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Compton Station

 

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The station consisted of two platforms with the ticket offices and station buildings located on the Northbound platform. This was the only station with the exceptions of Winchester (Chesil) and Newbury to have a footbridge linking the platforms ... To the north of the station was a goods shed plus cattle pens and three sidings which supported a busy coal trade and the loading of the products of the foundry. ... A signal box was located at the north end of the southbound platform and there is an unusual single-truck bay set into the northbound platform to facilitate the loading of a horse-box to the rear of a Didcot-bound train.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compton_railway_station

 

image.png.4832c8b39a605b67715cf1e89b73f896.png

 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=17&lat=51.51501&lon=-1.24738&layers=168&b=1

 

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Proposed East Ilsley branch

 

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A link line to nearby East Ilsley was planned but never built, although certain parts of the proposed route were levelled and ballasted for reasons as yet unknown. There was a facility at Compton for incorporating the junction and for the stabling of a small locomotive to operate the route.

 

The link line might have been for the annual East Ilsley Sheep Fair, although evidence of the route is elusive. Does anyone know?
 

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a quarter of a million sheep changed hands annually there in the first half of the 19th Century. The markets were held twice monthly, from April to October from 1620 till 1934.

 

According to Mr George Woodage, who remembers helping his father at the sales, two Scottish drovers used to start from (the Lowlands?) with 50 sheep; by the time they had reached East Ilsley, they had between two and three thousand.

 

Within living memory, sheep were still being herded down ancient drovers roads all the way from Scotland. But the herding gave way to transport by train...

 

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The fairs were not interrupted by the advent of the railways: special trains arrived, 30-40 wagons long, at Compton, and the beasts were walked less than 2 miles to Ilsley.  It was road transport that killed the fair, in 1934.

 

http://www.localdroveroads.co.uk/east-ilsley-sheep-fair/

 

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Hampstead Norris railway station

 

Ah, Hampstead Norris, the name makes me smile. It sounds like one of the characters that Chuffer Dandridge used to announce during his calls to Terry Wogan. But I digress.

 

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The station was originally built with only a small ticket office and a single platform serving both northbound and southbound trains. However, due to demand the station was eventually expanded to include a passing loop and an additional platform. A small siding and goods shed were used mainly for agricultural goods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampstead_Norris_railway_station

 

 

image.png.ccb1377d7d7a95284975efba138acedd.png

 

c.1910. with the single-track railway. Not doubled until 1940 for WW2 traffic.

https://maps.nls.uk/view/104197039

 

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Pinewood Halt railway station

 

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It served the northern parts of Hermitage and Oare both in Berkshire. The halt was opened on 11 September 1933 in the hope of increasing passenger traffic from people unwilling to walk the long distance to the next station. There was a single platform and shelter but an additional platform, also with a shelter, was later built with the addition of a passing loop. The station itself had no goods facilities, but a couple of sidings were built to the north east of the station to serve the brickworks near the site.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinewood_Halt_railway_station

 

Sadly, I can't find a well-detailed map of this little halt. The track layout is my guestimate.  Could be completely wrong! But the brickworks might make a good modelling scene?

 

image.png.496e5e7e1f1e86040107284524cf2ad1.png

 

 

 

This is from the 1960 1:10,560 OS map

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=18&lat=51.45930&lon=-1.26414&layers=193&b=1

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Hermitage Station

 

This is the last station in this section before we get to Newbury.

 

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Hermitage station was built with two platforms including a passing loop with the ticket office and station buildings located on the northbound platform. A goods shed and crane were located next to two sidings south of the station.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermitage_railway_station

 

 

Which version would you like?

 

1890

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=18&lat=51.45025&lon=-1.27253&layers=168&b=1

 

image.png.c5e7609043b3d904d2a056d2b0cad718.png

 

 

1933

https://maps.nls.uk/view/104197630

 

image.png.ae797d0cc6e70113d6b5dcf877ef1bba.png

 

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In 1942, several sidings were built further to the south of the station to provide access to a cold store.

