London and Croydon Railway

London and Croydon Railway

A London & Croydon Railway foi autorizada pelo Parlamento em 1835. A linha de nove milhas estendia-se da Corbetts Lane Junction na London & Greenwich Railway até Croydon e foi inaugurada em 1839. O custo total de construção da linha foi de £ 615.160 (£ 70.240 por milha )

A partir de setembro de 1841, a London & Brighton Railway começou a usar o trilho London & Croydon. Cinco anos depois, a London & Brighton se fundiu com a London & Croydon para formar a London, Brighton & South Coast Railway.


London and Croydon Railway - História

Uma tentativa de conduzir trens por pressão de ar

Embora tenha sido a locomotiva que tornou a ferrovia - até então representada por apenas algumas minas de bondes - um sucesso comercial, havia entre os pioneiros homens que se perguntavam se os trens não poderiam ser operados com rapidez e eficiência sem o uso de locomotivas. Em primeiro lugar, pensava-se que as locomotivas não conseguiriam subir as colinas. Brunel estava bastante preparado para descobrir que teria de enrolar os trens pela longa margem através do Túnel da Caixa, embora esperasse que seus motores de bitola larga desenvolveriam grande potência. No evento, eles se mostraram à altura da subida e nunca foram usados ​​cabos na Box, pois ocorreram em algumas outras inclinações do país. Afinal, os buracos de ventilação que Brunel cavara do topo da colina para dentro do túnel eram necessários para a ventilação, ajudando a dissipar a fumaça que, segundo os pessimistas, sufocaria os passageiros naquele que era então o túnel mais longo do mundo.

A fumaça foi a segunda objeção à locomotiva. Pode não ter sido pior do que poeira na estrada, e certamente não era tão ruim quanto a lama, mas deu a impressão de que a ferrovia estava suja. Disse, a, de fogo viajante. Os fazendeiros temiam que seus ricks fossem incendiados pelas faíscas dos motores que passavam; o povo da cidade temia um perigo semelhante para suas casas. Londres procurou manter a locomotiva sob controle se a ferrovia viesse dentro de seus limites. É verdade que ela usou motores em sua primeira linha, a London and Greenwich Railway, parte da qual foi inaugurada no final de 1830, mas ela trabalhou em sua segunda linha, a Blackwall Railway, que tocava a cidade, por cabo. Foi até considerado necessário quando a linha de Birmingham foi aberta para que as locomotivas fossem decoladas em Camden e os trens entrassem e saíssem de Euston.

Dar corda era uma prática antiga e possivelmente um tanto desajeitada, de modo que os engenheiros logo estavam tentando pensar em uma maneira melhor de operar uma linha sem locomotivas. Embora as locomotivas tivessem mostrado que eram praticáveis, elas não eram de todo populares numa época em que aqueles que estavam interessados ​​no tráfego de cavalos antigos nas estradas estavam prontos para espalhar histórias contra elas.

Havia outros poderes além do vapor, tanto a água quanto o ar foram empregados com sucesso pelo homem durante séculos. A água nunca foi usada para fazer funcionar uma ferrovia, exceto no caso de algumas falésias, que na verdade são elevadores, onde um carro, pesado com o tanque cheio, puxa outro com o tanque vazio. Mas houve uma proposta inicial de construir uma linha elevada para Brighton, na qual os trens equipados com velas deveriam ser levados pelo vento. Devido à instabilidade do vento, essa não seria uma linha na qual qualquer tipo de cronograma pudesse ser mantido, e nunca foi mais do que um sonho pitoresco.

Mas o ar deveria desempenhar seu papel na ferrovia, fornecendo energia por meio do que agora devemos considerar como o terceiro trilho. A década de 1840, quando as linhas estavam sendo construídas e estendidas por toda parte, viu em Londres, South Devon e Irlanda, um experimento valente que foi amplamente chamado de Estrada de Ferro Atmosférica.

Já havia o tubo pneumático ao longo do qual, se o ar fosse retirado por uma extremidade, um pistão ou portador era disparado pela força do ar que entrava na outra extremidade. Uma mensagem na operadora pode ser enviada rapidamente por este método. Clegg e Samuda conceberam a ideia de que, se alguma conexão pudesse ser feita entre o pistão no tubo e um trem fora dele, o pistão puxaria o trem pelo menos tão rápido quanto uma locomotiva poderia puxá-lo. Isso significava que deveria haver ao longo de todo o comprimento do tubo uma fenda de onde uma barra pudesse subir para fazer o acoplamento com o trem. Isso levantou o problema de como o tubo poderia ser mantido hermético, como deveria ser se funcionasse corretamente.

O SISTEMA ATMOSFÉRICO. No diagrama inferior, AA é um tubo contínuo fixado entre os trilhos B, pistão CC, placas de ferro conectadas ao pistão D, aparelho de conexão de placa ao carro E, rolos de metal para abrir a válvula contínua F, rolo preso ao carro para fechar o válvula e, W, contrapeso para o pistão. Nos diagramas superiores: H, válvula climática K, válvula estanque contínua com dobradiças em / L, composição para a válvula de vedação e M, rolo preso ao carro para abrir a válvula climática. O diagrama sem letras mostra uma seção transversal da linha e do carro.

O plano adotado foi, talvez, o único possível. Uma aba de couro foi colocada sobre a fenda e, à medida que o acoplamento passou, duas rodinhas girando antes de levantar a aba, deram passagem. Atrás do acoplamento, a aba caiu sobre a fenda e a fechou. Teoricamente, não deveria ter havido vazamento na prática, como se comprovou posteriormente, era um bom negócio e foi isso que causou a falha do sistema.

