Unfinished/Unused Railway Formations

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Chris125

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After finding out that the first 5 miles of the 2ft gauge "Ruthin and Cerrig-y-Drudion Railway" had been built, which if finished would've connected with the NWNGR's extension to Corwen from what is now the WHR, i've become much more interested in railways where work was begun but never finished, or where work was completed but the line never used - especially when the remains can still be seen on google maps.

...however there seems to be very little information about such lines, and i've seen no website dedicated to them or even a list.

The only ones i've found are the Cleveland Extension Mineral Railway, the Ouse Valley Railway, and a GWR line connecting Gwaun-cae-Gurwen with Felin Fran - does anyone know of more?

Chris
 
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The Planner

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The Duddeston viaduct in Brum springs to mind, meant to connect the Moor St line to the cross city at Duddeston.
 

LE Greys

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The Leith New Lines were part of an ambitious attempt by the Caledonian Railway to 'encircle' the North British in Edinburgh, giving them access to the Leith Docks and potentially east along the coast. They had several stations, but never saw any passenger traffic and turned into a bit of a white elephant. This was mostly because the North British built the massive Leith Central and vastly improved their own suburban network in the area. As such, the double-track freight line with never-used stations hung on until 1973. Pity they aren't still around, it might have been possible to divert freight that way and reopen the suburban line for trams.
 

Welshman

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IN 1865, the L & Y Railway received authorisation for a branch from the Manchester & Leeds Railway at Sowerby Bridge, following the Ryburn Valley to Ripponden and Rishworth.

It was intended to go through to Littleborough, cutting 5 miles off the existing route to Manchester via Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, but did not get any further than Rishworth, to where it opened in 1881. And then work ceased.

Not being the through trunk route it was planned to be, traffic never materialised and it was closed to passengers in 1929 and to freight in 1952, and closed completely in 1958.

The trackbed at Sowerby Bridge is now built-over, and much of the track bed up the Ryburn Valley is a footpath/cycleway.
 

MP33

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There was a proposed line from Harwich PQ to the Clacton/Walton on Naze line. I have an old OS map where the first mile or so of the workings are shown before they peter out.

Also there were extensions commenced to the long closed Mid Suffolk Railway that were never completed.
 
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There was also Hinckley - Stoke Golding, completed but never used.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The east Notts joint line was originally to have been Nottingham to the ECML near Markham Moor. In the end it was just Farnsfield - Ollerton...until BR built the Bevercotes branch.
 

Ivo

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The northern line was due to continue on to Aldenham and Bushey beyond its Edgware terminus. I believe this was stopped by the outbreak of the Second World War, but am happy to be corrected on this.

Pity they aren't still around, it might have been possible to divert freight that way and reopen the suburban line for trams.

Trams? Edinburgh? Are you mad? :p
 

LE Greys

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The northern line was due to continue on to Aldenham and Bushey beyond its Edgware terminus. I believe this was stopped by the outbreak of the Second World War, but am happy to be corrected on this.

As seen here. It started as what was effectively a branch of the GNR from Finsbury Park to High Barnet and Edgeware (as it was then) via Highgate, with a short branch to Alexandra Palace (the main line station was called Wood Green then). London Transport wanted to push it onwards to Bushey, and did a lot of work. They electrified the lot, although Ally Pally was never energised and retained steam to the end, rebuilt junctions at Highgate and Edgware and opened Edgware depot. The line through Mill Hill was used for stock moves a lot. They even started clearance on the Bushey extension. Various policy reversals later, it went bit-by-bit down to what we have today.

Trams? Edinburgh? Are you mad? :p

Better to use an old railway alignment through Morningisde to get the service going, then do Prince's Street when people realise how much they like it (as they doubtless will one day).
 

Mvann

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There are plans in existence for a line from Porthmadog to betws-y-coed. The only bit built is what's now the welsh highland railway, but would have headed towards capel cruig instead of crossing the river to bedgelert. Also in the same area is the bridge and the piers outside bedgelert that was never used. The line was going to be electrified, but the company made more money selling electricity to bedgelert.
 

yorksrob

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Some earthworks south of Chessington South towards Leatherhead were built before WW2 intervened.