 

Those do appear on the 1960 1:10,560 OS map

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=17&lat=51.44964&lon=-1.27669&layers=193&b=1

 

image.png.bef28d65cf7b8b2b761e82a9efd839b7.png

 

But with very little detail. is that two sidings, passing either side of the same building? Comparing the size of what looks like the "cold store" to the station, it seems to be pretty big.

 

The Village Design Statement for Hermitage gives us a clue.

 

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During World War 2 the MOD built a large emergency supplies store close to Hermitage Station. When the railway disappeared under the Beeching “axe”, the Station area became a light industrial site and was eventually occupied by the Arena Seating Company.

 

http://info.westberks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=35719&p=0

 

More "plain brown GWR vans" delivering who knows what? @CME and Bottlewasher is the person to ask ;)

 

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8 hours ago, jonny777 said:

 

Ok, so you think I am insane? 

 

And a Merry Christmas to you too. 

 

 

 

Sane analysis is what been counters and governments do - i.e. making sure something is worth doing and a positive business case can be made with good BCR numbers.

 

It is not, and should not be taken as a personal insult.

 

Emotion has no place when it comes to infrastructure - it clouds the judgement and the brutal truth is that even with the growth in container traffic its still far more cost effective to enhance the route via Basingstoke and Reading where ALL rail users can benefit.

 

As for all those HGVs on the A34 - again a sane analysis would show that the vast majority are not suited to rail transport without political action to artificially inflate the transport costs (e.g. as per Switzerland)

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1 hour ago, KeithMacdonald said:

Pinewood Halt railway station

 

 

Sadly, I can't find a well-detailed map of this little halt. The track layout is my guestimate.  Could be completely wrong! But the brickworks might make a good modelling scene?

 

image.png.496e5e7e1f1e86040107284524cf2ad1.png

 

 

 

This is from the 1960 1:10,560 OS map

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=18&lat=51.45930&lon=-1.26414&layers=193&b=1

 

What a pleasant walk through the DN&SR, thanks for guiding us!

 

Regarding Pinewood Halt: 

 

Before the Halt was established there was a private siding, laid in 1907 and known as Brain's Siding. It served the brickfield and -works. The works even had a small NG railway at one time.

 

There are trackplans in the books by C.W Judge and Karau et al for 1942 and 1933 respectively. They both show the private siding with a point and two tracks. Both books have a photo showing the works in the distant background. 

 

Here's a photo of Pinewood Halt in 1967:

 

Pinewood_Halt_station_(1967).jpg.bd9ce44757359f42479adb0b5e0d3cca.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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28 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

 

What a pleasant walk through the DN&SR, thanks for guiding us!

 

Regarding Pinewood Halt: 

 

Before the Halt was established there was a private siding, laid in 1907 and known as Brain's Siding. It served the brickfield and -works. The works even had a small NG railway at one time.

 

There are trackplans in the books by C.W Judge and Karau et al for 1942 and 1933 respectively. They both show the private siding with a point and two tracks. Both books have a photo showing the works in the distant background. 

 

Here's a photo of Pinewood Halt in 1967:

 

Pinewood_Halt_station_(1967).jpg.bd9ce44757359f42479adb0b5e0d3cca.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

There's something morbidly fascinating about a recently closed railway, with track lifted, but otherwise fairly intact.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

 

What a pleasant walk through the DN&SR, thanks for guiding us!

 

Regarding Pinewood Halt: 

 

Before the Halt was established there was a private siding, laid in 1907 and known as Brain's Siding. It served the brickfield and -works. The works even had a small NG railway at one time.

 

There are trackplans in the books by C.W Judge and Karau et al for 1942 and 1933 respectively. They both show the private siding with a point and two tracks. Both books have a photo showing the works in the distant background. 

 

Here's a photo of Pinewood Halt in 1967:

 

Pinewood_Halt_station_(1967).jpg.bd9ce44757359f42479adb0b5e0d3cca.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

 

I grew up in Hermitage (1963-1973) and I used to walk over that bridge to get to school every day. My abiding memory of it is in winter, when the road and the pavement were frozen solid with ice and of falling over every few steps and feeling very unhappy with the world.