Clegg e Samuda experimentaram seu cachimbo em uma pista em Wormwood Scrubbs, que agora faz parte da West London Railway (Londres, Midland e Scottish and Great Western Joint) que atravessa Addison Road. Os testes foram feitos lá, talvez, porque na época não havia outro uso para a linha. Eles tiveram sucesso o suficiente para impressionar Brunel. Ele havia terminado o Great Western e o Bristol e Exeter, e agora estava avançando com a South Devon Railway. Até agora ele havia construído uma linha fácil que, embora pudesse resultar em algumas subidas longas, não era uma linha realmente severa.

Mas, além de Newton Abbot, ele se deparou com um país difícil. Ele teve que subir e descer as esporas de Dartmoor para chegar a Plymouth. Não havia nada a fazer a não ser fazer um ziguezague. Mais uma vez, ele duvidou que as locomotivas pudessem subir as colinas. Então ele decidiu usar o sistema atmosférico entre Exeter e Plymouth e, talvez, até mesmo na Cornualha. Isso deveria dar a ele em cada trem, quando se tratava de uma subida difícil, uma reserva de potência de uma locomotiva estacionária que não havia necessidade de construir dentro dos estreitos limites que deveriam ser considerados em uma locomotiva.

Enquanto ele estava construindo a primeira seção de South Devon de Exeter a Newton Abbot, ele instalou o oleoduto com o resto da pista.

O equipamento não estava pronto quando a ferrovia foi inaugurada em maio de 1846, e locomotivas tiveram que ser usadas, mas a obra foi levada adiante, pois o público estava impaciente para ver os trens atmosféricos. Talvez muito tenha sido prometido sobre a suavidade e a limpeza do sistema, de qualquer forma, um trem sem motor seria uma maravilha de se ver e viajar.

Os testes foram iniciados em fevereiro de 1847, mas só em novembro houve um serviço público, e as locomotivas não desapareceram por completo até o início de 1848. Durante os testes, altas velocidades foram atingidas - até 70 milhas por hora com trens leves e mais tarde, quando já estava em pleno funcionamento, foi relatado que dos 884 trens que circulam, 790 mantiveram ou ganharam o tempo. Mas o teste do oleoduto na pista quase nivelada ao lado do estuário do Exe e sob os penhascos da costa não foi o teste que Brunel esperava fazer mais tarde sobre as colinas, quando tivesse que virar para o interior.

UMA SEÇÃO DE TUBULAÇÃO usada no sistema atmosférico da Estrada de Ferro South Devon. Trens movidos à pressão atmosférica funcionavam em 1847. Velocidades de até 70 milhas por hora foram alcançadas antes que o método tivesse que ser abandonado.

As estações de bombeamento em South Devon ficavam a cinco quilômetros uma da outra e funcionavam em revezamento. Quando um trem estava para chegar a um trecho, a estação daquele trecho começou a bombear o ar, mas parou de bombear quando o trem passou. De qualquer forma, era assim que deveria ter sido, mas não havia comunicação telegráfica entre as estações, a vinda de um trem tinha que ser calculada de acordo com o horário, e às vezes uma estação começava a bombear muito cedo.

Essa falta de coordenação naturalmente aumentou o custo de trabalho, e parece estranho que a South Devon Railway não tivesse telégrafo, pois a linha mãe, a Great Western, o tinha praticamente desde o início. O que foi, talvez, a primeira linha em uso foi colocada entre Paddington e West Drayton e mais tarde estendida a Slough. Por esta linha foram alguns telegramas agora históricos. Uma em 1844 era uma mensagem real, contando a Londres sobre o nascimento de um príncipe em Windsor. Outro no mesmo ano foi o primeiro enviado pela polícia na esperança de prevenir ou detectar o crime. Foi quando uma grande multidão, com muitos batedores de carteira conhecidos, foi de trem de Paddington a Slough para o Montem Day em Eton. Os nomes e descrições foram telegrafados para Slough, onde alguns dos batedores de carteira foram avisados ​​e outros presos quando saíram dos trens.

Mas a falta de coordenação não foi o único problema a afetar a ferrovia South Devon. Logo a aba que deveria manter o tubo hermético começou a mostrar sua fraqueza. O couro não resistiu ao desgaste provocado pela passagem do acoplamento, e a fenda teve que ser livremente revestida com sebo para mantê-la flexível e fazer com que se encaixasse bem na fenda. O sebo tinha seus inimigos, o sol o derreteu e os ratos o comeram. A dificuldade de manter a aba em bom estado fazia com que o tubo ficasse gotejante e a circulação dos trens fosse incerta.

ENTRE A PONTE DE LONDRES E OS trens atmosféricos CROYDON começaram a circular em 1845. O tubo - uma seção é vista acima - do qual o ar foi exaurido era cinco polegadas menor do que o tubo de 20 polegadas usado na Ferrovia South Devon. O sistema atmosférico foi abandonado na London and Croydon Railway em julho de 1846, quando a linha foi assumida pela London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.

Brunel relutou em abandonar o sistema até que ele tivesse visto como funcionaria na linha que ele estava construindo, com isso em vista, além de Newton Abbot, mas, como nenhuma aba melhor do que aquela em uso poderia ser concebida, ele teve que ir de volta às locomotivas no outono de 1848. Ele estimou que haveria uma economia de & # 16367.000 em despesas e uma economia anual de & # 1638.000 em trabalho. O South Devon perdeu entre & # 163300.000 e & # 163400.000 no sistema atmosférico, e a empresa, agora fundida com o Great Western, ficou com uma linha, entre Newton Abbot e Plymouth, que não foi planejada para locomotivas . Não poderia ter sido feito uma linha fácil, mas provavelmente não teria sido tão pesado quanto é se não tivesse sido construído antes de Brunel perder a fé no projeto.