There were also some earthworks built by the LB&SCR south of Balcombe for a line towards Uckfield.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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The Duddeston viaduct in Brum springs to mind, meant to connect the Moor St line to the cross city at Duddeston.

Actually it was the original authorised route of the Oxford & Birmingham in 1845 and should have reached Curzon St to meet the L&B and GJ (and the Midland).
The L&B and GJ merged into the LNWR, and the O&B was bought out by the GWR, at which point they abandoned the half-built Duddeston viaduct, built separate through stations at New St and Snow Hill and glared at each other for the next century.
Just fancy, we could have had a mega-interchange at Curzon St (which looks like being built for HS2).

One other abandoned line is the Manchester & Milford, intended to link the Cambrian to the GWR Carmarthen-Aberystwyth line over very difficult terrain.
A line from Llanidloes was built about 3 miles to Llangurig, and then the plan was abandoned.
I think a single train was run to Llangurig before they pulled the plug.
You can still see the formation alongside the A470 today.
You might wonder who would want a through train from Manchester to Milford Haven, but it's an ATW artery today - via Hereford and Cardiff.
 

SussexMan

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There were also some earthworks built by the LB&SCR south of Balcombe for a line towards Uckfield.

...and if you have a look on the OS 1:25000 map of Uckfield you'll see the embankment they built at the other end of the abandoned railway where it would have joined the now closed Uckfield to Lewes line. You can easily see the embankment from the Uckfield bypass.

There's a good article all about it here from The Railway Magazine in 1946.
 

pendolino

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Some earthworks south of Chessington South towards Leatherhead were built before WW2 intervened.

Certainly what put a halt to it was WW2, but what killed it off entirely was probably post-War austerity and, more so, Green Belt legislation.
 

yorksrob

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...and if you have a look on the OS 1:25000 map of Uckfield you'll see the embankment they built at the other end of the abandoned railway where it would have joined the now closed Uckfield to Lewes line. You can easily see the embankment from the Uckfield bypass.

There's a good article all about it here from The Railway Magazine in 1946.

Cheers - I wasn't aware there were earthworks at the other end of the line as well.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Certainly what put a halt to it was WW2, but what killed it off entirely was probably post-War austerity and, more so, Green Belt legislation.

Indeed. The good old 1947 Town and Country Planning Act.
 

martinsh

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The Neath & Brecon extension from Sennybridge to meet the Central Wales (now HoW) line near Llanwrtyd was abandoned before completion.

A north to east connection at Tamworth was partly constructed

A line to connect Cinderford to the Gloucester to Ross on Wye line was completed but never opened.


Fascinating thread ...
 

swcovas

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The Manchester and Milford springs to mind, a project obviously intended to link the two places. To cut a long story short this project was to eventually become the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line which closed in the 60s but also a stretch of line to Llangurig which, off the top of my head saw only one train before being abandonded. Plenty of info on the web, start at wiki for a pretty good insight.
 

fgwrich

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As seen here. It started as what was effectively a branch of the GNR from Finsbury Park to High Barnet and Edgeware (as it was then) via Highgate, with a short branch to Alexandra Palace (the main line station was called Wood Green then). London Transport wanted to push it onwards to Bushey, and did a lot of work. They electrified the lot, although Ally Pally was never energised and retained steam to the end, rebuilt junctions at Highgate and Edgware and opened Edgware depot. The line through Mill Hill was used for stock moves a lot. They even started clearance on the Bushey extension. Various policy reversals later, it went bit-by-bit down to what we have today.



Better to use an old railway alignment through Morningisde to get the service going, then do Prince's Street when people realise how much they like it (as they doubtless will one day).

Certainly what put a halt to it was WW2, but what killed it off entirely was probably post-War austerity and, more so, Green Belt legislation.

Indeed - even LUL Had started construction of several bridges and viaducts along the route. I can't remember if this particular viaduct had a name or not, but i think it still stands today, albiet gradually decaying. Another line unfortunatly killed off thanks to post-War austerity and the tightening of the Green Belt legislation.
 