 

I never knew the line in operation and so to me the bridge was just a hill amongst the trees. The "yard" at Pinewood Halt had been turned into a playground when I knew it with various bits of steel apparatus installed upon which you were enticed to seriously injure yourself. I seem to remember the scout hut being on the southbound platform.

 

Before the line closed my Dad recorded a train running in the dead of night accompanied by a nightingale singing in the woods. Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine! I have that recording somewhere and one day I will digitise it and share it with everyone.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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From Hermitage, the line gently descends for four miles into the Kennet Valley, with a bridge over the River Kennet, and then turning west into Newbury Station.

 

image.png.efa846bf549abfa83937e1cbff4a262b.png

 

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Newbury was an important junction on the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway (DN&SR), the first section of which opened between Didcot and Newbury in 1881. The route to Winchester was then opened in 1885 but it was not until 1891 that a route to Southampton was completed. However, the route did not include the planned independent Southampton terminus and instead used the terminus owned by the London and South Western Railway.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newbury_railway_station

 

 

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By 1890 Newbury was an important station and junction. There were two lines through the station covered by an overall roof, plus a footbridge, turntable, goods yard and two bay platforms. However, the expansion of the DN&SR and the later opening of the LVR created a bottleneck in Newbury, especially for express trains on the Reading to Plymouth line.

 

Here's what the station layout looked like in 1898:

 

image.png.b8ad3f03598ce4928a5193abd9b5ec52.png

 

Top right is a bay platform for the DN&S. Left of the main station building is the terminus for the Lambourn Valley Railway.

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2 hours ago, KeithMacdonald said:

Hermitage Station

 

This is the last station in this section before we get to Newbury.

 

 

Which version would you like?

 

1890

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=18&lat=51.45025&lon=-1.27253&layers=168&b=1

 

image.png.c5e7609043b3d904d2a056d2b0cad718.png

 

 

1933

https://maps.nls.uk/view/104197630

 

image.png.ae797d0cc6e70113d6b5dcf877ef1bba.png

 

 

Those do appear on the 1960 1:10,560 OS map

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=17&lat=51.44964&lon=-1.27669&layers=193&b=1

 

image.png.bef28d65cf7b8b2b761e82a9efd839b7.png

 

But with very little detail. is that two sidings, passing either side of the same building? Comparing the size of what looks like the "cold store" to the station, it seems to be pretty big.

 

The Village Design Statement for Hermitage gives us a clue.

 

 

http://info.westberks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=35719&p=0

 

More "plain brown GWR vans" delivering who knows what? @CME and Bottlewasher is the person to ask ;)

 

Sorry Keith, I'm ignorant as to their contents :D

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Between 1908 and 1910 the station was rebuilt to extend the platforms and create two loops to ensure trains stopping at the station did not block the line for express and freight trains. Red brick was used for the new station buildings which are still in use today. A new footbridge was built across the station. The expansion also included the building of two signal boxes, one at each end of the station.

 

Here's what the layout at Newbury Station looked like after the remodelling.

 

image.png.e21d59b01391549c3192679ff0206d71.png

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3 hours ago, Harlequin said:

 

Before the line closed my Dad recorded a train running in the dead of night accompanied by a nightingale singing in the woods. Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine! I have that recording somewhere and one day I will digitise it and share it with everyone.

 

That sounds priceless, shades of O. Winston Link.

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21 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

 

Much like the Woodhead route railway enthusiasts love to pretend that the DNSR would be invaluable today when in reality any sane analysis shows otherwise.

 

For starters it left the SWML  on the flat, crossed the GWR on the flat at Newbury and arrived on the south side of the busy GWML at Didcot when most traffic needs to be on the northern side. Yes all fixable BUT if you are going to do that then you get far more bang for your buck if you do Reading (as NR have done) and Basingstoke were passenger services can make use of it too.