Era na linha entre London Bridge e Croydon que os londrinos tinham qualquer emoção que pudesse haver em andar no Atmospheric. Nessa linha, o sistema foi adotado principalmente por causa do preconceito contra as locomotivas em ou perto de Londres. A inspiração veio para os diretores de Croydon, assim como para Brunel, do aparente sucesso do Atmospheric na pequena linha de Dublin e Dalkey na Irlanda, mas a linha de Croydon estava pronta para o equipamento muito antes de South Devon.

Os trens começaram a circular em 1845, mas aqui, como em outros lugares, o flap ou válvula falhou, o tubo começou a vazar e os trens perderam velocidade e às vezes paravam por falta de energia. Eles não conseguiam subir até o cume, e contam-se histórias de como os passageiros saíram para empurrar e, às vezes, empurraram com tanta força que o trem fugiu e os deixou para trás. O tubo de Croydon tinha quinze polegadas de diâmetro, e o de South Devon, vinte polegadas. A aba era a mesma em ambas as linhas e em ambas não se mostrou à prova de intempéries nem de ratos. No calor, o sebo corria e, a todo momento, os ratos vinham para um banquete.

O sistema atmosférico foi abandonado entre Londres e Croydon em julho de 1846, quando a linha de Croydon tornou-se propriedade da London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. Foi uma pena que Brunel não aprendeu nada com essa foto, mas ele ainda estava se perguntando como faria os trens sobre as colinas de Devonshire sem a ajuda de usinas de energia.

Pouco se lembra agora do Atmosférico, mas é interessante recordá-lo como tendo dado à ferrovia seu primeiro terceiro trilho, ou, pelo menos, o equivalente a ele. Foi o primeiro sistema que permitiu a transmissão de força, de outra forma que por um tambor enrolado, para lugares distantes do motor e por isso suas usinas foram as primeiras do mundo. Agora falamos com familiaridade de usinas de energia e do terceiro trilho, conforme pensamos nele, fornecendo corrente elétrica aos trens, é um lugar-comum nas linhas suburbanas e não mais uma novidade nas viagens para o litoral.

Não vimos o terceiro trilho até 1890, quando a primeira seção do metrô City and South London foi inaugurada, e isso foi quarenta e dois anos depois que o Atmospheric foi sucateado. No entanto, se Londres algum dia tivesse feito um metrô apenas para mercadorias, nas linhas do Post Office Tube Railway, ele poderia ter sido operado pneumaticamente, pois tais tubos poderiam ter sido feitos hermeticamente o suficiente. O que matou o Atmosférico, como Brunel e outros procuraram usá-lo, foi a dificuldade de conectar o pistão no tubo com o trem fora e ao mesmo tempo evitar vazamentos.

Se, entretanto, os engenheiros ferroviários da época não tivessem sido capazes de recorrer a uma alternativa tão conveniente como a locomotiva a vapor, esses graves defeitos poderiam ter sido superados.

UMA ESTAÇÃO DE BOMBEAMENTO na South Devon Railway. As estações foram colocadas a três milhas de distância e operadas sucessivamente. Quando um trem estava para chegar em qualquer seção específica, a estação de bombeamento começava a exaurir o ar da tubulação e só parava quando o trem passava.