Welshman

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One other abandoned line is the Manchester & Milford, intended to link the Cambrian to the GWR Carmarthen-Aberystwyth line over very difficult terrain.
A line from Llanidloes was built about 3 miles to Llangurig, and then the plan was abandoned.
I think a single train was run to Llangurig before they pulled the plug.
You can still see the formation alongside the A470 today.
You might wonder who would want a through train from Manchester to Milford Haven, but it's an ATW artery today - via Hereford and Cardiff.

Actually, Wiki suggests it was built by the LNWR at a time when the port of Liverpool was congested, expensive and monopolised the Anglo-American traffic.

Brunel, in the meanwhile, was driving-forward his plans for the GWR to become the main route from Paddington to America, by moving his port of embarcation from Bristol to Milford Haven, following the completion of the Severn Tunnel, so the LNWR saw the possibility of diverting their trade to and from Manchester and the industrial North-West via this deep-water harbour.
 

Essexman

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Walton on the Naze - Frinton

Peter Bruff, the civil engineer responsible for bringing the railway to Walton on the Naze in 1867 and for building the pier, South Terrace (which was destroyed by bombing in World War Two) and Clifton Baths, had plans for a tramway linking Walton with Frinton, but other projects took him away and he sold his interests in 1897.

Source - Essex Coast Walk (Peter Caton)
 

nag67

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The Cromarty and Dingwall Light Railway also springs to mind. Apparently only about 6 of the 19 miles or so needed were built between 1902 and 1914, strangely starting from the end not connecting to the "main line".
 

OliverS

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There was a proposed line from Harwich PQ to the Clacton/Walton on Naze line. I have an old OS map where the first mile or so of the workings are shown before they peter out.

Do you mean the Mistley, Thorpe & Walton railway? For which a small amount of earthworks survive in Mistley Heath. I'm not sure that there was ever a line proposed from Harwich PQ. But remember the railway was diverted to PQ and there is some of the original formation in Dovercourt.
 

Chris125

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Walton on the Naze - Frinton

Peter Bruff, the civil engineer responsible for bringing the railway to Walton on the Naze in 1867 and for building the pier, South Terrace (which was destroyed by bombing in World War Two) and Clifton Baths, had plans for a tramway linking Walton with Frinton, but other projects took him away and he sold his interests in 1897.

Was work started on the ground?

Btw thanks for the info guys, very interesting. Keep them coming!

Chris
 
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Certainly what put a halt to it was WW2, but what killed it off entirely was probably post-War austerity and, more so, Green Belt legislation.

The original plan of the Southern Railway was a loop line re-joining the original Mole Valley route at Leatherhead. The line was opened as far as Chessington South with new stations en route encouraging the spread of speculative housing. The 1947 Green Belt quoshed the possibilty of similar development along the remainder of the proposed route to Leatherhead and the scheme was abandoned. The Green Belt was also largely responsible for the abandonment of the Northern Line extension north of Edgware (already mentioned), as well as the Central Line extension to Denham - the latter was halted at West Ruislip, and I don't know what infrastructure work (if any) took place between West Ruislip and Denham.
 

Midlandman

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Just north of Whitley Bay, the North Eastern Railway intended to build an extension from its electrified North Tyne Loop to the village of Seaton Sluice (which was to be renamed to the more 'genteel' sounding 'Holywell Bay'). Sadly, World War 1 got in the way and the place remains Seaton Sluice to this day. The formation, though was nearly complete and was plainly visible (and still was a couple of years ago) just south of the village, though I don't know if the station was anywhere near being built.
Incidentally, in the 1970s we managed to persuade one of the more gullible members of our (student) group that not only had the NER put Holywell bay on the destination blinds of their electric trains, but it had also been handed down to the BR dmus which were currently operating the loop! He then made a nuisance of himself trying to persuade the crews to wind the blinds so he could take a picture of it.
 

dzug2

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The Wolverton to Newport Pagnell branch line was intended to be extended to Olney and some earth works were started around Emberton. Not sure what's left of them - unless you know exactly what you are looking for the latest OS map doesn't show them though they are quite clear on say the New Popular edition from the 1940s
 

swcovas

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After finding out that the first 5 miles of the 2ft gauge "Ruthin and Cerrig-y-Drudion Railway" had been built, which if finished would've connected with the NWNGR's extension to Corwen from what is now the WHR, i've become much more interested in railways where work was begun but never finished, or where work was completed but the line never used - especially when the remains can still be seen on google maps.

