral Reform Services