Notas de rodapé e referências

    Informações sobre as pressões econômicas e sociais por trás da eletrificação tiradas de Surrey Railways Remembered by Leslie Oppitz, Capítulo 4, p27. Oppitz observa um relatório contemporâneo no The Times descrevendo a rota LBSCR Londres-Brighton como um "rastejar para o sul", embora ele também diga que o trem mais rápido em sua programação na época levava uma hora e 5 minutos para chegar da London Bridge para Brighton, que não fica muito longe dos tempos atuais de viagem. O efeito da competição do bonde também vem de Oppitz, Capítulo 4, p27. De acordo com a Croydon Tramways de Robert J Harley, o trabalho para eletrificar os bondes de Croydon (que anteriormente eram puxados por cavalos) começou em outubro de 1900 e, na primavera de 1902, a cidade tinha "uma rede de bondes elétricos em pleno funcionamento". Peter Clark (comunicação pessoal) observa, no entanto, que havia duas empresas de bonde operando em Croydon na época - Croydon Corporation (CCT) e a South Metropolitan Electric Lighting and Tramways Company (SMET) - o que significa que, em alguns casos, as viagens não eram possíveis . Por exemplo, uma viagem de Purley ao centro de Londres envolvia uma mudança de bonde em Tooting e, devido à relutância da CCT em permitir que os bondes SMET cruzassem suas linhas em West Croydon, normalmente não era possível pegar um bonde direto de Sutton para Crystal Palace . Conseqüentemente, os bondes não eram uma ameaça tão grande para as ferrovias quanto poderiam ter sido se as duas empresas tivessem sido mais coordenadas. Data e modo de operação do funcionamento elétrico entre Battersea Park e East Brixton tirado de Oppitz, Capítulo 4, p28. As informações sobre o lançamento da eletrificação e o efeito da Primeira Guerra Mundial foram tiradas de Oppitz, Capítulo 4, páginas 28-29, e expandidas usando comentários de Peter Clark. Informações sobre a primeira corrida elétrica via West Croydon retiradas de West Croydon de Vic Mitchell e Keith Smith para Epsom (Middleton Press). Data e razão por trás da conversão de AC para DC da rota Sutton tomada de West Croydon para Epsom e confirmada por Oppitz (Capítulo 4, pág. 29). Peter Clark também aponta que o custo por milha para instalação de CA acabou sendo mais alto devido à necessidade de erguer pórticos e alterar estruturas existentes, como pontes. Muitos mais detalhes sobre todos os aspectos da eletrificação podem ser encontrados nos capítulos iniciais do G T Moody's Southern Electric 1909-1979. Cópias da Southern Railway Magazine consultadas na Croydon Local Studies Library. O artigo sobre o programa de desenvolvimento de 1931 da Southern está no Vol 9 No 98 (fevereiro de 1931), p42. L Catchpole, "The Railways of Croydon", Southern Railway Magazine Vol 10 No 118 (outubro de 1932), pp378-383. As informações sobre a descoberta de um tubo atmosférico foram retiradas da Southern Railway Magazine Vol 11 No 127 (julho de 1933), p254. Por razões de espaço, não mencionei a operação atmosférica em meu artigo anterior sobre a Estação West Croydon em 1800, mas é um assunto muito interessante. Ian Mansfield escreveu longamente sobre isso, tanto em um artigo sobre o experimento atmosférico de Croydon quanto em uma série de cinco partes (também disponível como um e-book Kindle) sobre "London’s Lost Pneumatic Railways". O Guia da Grace afirma que “a estação de bombeamento de West Croydon foi realocada para fazer parte do prédio da rede de abastecimento de água da Surrey Street, que ainda existe”. “The Railways of Croydon” dá detalhes das alterações na perspectiva de 1932 quando concluídas, eles “vão fechar os edifícios da atual estação de frente para a London Road, também a entrada lateral de Down e o escritório na Station Road. Escritórios serão fornecidos em uma nova ponte sendo construída sobre as linhas próximas à Caixa de Sinalização Sul e os passageiros chegarão à plataforma de subida por meio de degraus que terminam perto da baía de Wimbledon, e a plataforma de Down, agora estendida, por uma nova via coberta. ” Citação tirada de “West Croydon Station Rebuilt”, Southern Railway Magazine, Vol 12 No 136 (abril de 1934), p152. A foto PH-07 1642 na Biblioteca de Estudos Locais de Croydon tem uma boa vista da antiga entrada da London Road como era em 1923. Há também outra foto desta entrada na escadaria do pub Ship of Fools em frente à estação. você quer ver, no entanto, já que este pub está para ser transformado em uma filial do Sainsbury's. Um artigo sobre blocos e blocos publicado pela University of the West of England (infelizmente não está mais disponível gratuitamente online) afirma que os blocos de concreto “são de uso comum desde os anos 1930”. Peter Clark acrescenta: “A Southern Railway reconstruiu várias estações na época usando concreto em várias formas, desde estruturas fundidas no local até aquelas que tinham um núcleo de blocos de concreto, a maioria dos quais revestidos com reboco de cimento ou outros materiais. Embora utilitários na construção, os resultados foram frequentemente chamados de ‘Odeonesque’ ou ‘Moderne’, embora eu não tenha certeza de qual termo se aplica a West Croydon. Os blocos foram provavelmente feitos na ex-fábrica da LSWR em Exmouth Junction, que produziu uma vasta gama de produtos de concreto para a Southern Railway. ” As lojas construídas em ambos os lados da entrada da nova estação estão atualmente ocupadas por Maplin até Road Runners à direita da entrada e Greggs à esquerda. As traseiras desses edifícios são visíveis a partir do extremo sul da plataforma 3 (veja a vista da plataforma e meu artigo sobre a renumeração da London Road. 3 Station Road (atualmente ocupada por William Hill) faz parte do mesmo bloco e também foi construída ao mesmo tempo, a foto PH / 041 6281 na Biblioteca de Estudos Locais de Croydon, tirada durante as obras, é uma boa visão disso. Não tenho certeza de quando as lojas do lado oposto da ponte ferroviária (Speedy Cash through to Zam Call) foram construídos. “West Croydon Station Rebuilt” diz que o antigo metrô “estava sujeito a inundações após tempestades”. West Croydon to Epsom inclui um mapa de 1894 mostrando a localização deste metrô, que estava praticamente alinhado com o moderno Entrada da estrada da estação. A estação de West Croydon teve três entradas diferentes da estrada da estação ao longo de sua história. A que abriu na década de 1930 foi a segunda delas; a primeira foi localizada mais abaixo na estrada da estação (conforme descrito no meu primeiro artigo sobre a estação), um d o terceiro, inaugurado em 2012, estava perto de onde o primeiro estivera. As informações sobre a localização da entrada da Station Road dos anos 1930 vêm do meu próprio conhecimento da área hoje, em combinação com a observação de fotos antigas na Southern Railway Magazine e em outros lugares. A imagem “Antes e Agora” de Jo Orr de Station Road foi particularmente útil nisso (embora infelizmente tenha desaparecido da Internet, uma versão maior e menos recortada da foto vintage de Jo aparece como imagem 28 em Croydon's Tramways, de John Gent e John Meredith ) Não tenho nenhuma referência boa para quando fechou, mas um comentarista do blog London Reconnections diz que “fechou em algum momento dos anos 60 para minha lembrança”. Eu vim com essa teoria por conta própria, depois que um amigo me perguntou por que a inclinação subia mais do que o necessário, embora mais tarde eu tenha visto que outro comentarista da London Reconnections estava levantando a mesma hipótese. Depois que publiquei este artigo, David Fisher (conversa online, janeiro de 2013) me apontou a vista aérea do Bing Maps da passarela e da entrada da Station Road, o que deixa bem claro o que está acontecendo. A informação sobre a presença de um passímetro na entrada da Station Road vem de “West Croydon Station Rebuilt”, que menciona “um novo escritório de reservas de passímetro”. Não fui capaz de descobrir que tipo de passímetro era, embora o termo pareça ter sido usado para significar uma entrada do tipo catraca ou uma bilheteria independente (esta última possivelmente específica para o metrô de Londres). O tipo mais provável na visão de Peter Clark é "um escritório central com rotas de entrada e saída em ambos os lados, sendo esperado que um funcionário gerencie os dois fluxos, emitindo e coletando passagens. Tudo bem quando estava quieto, mas não era bom se uma fila de ambos os lados se acumulasse. ” Geoff Smith, comentando sobre as reconexões de Londres, observa que os passímetros eram incomuns na Southern Railway na época.

