Merstham Tunnel

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Deepgreen, 29 Apr 2015.

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  1. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    A (quite obscure) question for the railway historians out there - just to the south of Merstham tunnel (near Redhill, Surrey), the railway is in a deep cutting which lowers as it approaches the M25 bridge. A short distance north of that bridge, on the eastern side of the line, there is what looks like the remains of a very old side cutting, now heavily overgrown and partly filled in with soil, etc. Looking at maps, this appears to lead across to the Quarry line cutting, which was built after the original Redhill route. My question is; does anyone know if this was either a rail or roadway connection built to facilitate the Quarry line construction, or is it simply a natural/unrelated formation? I have found no specific reference to it anywhere so far.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  2. civ-eng-jim

    civ-eng-jim Member

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    Looking at an old map, I've taken a snap shot of it in the attached JPG.

    Do a search for "Greystone Lime Works" or "Quarry Dean" - Should throw something up about whether it was a railway, or quarry tramway of some sorts.
     

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  3. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Excellent - many thanks, civ-eng-jim.
     
  4. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    Can be seen at large scale on old-maps.co.uk.
     
  5. westcoaster

    westcoaster Established Member

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    Half way between Redhill and merstham there is an old line that heads towards the quarries.
     
  6. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Thanks Snowball - good detail there. Question well and truly answered!
     
  7. 30909

    30909 Member

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    Previously to the siding constructed by the South Eastern Railway to serve the Greystone or "Hearthstone" mines they were served by an extension of "The Surrey Iron Railway; The Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Railway
    It was proposed to extend it to Merstham and Godstone, and an Act for the purpose was obtained on 17 May 1803. The railway's directors were directors of the CM&GR, supplemented by Colonel Hylton Joliffe and Rev William John Joliffe, who had land and mineral interests on its route.Work started quickly and it opened to Merstham on 24 July 1805 - it never reached Godstone.
    There is a building on the east side of A23 north of Merstham formerly the Jolliffe Arms public house now an India restaurant. The mines extended southwards of the escarpment and caused a degree of difficulty when constructing Junction 7 on the M25
     
  8. The Barlow Boy

    The Barlow Boy Member

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    I think that people are getting confused between the hearthstone quarry line between Merstham and the tunnel which was the original question and the BIS sidings at Holmthorpe. The former now well overgrown and the latter buried under a housing estate.
     
  9. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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  10. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    There is a whole rabbit warren of mines (and that's how the local cave rescue people describe it!) in the J7 area, and indeed littering the whole local landscape. An experienced local structural engineer once told me of many different issues he'd seen with building works in the area as a result, including near collapses around the Reigate area, and in fact reckoned you could get from Reigate to Godstone without heading above ground, though it would in practice probably involve very specialist equipment to ensure you survived!

    Bedlam's Bank is situated near the M25 J7 area and is also near the approximate area once served by the sidings mentioned in this thread. It is the name of the patch of ground above a very complex series of mines and passageways. As a public word of warning, under no circumstances should anyone but the highly experienced and qualified attempt to enter such workings. You will only end up being rescued (dead or alive, quite possibly dead) if you don't know what you're doing round there. But some of these mines have proved very useful. I believe some materials for M25 construction were stored in them, and of course the resources have helped traders thrive over the years. We also recently discussed the Reigate Silver Sand Siding, which was between Redhill and Reigate on the North side of the line. (This infrastructure is now covered over by housing and also a locally-listed old factory and power plant, which can be seen from Madeira Walk. There is also paving with built-in tram tracks visible from said road.) Quite a few of these mines and pits were operated by individual, enterprising local traders. In the case of the Greystone quarries mentioned "upthread", it seems the history is very interesting and perhaps not all that well-known amongst locals.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  11. Yabbadabba

    Yabbadabba Member

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  12. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Then, of course, even further west, there is the Betchworth quarry network, the main line connection to which still exists as a very overgrown siding to the west of the station on the north side. As far as I know, the points to it are still theoretically operable, but haven't been used for decades. Thanks to all for the inputs to this thread.
     
  13. The Barlow Boy

    The Barlow Boy Member

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    Correct.
     
  14. ajb690

    ajb690 Member

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    Fascinating stuff. Nothing to add, but thanks for all the detail.
     
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