Tag Archives: Stratford-on-avon

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – Stratford & Moreton Railway – Stratford-upon-Avon Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

 

Stratford & Moreton Railway

 800px-Stratford-on-avon_river_15a07Tramway bridge over the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photograph of the bridge over the River Avon in Stratford-on-Avon opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
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CC-LAYOUT; CC-BY-SA-2.5,2.0,1.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.  Snowmanradio at en.wikipedia

This horse-drawn tramway (16 miles), authorised on 28 May 1821, linked Moreton-in-Marsh with the Stratford Canal and was laid to what appears to be one of the earliest uses of ‘standard’ gauge. It opened on 5 September 1826, and a branch to Shipton-on-Stour was authorised on 10 June 1833, opening on 11 February 1836. The Act incorporating the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway included a clause for permanent lease at £2,537-10s per annum, and it took possession on 1 May 1847, from 1 January 1852 assuming entire management. It upgraded the line, re-opening it on 1 August 1853, but the northern end became redundant when the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway’s Stratford-Honeybourne line opened on 12 July 1859, and was probably little used after the turn of the century. Lifted during the Great War, it was officially abandoned in 1928. The Shipston section, thanks to public opposition to the West Midland Railway which wanted to close it, was retained, horse-drawn until 1882. The GWR obtained powers to upgrade it and use steam on 7 August 1884 – the original Act forbade this. Re-opened on 1 July 1889, passenger traffic was withdrawn on 8 July 1929, though a goods service lasted until 3 May 1960. The line was lifted in July of the following year.

Old Stratford & Moreton Tramway wagon, preserved at Stratford-on-Avon in Bancroft Gardens, near the theatre.  The cast iron edge rail is thought to have been first used at Loughborough in 1789.

Old Stratford & Moreton Tramway wagon, preserved at Stratford-on-Avon in Bancroft Gardens, near the theatre. The cast iron edge rail is thought to have been first used at Loughborough in 1789.

Stratford-upon-Avon Railway

Incorporated on 10 August 1857, this mixed gauge line, nine miles long, ran from Hatton (GWR) to Stratford. Built by the GWR, it opened on 10 October 1860. The Alcester Railway was vested in it, jointly with the GWR, on 22 July 1878, and the Company was itself absorbed by the Major one from 1 July 1883 (Act of 29 August).

gwrhj1932 Hatton - Stratford Warwickshire rlys

Later:  Ex-GWR 2-8-0 No 3515 proceeds past Hatton West signal box with a fitted freight train for Stratford on Avon in 1950. Built by Swindon works to Lot 328 in March 1940 No 3515 remained in service until July 1965 when it was withdrawn from 6C Birkenhead shed. The single line to Stratford on Avon started at this junction until the line was doubled in 1939. The bracket signal on the left is controlling, from left to right, the 55 wagon loop siding opened in 1901, the north junction line opened on 23rd July 1897 and the original branch line to Hatton opened in 1860. The gradient from Stratford on Avon was more severe than on the main line requiring heavy trains to be assisted by banker. The bankers would ease off at this point so that they could use the above crossover to return tender first to Stratford on Avon. – WarwickshireRailways.com

 

Some Early Lines – Early Tramroads and Plateways.

Some Early Lines

 Early Tramroads and Plateways.

 Peak Forest Canal BasinPeak Forest canal basin and tramway sidings at Bugsworth in 1927

In the same part of the country as the Cromford and High Peak Railway was another, even older, line built with much the same idea in mind: that of making a link over the High Peak hills from Manchester eastwards, in this cast to north Derbyshire and the Sheffield area.  It was originally planned as a canal, and the first section of it was actually built as such.  However, from Bugsworth, an important inland canal basin around the turn of the eighteenth century, the terrain was considered unsuitable for a canal and so the Peak Forest Tramway came into being, running in a south-easterly direction to the extensive lime quarries around Dove Holes.  It was opened in 1799, and was one of the earliest through tramroads, or plateways, using cast iron rails, in the country. (The cast iron edge rail is thought to have been first introduced in 1789 at Loughborough.) 

2Peak Forest Tramway track, switch and wagon.

During its 128 years of existence it never employed any motive power other than horses.  The general contour of the line was a gradually ascending one, with an inclined plane 512 yards long in the centre section.  As the gradient was in favour of the descending loaded wagons this could be rope-worked, with a controlling brake drum at the top.  The line, which was 6½ miles long, rose some 625 feet in all, with a summit 1,158 feet above sea level.  It was last used in 1926 and the track lifted, but the course of the line can still be followed in places.  The line was at one time leased to the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway, coming into that company’s full control in 1863 and passing in time to the Great Central and the LNER.

3The Denby plateway at Coxbench.

Another very early plateway, near Derby itself, was a line from Little Eaton to Kilburn and Denby, built in 1795 (the later Midland Railway Ripley branch followed more or less the same course) and in use until 1908. It was known as the Little Eaton Gangway.

4Ticknall Tramroad, Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal.  This picture is of the biannual trip to establish right of way.  The last journey was made in May 1913.

A little further south is Ashby-de-la-Zouch where the Ashby Canal had thirty miles of lock-free waterway with twenty miles of connecting tramways radiating into the Leicester coalfields.  The canal was sold in 1846 to the Midland Railway and some of the beds were subsequently used for railway construction.  One of the branches was the Ticknall Tramroad, with the unusual gauge of 4ft 2 in, and after the Ashby to Melbourne line was opened it ran to Ticknall with a branch to Dinsdale Quarry, a distance of 4½ miles.  The last trip was on 20 May, 1913.

5Old Stratford & Moreton Tramway wagon, preserved at Stratford-on-Avon in Bancroft Gardens, near the theatre.  The cast iron edge rail is thought to have been first used at Loughborough in 1789.

http://www.stratfordsociety.co.uk/tramway%20wagon.htm