Informações sobre as instalações na entrada da London Road (e a citação sobre a sala de refrescos) também vêm de “West Croydon Station Rebuilt”. Vale a pena notar que a entrada da London Road pré-1930 também acomodava pelo menos um negócio não ferroviário: o Croydon Shopping and Entertainment News de agosto de 1922 traz um anúncio de um “novo salão de cabeleireiro” localizado “No hall de reservas no Up Side ”(“ Para cima ”significa“ em direção a Londres), com J Donald listado como o proprietário. Embora este fosse "apenas para mulheres", o anúncio continuava a observar que também havia "agências para cavalheiros na London Bridge e Cannon Street Station também em Brighton". Uma edição posterior, de dezembro do mesmo ano, traz um pequeno publicitário como parte de uma coluna sobre sugestões de presentes de Natal: “Donald's na West Croydon Station tem qualquer quantidade dessas pequenas et ceteras tão queridas ao coração de uma mulher - pequenas garrafas de perfume concentrado, pequenas baforadas de pó, etc. ”

Sobre a sala de bebidas em si, Terry Coleman me disse (conversa online, janeiro de 2013): “Lembro-me de um buffet vindo de um bar licenciado, estava à esquerda quando você entrou no foyer da London Rd. Parecia que tinha estado lá por anos, tudo parecia marrom, um lugar triste. Posso ter estado lá uma ou duas vezes como parte de nossas inúmeras visitas a pubs quando rapazes no final dos anos 1950. Não tenho ideia de quando isso deixou de ser. ” Paul Sowan (conversa pessoal, janeiro de 2013) me disse que também se lembrava e estava sempre cheio de fumaça de cigarro. Eu acho que é provável que este fosse o mesmo espaço que a “sala de refrescos deliciosos” que menciono no artigo ou o escritor da Southern Railway Magazine estava tomando algumas liberdades com a realidade ou realmente desmoronou nas duas décadas seguintes.


Grande parte da história de East Croydon está registrada em seus nomes de ruas (veja abaixo). A Organização da Comunidade de East Croydon enviou informações que coletamos até agora para o projeto London Street Guide. Isso está longe de estar completo e ficaríamos gratos, em particular, por qualquer informação sobre a origem dos nomes de Alpha Road, Bisenden Road. Edwin Place, Jackson’s Lane e John’s Terrace.

Na compilação das informações, fomos muito auxiliados por Brendan O’Connor, Carole Roberts, Croydon Museum & amp Archives Service, David Morgan, Jerry Fitzpatrick, Scott Hatton e Sophie Rahman. A imagem é um detalhe do mapa do recinto de Croydon de 1801, uma cópia do qual pode ser encontrada no Museu e Arquivo de Croydon em Croydon Clocktower.

Mais informações sobre a história de East Croydon podem ser encontradas nestas páginas

Addiscombe Court Road
Thomas Benjamin Muggeridge vivia em uma casa chamada Addiscombe Court em 1872. Esta era na Upper Addiscombe Road (como a Addiscombe Road era então conhecida), entre a esquina de uma pista em um campo e as instalações de W. Flower, uma varejista de cerveja (mais tarde Os jogadores de críquete). A família Muggeridge morava em uma casa no local desde 1855, quando era chefiada por Edward, um comerciante de milho. A Addiscombe Court Road foi construída seguindo a linha da pista e as casas estão listadas nela pela primeira vez em 1906.

Addiscombe Road
Apareceu pela primeira vez em um mapa de 1594, conectando a cidade de Croydon com o vilarejo de Addiscombe a leste (na esquina da atual Sandilands). Conhecida como Upper Addiscombe Road no século 19, ela ficava ao longo de uma nascente, a água escorrendo encosta abaixo ao norte na direção da Lower Addiscombe Road.

Alpha Road
O terreno na esquina de Cross Road e Lower Addiscombe Road foi a última parte da propriedade Leslie Lodge a ser vendida, em 1896, permitindo a construção de Alpha Road (ver Leslie Park Road e Leslie Grove). A própria casa foi demolida por volta de 1900. Não se sabe por que recebeu esse nome. No entanto, o nome era comumente usado na época para se referir à primeira rua construída em um novo empreendimento.

Alpha Place
Uma estrada curta com apenas duas moradias, fora da Leslie Park Road. Anotado pela primeira vez em um particular de vendas de 1903, que também lista a venda de nos. 18 a 46 Alpha Road. Como acontece com o último, não se sabe por que recebeu esse nome.

Billinton Hill
Uma curta estrada que leva para cima para a estação East Croydon da Cherry Orchard Road. Também conhecido como Abordagem de estação, pátio ou rua nas listas de ruas e telefones. Renomeado no final dos anos 1990, após a estação ser reconstruída, possivelmente após Robert Billinton, o engenheiro de locomotivas da London, Brighton and South Coast Railway de 1890 a 1904 ou seu filho, Lawson Boskovsky Billinton, que mais tarde ocupou o mesmo cargo de 1912 a 1923.

Bisenden Road
O Museu e Serviço de Arquivos de Croydon mantém os testamentos da família Bisenden entre 1762-1783. No entanto, eles são muito frágeis para serem examinados e atualmente não estão acessíveis devido à pandemia. A conexão desta família com a Bisenden Road ainda não é conhecida.

