Newport Pagnell branch joining the WCML

Status
Not open for further replies.

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
70,739
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Was on a walk at the weekend which took in the WCML end of the branch (not marked as a continuous footpath on the map, but it in fact is one, in case that's of interest to anyone).

The branch appears to meet the WCML in two directions, north and south, via a pair of curves. However, the south curve towards MKC appears to meet the WCML far too high up to actually join it. Did it bridge over, if so where to, the works?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

zwk500

Established Member
Joined
20 Jan 2020
Messages
2,511
Location
Milton Keynes
Was on a walk at the weekend which took in the WCML end of the branch (not marked as a continuous footpath on the map, but it in fact is one, in case that's of interest to anyone).

The branch appears to meet the WCML in two directions, north and south, via a pair of curves. However, the south curve towards MKC appears to meet the WCML far too high up to actually join it. Did it bridge over, if so where to, the works?

1925-ish map shows it joining the WCML slows at the same level.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
70,739
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Thanks. I wonder if the WCML has been lowered or the trackbed raised? It did seem to be very much on an embankment which, as it's not a formal footpath, I doubt would have been raised deliberately, unless it was perhaps a noise reducing measure for the nearby housing. Quite possibly that.
 

Non Multi

Member
Joined
11 Dec 2017
Messages
899
Thanks. I wonder if the WCML has been lowered or the trackbed raised? It did seem to be very much on an embankment which, as it's not a formal footpath, I doubt would have been raised deliberately, unless it was perhaps a noise reducing measure for the nearby housing. Quite possibly that.
On the NLS maps, the WCML is on a bridge over a waterway that also runs alongside the branch line, the Grand Junction Canal.
 

Merle Haggard

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2019
Messages
1,106
Location
Northampton
The two curves were still in use to serve the stone terminal until the 1980's (-ish). Trains arrived from the Bletchley direction and took the South curve towards Newport, then set back along the North curve into the stone depot. The track layout was simplified, with a new line direct from the West side of the South Curve to the West side of the North curve (unfortunately, it subsided badly and the old layout had to be re-instated for a period). The junctions were certainly always on the level. My memory is hazy, but I think that Newport trains at Wolverton used the East side of an island platform, with the Up slow on the other face, so there were not conflicting moves for the Passenger service. The South curve must have been for freight, as all passenger trains from Newport went to Wolverton
 

Dr Hoo

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2015
Messages
2,747
Location
Hope Valley
The two curves were still in use to serve the stone terminal until the 1980's (-ish). Trains arrived from the Bletchley direction and took the South curve towards Newport, then set back along the North curve into the stone depot. The track layout was simplified, with a new line direct from the West side of the South Curve to the West side of the North curve (unfortunately, it subsided badly and the old layout had to be re-instated for a period). The junctions were certainly always on the level. My memory is hazy, but I think that Newport trains at Wolverton used the East side of an island platform, with the Up slow on the other face, so there were not conflicting moves for the Passenger service. The South curve must have been for freight, as all passenger trains from Newport went to Wolverton
This is very largely correct although I'm not entirely sure about the dates.

When I was doing my signalbox training on the London Midland in the mid 1970s I asked for a day at Wolverton 'Shunt Frame' to understand how an old 'signalbox' released from a panel (Bletchley) really worked. The shunt frame controlled the access to the centre sidings and works incline (that had more connections then) as well as the stone terminal connections. So it effectively interfaced with the Slow Lines only. You still had to cross the Fast Lines, which were 80mph on a blind curve, on foot, as part of the 'safe walking route'!

I took the opportunity to walk 'round' the triangle, which was already rusty and being overtaken by brambles and can confirm that it had a full train length 'headhunt' to a buffer stop with an unlit red lamp on it but the handpoint at the eastern apex still worked. However the stone terminal siding(s) had been re-configured to run along the eastern side of the embankment by then. I can't remember if the 'triangle' had been disconnected by then, albeit left in situ.

It might have been brought back into use later but I am not aware of that.
 

Gloster

Established Member
Joined
4 Sep 2020
Messages
2,670
Location
Up the creek
The 1966 track plan on the ‘The AC Electrics: Classes 80-85, 86, 87’ thread gives the head shunt as 60 wagons. (Sorry, can’t do a link.)
 

Merle Haggard

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2019
Messages
1,106
Location
Northampton
This is very largely correct although I'm not entirely sure about the dates.

It might have been brought back into use later but I am not aware of that.

Thanks, I'm sure you're right about dates - I commuted through there from 1970 until 1989 and it's a bit of a blur; as the stone train (there when I passed, I can't remember in the morning or evening) was a regular 'Western Enterprise' turn, so that puts it back into the 1970's.

The re-instatement was very soon after the new link opened, and wasn't for very long. I think that the new direct link was on a shallow embankment and presumably not consolidated enough; a few 1200t (?) stone trains soon did that, but not very evenly!!!
 

AlterEgo

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
13,950
Location
No longer here
The two curves were still in use to serve the stone terminal until the 1980's (-ish). Trains arrived from the Bletchley direction and took the South curve towards Newport, then set back along the North curve into the stone depot. The track layout was simplified, with a new line direct from the West side of the South Curve to the West side of the North curve (unfortunately, it subsided badly and the old layout had to be re-instated for a period). The junctions were certainly always on the level. My memory is hazy, but I think that Newport trains at Wolverton used the East side of an island platform, with the Up slow on the other face, so there were not conflicting moves for the Passenger service. The South curve must have been for freight, as all passenger trains from Newport went to Wolverton
I see the ARC stone trains ceased in 1993 along with the usage of the line through Claydon. Where exactly was the ARC Stone terminal in Wolverton? I'm scratching my head.
 

zwk500

Established Member
Joined
20 Jan 2020
Messages
2,511
Location
Milton Keynes
I see the ARC stone trains ceased in 1993 along with the usage of the line through Claydon. Where exactly was the ARC Stone terminal in Wolverton? I'm scratching my head.
There's an ARC siding labelled in my 1991 Quail as being immediately south of the station, extending roughly as far as the centre sidings on the east side of the line. The bridge over the Grand Union Canal has a rather obvious space for an extra track, visible on google maps.
 

AlterEgo

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
13,950
Location
No longer here
There's an ARC siding labelled in my 1991 Quail as being immediately south of the station, extending roughly as far as the centre sidings on the east side of the line. The bridge over the Grand Union Canal has a rather obvious space for an extra track, visible on google maps.
Thanks. Makes sense. It appears the site has been redeveloped with no trace. I’d never heard of it before!
 

zwk500

Established Member
Joined
20 Jan 2020
Messages
2,511
Location
Milton Keynes
Thanks. Makes sense. It appears the site has been redeveloped with no trace. I’d never heard of it before!
Almost - the footpath between Caledonian Road and Willow Bank off Newport Road in New Bradwell appears to be the line of the original access road, and there's a dividing boundary within stonebridge industrial estate that seems to line up with the old boundary marked on maps.

 

Attachments

  • 1617093153009.png
    1617093153009.png
    2.1 MB · Views: 15
  • 1617093187943.png
    1617093187943.png
    2.7 MB · Views: 15

Merle Haggard

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2019
Messages
1,106
Location
Northampton
From what I remember, the siding was quite close to the up slow - presumably on the alignment of the branch. There was hopper discharge, and the wagons were moved over the hopper by rubber-tyred wheels mounted horizontally. The clearance between the framing supporting this and a train on the up slow was quite tight.

I can also recollect a Hoveringham stone depot inside, but on the Western edge of the Works - possibly this was its predecessor.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top