Missed Opportunites - Tring & Reigate Railway

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DerekC

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"Railways of Hertfordshire" - inherited from my dad - lists and has sketch maps of a lot of 19thC railway schemes which might have happened but didn't in that part of England. Many of them are variations on routes which did get built eventually, or branches which would have been closed long ago if they had.

The one that hits me as a lost opportunity is the "Tring and Reigate Railway" of 1845. The route is Tring, Chesham, Beaconsfield, Farnham Royal, Slough, Egham, Staines, Chertsey, Weybridge, Cobham, Leatherhead, Dorking, Reigate. (Some fairly serious civil engineering involved!)

I can only say wow! What a pity - it would have been just what we need now for all sorts of reasons - access to Heathrow, Route to Channel Tunnel -- the list is endless.

Does anyone know more about it, or know of any other schemes like this which would really have made a difference to the network map?
 
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nickleics

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The route is Tring, Chesham,...
I believe that some land was secured at the time of building beyond the current terminus at Chesham to facilitate the route out to Tring; that land is now in part occupied by the car park for the Waitrose supermarket.
 

John Webb

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"Railways of Hertfordshire" - inherited from my dad - lists and has sketch maps of a lot of 19thC railway schemes which might have happened but didn't in that part of England.......
Do you have the Author, publisher and year of publication, please? ISBN as well if it has one.
Thanks,
John Webb
 

DerekC

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I don't know the book, but the only book by that title I could find was by F. G. Cockman, published in 1978, ISBN 9780901354112

That's the one - I have the second edition published 1983. ISBN 0-901354-24-4.
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I believe that some land was secured at the time of building beyond the current terminus at Chesham to facilitate the route out to Tring; that land is now in part occupied by the car park for the Waitrose supermarket.

I doubt that this was anything to do with the 1845 scheme since the Chesham branch wasn't opened until 1889. However it seems that Chesham was intended to be a through station on a Metropolitan route joining the LNWR (WCML) somewhere in the Tring area so the principle is right. It could also have been associated with is the "Chesham Boxmoor and Hemel Hempstead Steam Tramway" proposal which is described in the same book, That dated from 1887/8 so fits very well.
 
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30907

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A little detail. Redhill station was called Reigate at the time, which makes the line more logical, connecting the L&B with the Brighton and SER (via the GW and LSW), but it sound like a typical Ralway Mania scheme. The West London Extension Railway did the job 20 years later over a far shorter route!
 

DerekC

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A little detail. Redhill station was called Reigate at the time, which makes the line more logical, connecting the L&B with the Brighton and SER (via the GW and LSW), but it sound like a typical Ralway Mania scheme. The West London Extension Railway did the job 20 years later over a far shorter route!

Thanks for the information on Reigate/Redhill - that certainly makes more sense. It just predated the Reading, Guildford & Reigate proposal (1847/48) so I should have realised that anyway. It was certainly a Railway Mania scheme and I guess wouldn't have had a chance of paying its way in the 1840s. However if it existed now it would do a very different job from the WLER. It would have provided a direct link from Gatwick to Heathrow, Heathrow to SWML, Channel Tunnel freight to WCML ... I am just repeating my OP.
 
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AndrewE

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A Grand ceinture for the UK! (or railway M25) Could have been quite useful for freight, but would passenger services have benefitted? Maybe, if TFL had taken it over and put on regular interval services.
The Bletchley to Oxford line would (might) not have been needed either.
Interesting to muse on the possibilities.
Thanks for the info
A
 

tsr

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I didn't know this was actually recorded so clearly in a book, to be perfectly honest, but it's been one of those legendary tales which has cropped up by word of mouth in the Reigate area from time to time.

In a recent copy of RAIL magazine you can read another in a historically probably-quite-long stream of comments suggesting that a "London orbital" rail network including the North Downs and East-West routes would be beneficial. I suggest this would have been even more useful for this, as you are all saying above, though I suppose it could have ended up being just as narrow and clogged-up as the more urban current Southern route through the WLL.

I'll have to get the book...
 

DerekC

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There's also the "Northern and Southern Connecting Railway", deposited in Parliament on the same day in 1845. This proposed a line from Hatfield to St Albans, Watford, Rickmansworth, Cowley, Harefield, Weybridge and then much the same route as the T&RR to Reigate (Redhill). Even more of a railway M25! Projected cost GBP 900,000!! (about 100M in today's money).
 
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