Blake Road
Provavelmente em homenagem a John Blake, um leiloeiro que morava em 65 Park Lane e morreu em 1852. Ele comprou a propriedade Brickwood após a morte de John Brickwood em 1829. (veja Brickwood Road). No entanto, ele não o ocupou, deixando-o para uma série de inquilinos, incluindo, de 1823-28, Sir Benjamin Hallowell, um comandante da Marinha Real que serviu com Nelson. Ele morreu com 72 anos, a segunda pessoa mais velha da paróquia de Croydon naquela época.

Brickwood Road
Recebeu o nome da Brickwood House, construída no final do século 18 por John Brickwood, um comerciante e banqueiro. Ele possuía terras consideráveis ​​na freguesia de Croydon e foi um dos proprietários de terras locais que pediu ao parlamento em 1796 permissão para apresentar um projeto de lei privado para delimitar terras comuns na freguesia de Croydon. Os pobres de Croydon protestaram contra a perda de seu direito de pastar o gado e coletar lenha, sem sucesso. Depois que a lei do cerco foi promulgada, John Brickwood comprou mais terras nas proximidades de Croydon Common e em Norwood Common. Em East Croydon, ele possuía todas as terras a leste de Cherry Orchard Road, bem como alguns lotes no lado oeste perto da junção de Moreland Road. Grande parte da terra foi vendida quando ele faliu em 1810. No entanto, Brickwood comprou de volta a Brickwood House e os terrenos entre Cedar Road e Addiscombe Road no ano seguinte em um leilão por £ 7.500. Foi vendido após sua morte em 1822 para John Blake, um agrimensor local (ver Blake Road). A casa foi demolida em 1908 e seu terreno dividido nas ruas que conhecemos hoje, incluindo a Brickwood Road.

Bridge Row
Uma pequena fileira de casas na extremidade norte de Cross Road, em um pedaço de terra isolado quando a linha férrea foi construída a oeste. Provavelmente recebeu esse nome por estar logo ao sul da Windmill Bridge.

Cart Lodge Mews
Uma curta estrada particular saindo da Lebanon Road. Um particular de vendas de 1903 observa um estábulo construído em tijolos nesta área, completo com um Cart Lodge construído em madeira, pátio cimentado, WC e fossa de estrume.

Cedar Road
Disposta ao longo da linha do limite do terreno da Brickwood House de 1852 a 1908 (consulte Brickwood Road e Oval Road). Dizia-se que a casa estava “cercada por um parque plantado com muito bom gosto com floresta e outras árvores”. Dada a junção com a estrada do Líbano a leste, parece provável que esses terrenos incluíssem uma árvore de cedro do Líbano.

Cherry Orchard Road
Pode ser visto em mapas de pelo menos 1729. Originalmente chamado de Coney Lane até o entroncamento para a pista sobre o comum, mais tarde conhecido como Cross Road. Ao norte desta junção, era uma via de transporte particular chamada Lee’s Road. Ao sul dessa junção, o mapa anexo de 1801 mostra um pomar em seu lado oeste que se estende até a (Alta) Addiscombe Road, de propriedade da Sra. E Robinson. Era um pomar cheio de cerejeiras. Quando as cerejas estavam maduras, uma feira da cereja era celebrada no local. Em 1851, a estrada era chamada de Cherry Orchard Road em toda a sua extensão. A essa altura, o pomar já não existia mais. O terreno foi comprado pela London and Brighton Railway Company, que começou a operar trens da London Bridge para a costa via East Croydon em 1841.

Chisholm Road
Diz-se que leva o nome de James Chisholm, o último residente do Addiscombe Lodge. Esta grande casa e seus terrenos podem ser vistos no mapa do dízimo de Croydon de 1844 como ocupando o terreno onde fica a estrada, anteriormente parte da propriedade Brickwood. Já estava totalmente construído em 1911, quando apareceu em um mapa do Ordnance Survey.

Colson Road
Possivelmente nomeado em homenagem a Thomas Colson, um agrimensor, listado como morando nas proximidades de Croydon Common no diretório de ruas de 1849.

Cross Rd
Mostrado como um caminho através de Croydon Common em um mapa datado de 1768. O comum ia de Broad Green a Selhurst (de oeste a leste), de White Horse Road a Cherry Orchard Road (de norte a sul). Havia portões nas extremidades dessas trilhas para impedir que os animais que pastavam no parque se desviassem para a rodovia. O caminho do Broad Green Gate até o Selhurst Gate se ramificava ao longo do que hoje é a St James Road / Lower Addiscombe Road. Cross Road developed from a track branching off this, leading to Coney Lane Gate at its junction with Cherry Orchard Road. It was named after James Cross, an early landlord of the Windmill public house. From at least 1859, its small side roads are also listed in street directories. Some of these survive today as unadopted roads (Edwin Place, Jackson’s Place, John’s Terrace).

Edwin Place
Unadopted road off Cross Road. Appears in the 1859 street directory, but it is not known why it was given this name.

Heron Road
Named after the wealthy, well connected Heron family, who owned an estate that included land to the north of Addiscombe Lane roughly from Canning Road to Ashburton Road in the 16 th century (though not the land on which Heron Road lies). They also owned the Croydon rectory and, as such, were entitled to be buried in Croydon 14 th century parish church. Several items relating to the family survived the fire that destroyed this building in 1866 and can be found in the present parish church, including

  • Two shields (on the north wall) and a brass of seven daughters (on the south wall) from the memorial to Thomas Heron, who died 1544, and his wife Elizabeth.
  • A brass plate of William Heron, who died in 1563, and his wife Alice in the north chancel wall
  • three stone shields from the tomb of Sir Nicholas Heron, who died in 1566 at the west end of the church

By the 17 th century, the estate no longer belonged to the family.