...however there seems to be very little information about such lines, and i've seen no website dedicated to them or even a list.

The only ones i've found are the Cleveland Extension Mineral Railway, the Ouse Valley Railway, and a GWR line connecting Gwaun-cae-Gurwen with Felin Fran - does anyone know of more?

Chris


I was intersted in your link about the Gwaun cae Gurwen line. I am originally from the area but never knew work had started on a tunnel for the proposed extension. You might be interested to know that on the section which WAS built south from GCG to serve a few small collieries and was to become the Line to the new colliery at Abernant, two quite substantial stations were actually built though never used. I can well remember the station at Cwmgors which was destroyed by fire in perhaps around 1980 (I think). At GCG itself there was going to be a triangular junction with, I think, all 3 sides on short viaducts but I don't think any track was ever laid on the eastern side of the triangle. This eastern side can be seen clearly on old OS maps and would have provided a link from what is today the disposal point near Tairgwaith down to the Swansea District line had the extension ever been built.
 

Gareth Marston

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The Manchester and Milford springs to mind, a project obviously intended to link the two places. To cut a long story short this project was to eventually become the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line which closed in the 60s but also a stretch of line to Llangurig which, off the top of my head saw only one train before being abandonded. Plenty of info on the web, start at wiki for a pretty good insight.

The track to Llangurig stayed in situ until the 1880's, the formation from Penpontrben Jnc to just beyond Llangurig is remarkably still discernible though a lot has crumbled away the last 20 years. Same goes with the Mid Wales line as the terrain is so wild it was not instantly reclaimed. Theres still several gangers huts in place south of Llanidloes 49 years after closure.

The M & M even began excavating a tunnel through the middle of the Cambrian Mts. You need the OS Grid ref though in the middle of forestry miles from anywhere.
 

zoro

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After finding out that the first 5 miles of the 2ft gauge "Ruthin and Cerrig-y-Drudion Railway" had been built, which if finished would've connected with the NWNGR's extension to Corwen from what is now the WHR, i've become much more interested in railways where work was begun but never finished, or where work was completed but the line never used - especially when the remains can still be seen on google maps.

...however there seems to be very little information about such lines, and i've seen no website dedicated to them or even a list.

The only ones i've found are the Cleveland Extension Mineral Railway, the Ouse Valley Railway, and a GWR line connecting Gwaun-cae-Gurwen with Felin Fran - does anyone know of more?

Chris

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40011/6127763092/in/set-72157627501379133
This is the viaduct at the Gwaen-cae-gurwen end of the Felin Fran line. I was always led to believe, when I was living in the area, that it never actually had rails laid across it, ( it being the missing side of a triangular junction, that would of connected Brynamman to said line) That is only what I was led to believe, no doubt a member on here will know the details.
 

swcovas

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/40011/6127763092/in/set-72157627501379133
This is the viaduct at the Gwaen-cae-gurwen end of the Felin Fran line. I was always led to believe, when I was living in the area, that it never actually had rails laid across it, ( it being the missing side of a triangular junction, that would of connected Brynamman to said line) That is only what I was led to believe, no doubt a member on here will know the details.


Not quite correct.....see my previous post. This eastern part of the triangle would have given access from Tairgwaith, reopened a couple of years ago. The Brynaman line was a seperate branch running off from Garnant, about a mile and a half from GCG and facing the opposite direction. Interesting to see photo.....I too believe tht track was never laid along this viaduct.
 

zoro

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Not quite correct.....see my previous post. This eastern part of the triangle would have given access from Tairgwaith, reopened a couple of years ago. The Brynaman line was a seperate branch running off from Garnant, about a mile and a half from GCG and facing the opposite direction. Interesting to see photo.....I too believe tht track was never laid along this viaduct.

Ah yes, that's jogged my fading memory a bit now.
 
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