 

I suppose I didn't really mean that it shouldn't have closed, more that had it not closed, it would have survived. Which sounds like it's stating the obvious really.

I'm not really denying that either the DNS or Woodhead, or for that matter, the GN&GE, should have closed, or trying to make a case for reopening. It's a real shame that Woodhead had to close, but the fact is the traffic that justified the electrification had largely gone, and what remained could be handled by alternatives.

As for reopening-in all 3 cases, it's too far gone now. Maybe a couple of years after closure it would have been possible, but not now. It would mean effectively building a new railway, and for the money that would be needed, you could probably electrify, resignal and maybe quadruple sections of the alternative routes.

As an aside, I think too often the wrong terminology is used in reference to closed railway lines. Instead of "re-opening", the word "rebuilding" should be used, as in most cases that is what would have to happen, unless track and significant amounts of infrastructure are still in place.

Anyway, let's move on before we get into thread drift.

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17 hours ago, Harlequin said:

Before the line closed my Dad recorded a train running in the dead of night accompanied by a nightingale singing in the woods. Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine! I have that recording somewhere and one day I will digitise it and share it with everyone.

 

That would be a gem. Looking forward to hearing it.

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As a slight diversion, that rearranging of the track at Newbury also tidied-up the quite-large coal yard (east of the station).

 

Before (c.1900), a sprawling layout with track geometry that was so non-standard I struggled to model in AnyRail with Peco

 

image.png.9abff527e391758c39aabcb019106c60.png

 

After (c.1930), a much tidier arrangement.

 

image.png.ae088febd78c5ea96ee63f0463eb7b7d.png

 

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Posted (edited)

As another diversion, for anyone who has idly been wondering what we should do with all those horseboxes we keep finding on this line (and especially on the Lambourn Valley Branch), here's the answer.

 

Newbury Racecourse Station

 

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As the station is next to the racecourse it handles heavy traffic and additional trains on race days. ... The Great Western Railway opened the station on 26 September 1905, several decades after the rest of the stations on this part of the line. It was used for race specials only. It did not even appear on timetables until 1912 but even then, it was still used only for race traffic.

 

image.png.4ca8b3ba24efc6aa5b16532e2071b3bb.png

 

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Freight trains use the existing loop to allow passenger trains to pass them on the main line. Steam locomotives on special charters that are not stopping in the station also use the loop as a water stop because nearby road access can allow a water tender to reach the line.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newbury_Racecourse_railway_station

 

Edited by KeithMacdonald
Going off at a tangent
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On 25/06/2021 at 10:07, Oldddudders said:

I think a key part of the south end of the DN&S is under the M3. Think green protestors and Swampy.

 

I know that you really meant A34. Others aren't aware of your dysliexa. :P

 

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And so, next stop, Woodhay.

 

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Like most country stations on the line it originally consisted of two platforms, the southbound platform on the passing loop. Since the station was built on a bank it was not possible to construct strong foundations for a brick-built station building. Hence this was the only station on the line with a wooden station building located on the southbound platform. Two sidings and a headshunt were built to the south of the station for goods. These were primarily used for horses and wood cut from nearby pine forests.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodhay_railway_station

 

More horses! 

 

But something new, the wood cut from nearby forests. Did the GWR use any particular type of wagon for moving wood?

 

image.png.40cc6a969c88068b3f7ba517f1dc77b8.png

 

https://maps.nls.uk/view/104198401

 

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19 minutes ago, KeithMacdonald said:

And so, next stop, Woodhay.

 

 

More horses! 

 

But something new, the wood cut from nearby forests. Did the GWR use any particular type of wagon for moving wood?

 

image.png.40cc6a969c88068b3f7ba517f1dc77b8.png

 

https://maps.nls.uk/view/104198401

 

 

Driver Albert Pibworth, one of the drivers on the first non-stop run from London to Edinburgh with Flying Scotsman, lived in Wash Common and is buried in Enbourne, both nearby.

Although famous as an LNER man, he worked briefly for the GWR at Newbury station and later drove an LNER pacific on the GWR in the 1928 exchange trials.

 

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