Jackson’s Lane
Unadopted road off Cross Road. Appears in the 1859 street directory, but it is not known why it was given this name.

John’s Terrace
Unadopted road off Cross Road. Appears in the 1859 street directory, but it is not known why it was given this name.

Lebanon Road
Laid out along the line of the former boundary of the grounds of Brickwood House in 1810 (see Brickwood Road). The house was said to be”enclosed in a park tastefully planted with forest and other trees”. Given the junction with Cedar Road to the west, it seems likely that these grounds included a Cedar of Lebanon tree.

Leslie Grove
The Leslie Lodge estate west of Cherry Orchard Road was sold piecemeal (see Leslie Park Road). The land fronting Lower Addiscombe Road sold in the 1850s and developed into shops. The land at the rear was sold in 1874 to a buyer who drove a road through it to enable a profitable building scheme, thus creating Leslie Grove.

Leslie Park Road
Laid along part of the southern boundary of the Leslie Lodge estate. Leslie Lodge was built c1825 on what was then Addiscombe Road, but what is now 22-24 Lower Addiscombe Road. The earliest owners are unknown and it is not clear whether they bore the name Leslie. The pub sign of the former Leslie Arms nearby displays the coat of arms the Lords of Rothes, whose clan name is Leslie, together with the family motto “Grip Fast”. The clan was founded in 1070 AD, when Bartholomew, a Hungarian nobleman attached to the fugitive Saxon court, married Beatrix, the sister of Malcolm III of Scotland. They were granted lands at Leslie in the district of the Garioch, near Aberdeen, from which they took their name. The family had links with West Surrey from 1772, when Lady Jane Elizabeth Leslie, the Countess of Rothes, married Sir Lucas Pepys, the physician to George III, who lived in Juniper Hall, near Leatherhead. However, there are no known links between the Leslie family and Croydon.

The 1844 tithe map shows the Leslie Lodge estate covered much of the land between Cross Road and Leslie Park Road, as well as land to the north of what is now Lower Addiscombe Road. By 1851, it was owned by Mary Vandervell, who put that part of it to the east of Cherry Orchard Road onto the market. The sales particulars noted that Leslie Park Road had already been laid through the land making it “a first class site for the erection of suburban residences”. Within ten years, the entire frontage along northern Leslie Park Road had been developed.

Leslie Place
Leslie Place is a short road off the south side of Leslie Grove that provides access to the rear of some of the buildings on Cherry Orchard Road. It would have been created sometime between 1874 and 1894 (when it appears on an Ordnance Survey Map). For the origin of the name, see Leslie Park Road.

Lower Addiscombe Road
First appears as a path across Croydon Common on a map dating to 1768. In 1801, it was referred to as a public carriage and was called Addiscombe Road, then St James Road, probably from 1829 when St James Church was built to the west. In street directories from 1865 it was referred to as St James Rd East and finally as Lower Addiscombe Road from 1869.

Oval Road
This was once a gravel pit, the gravel being used for road building. In 1852, part of the Brickwood estate came onto the market and Oval Road was laid out. The construction of Leslie Park Road enabled it to be a through road. No plots were offered for sale on the Oval itself, which was to be a pleasure garden for the general recreation of the plot owners, who were given rights of way over it in perpetuity. 16 years later, they relinquished their rights and the Oval was sold for housing development.

Tunstall Road
Named after the Tunstall family who owned the former Heron estate from 1624. Sir John Tunstall, was a gentleman usher to Queen Anne 1, the consort of King James. His son Henry was a gentleman usher to Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles 1. Both father and son became deeply in debt during the civil war, probably because they were royalists. They had to sell the house in 1650. The land was used for agriculture until the road was laid out in the early 20 th century. Houses are listed on Tunstall Road for the first time in the 1907 Croydon street directory.


The abandoned railway station hidden through a secret wood in Croydon

Behind the residential streets of South Croydon lies a magical piece of history that has laid dormant and unused for over 100 years.

If you live in South Croydon you will probably have come across it, but for any visitors outside the area you really would have no idea it even existed..

Croydon is littered with abandoned stations but this has to be one of the most surreal and exciting.

The station was known as Spencer Road Halt railway station, and still lies down a pathway off Spencer Road and Birdhurst Rise..

The station was built in 1906 and formed part of the Woodside and South Croydon Joint Railway.

The stop was built with the aim that passengers could make a short ten minute walk to South Croydon station and link onto Brighton line for a trip by the seaside.


Coombe Road railway station

Coombe Road was a railway station on the Woodside and South Croydon Joint Railway but ceased to be an operating station in 1983.

The station opened in 1885 and was jointly used by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and the South Eastern Railway.

Even though the line was supposed to be very beneficial, it saw low passenger numbers which made the station relatively unprofitable.

Throughout the sixties, this became a particular problem.

The last train to depart from the station was the 7.30pm train from Sanderstead on May 13, 1983.

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“On railway cuttings and embankments with an account of some slips in the London clay, on the line of the London and Croydon Railway” by Gregory, 1844.

Although 1844 was a relatively quiet year in terms of historical events, some important technological advances occurred. In the USA, Samuel F. B. Morse sent the first telegram in his eponymous code (Library of Congress ND), and Charles Goodyear patented the process of vulcanizing rubber (Somma 2014). Meanwhile, in the UK, Charles Gregory presented his findings on railroad cuts and fills to his peers in the Institution of Civil Engineers (Gregory 1844). A century and three-quarters after Gregory published “On Railway Cuttings and Embankments”, the piece remains worth examining, both to see how far slope stability has come since the early Victorian era and to see how much was already known at the time.

Gregory begins his piece by briefly discussing the different types of soil and rock often encountered in the UK. He quickly reviews how they behave and lists some rules of thumb for cut and fill slopes in various soils. Gregory then gets into his main subject – a study of a failed railroad cut near New Cross, a small town outside London which has since been absorbed into the southeastern portion of the city (Sadler 1989). The cut, which was about 75 to 80 feet deep, consisted of 50 to 55 feet of very pervious “yellow clay of a silty character” (Gregory 1844), overlying about 15 to 20 feet of strong, impervious London blue clay. The blue clay lay over about 8’ of mixed and interbedded clay, sand, and stone layers, which in turn overlay a plastic clay which formed the layer of the railroad subgrade (Gregory 1844).

The railroad branch which ran through the cut opened in June of 1839 (Sadler 1989). In early November of 1841, a large (50,000 CY) slope failure occurred in the thick yellow clay layer. Although the cut was promptly cleared, two further slope stability failures took place within it during the remainder of November, and the railroad was not able to resume service for an extended duration until late December. In early January 1842, yet another slope failure occurred in the cut, and this one took until early February to clean up. While Gregory mentions no fatalities or derailments resulting from the failures, he does mention that extensive costs were incurred in paying laborers to work around the clock for several weeks to clear the slides after each failure, in addition to the losses incurred due to lost passenger and freight revenue on the railroad. An investigation soon began into the exact cause of the failure (Gregory 1844).

Gregory observes that the cut performed well for a while after its construction, with no visible evidence of creep or slope failure. He therefore deduces that something new must have happened to cause the slides. Gregory notes that the thick yellow clay layer is highly plastic and is shot through with cracks and fissures. He hypothesizes that water saturated the yellow clay and was trapped within it by the impermeable blue clay below. Per Gregory’s hypothesis, as the soil wetted, it expanded when it dried, cracks remained “so that, year by year, the evil would become greater, and the tendency to slip gradually increase” (Gregory 1844). Eventually, he notes, this process, aided by the natural dip of clay formation, resulted in the clay giving way (Gregory 1844).

Having addressed the nature of the problem, Gregory then turns to how the cut was repaired. First, he notes, the slope of the cut was reduced through excavation and benching. This was an impressively large effort, especially for 1844, as clearing the slides and re-excavating the cut required the removal by horse-drawn wagon of a total of 250,000 CY of clay. After the cut had been re-excavated and drainage pipes had been installed in each bench, Gregory continues, attention was turned to other cuts along the railroad in the same clay layer. These were proactively improved by excavating the bottom 5 to 12 feet of the clay layer adjacent to the tracks and replacing it with compacted gravel, which did double duty as both a retaining wall and a free-draining material to divert water away from the slope. The excavated clay was then piled behind the retaining wall to increase the mass at the toe of the slope and thereby improve the slope’s stability. According to Gregory, the system worked well enough that subsequent slides elsewhere were all treated this way (Gregory 1844).

From a modern geotechnical perspective, there is a lot to like about Gregory’s piece. For example, when Gregory observes that “the material nature of every soil, assigns to it some particular slope, at which it will remain in repose” (Gregory 1844), he is of course discussing the principle of a soil’s friction angle. Although this principle had first been recognized by da Vinci, and by Coulomb after him (Coduto et al. 2011), it remains refreshing to see a modern principle of soil mechanics recognized in a vintage piece in the field. Gregory also notes that the friction angle can depend on many factors, including “alternations of weather” (Gregory 1844). Today, geotechnical engineers recognize that “repeated wetting and drying can produce a significant reduction in the effective stress cohesion intercept” (Rogers and Wright 1986), not in the friction angle, but the fact remains that Gregory still observes the phenomenon of soil softening occurring.

Even when Gregory is incorrect, he still thinks in a way consistent with how later generations of geotechnical engineers would think. In addition to his inaccurate assessment of what soil properties change due to weathering, Gregory is off the mark when it comes to the effect of weathering on subsequent slope stability failures. Castellanos et al. (2015) performed an extensive review of the available literature on first-time slides in cuts in stiff clays. Based on this, they concluded that progressive failure, not fissuring or weathering, best explained the decrease in shear strength which led to these failures. They noted that fissures and cycles of wetting and drying “will also decrease the shear strength of a clay mass but not to the extent required to explain most first-time failures in stiff clays” (Castellanos et al. 2015). However, Castellanos et al. (2015) also noted that no less a geotechnical engineering titan than Karl Terzaghi posited a hypothesis of soil softening in 1936 which consisted of water infiltrating into fissures in clay, causing swelling along the edges of the fissures, and thereby leading to propagation of the fissures. Terzaghi’s 1936 hypothesis is strikingly similar to Gregory’s explanation of the failure of the New Cross slope almost a century prior.

Gregory also offers other connections to modern geotechnical practice, as well as suggestions for potential innovation in the field. “Quicksands and peat,” he astutely notes, “are soils of a proverbially treacherous character” (Gregory 1844) the statement still rings true today. To build embankments upon these soils, Gregory recommends using fascines, or bundles of branches, rods, or pipes, to either fill in the soft ground prior to embankment construction or to buttress the embankments as and after they are constructed (Gregory 1844). Today, geotechnical engineers might use other methods, such as deep mixing, to support embankments on soft ground that cannot be removed, but the basic principle of augmenting a weak material using a stronger one remains the same. Perhaps the idea of a fascine, possibly in the form of PVC or ductile iron pipes filled with concrete, could be worth exploring anew. Gregory also suggests constructing two-slope embankments with a gentler inclination at the bottom to more widely distribute load onto soft soils (Gregory 1844). The idea is intriguing, albeit frequently impractical due to spatial constraints.

Since Gregory published “On Railway Cuttings and Embankments”, modern geotechnical developments of which he could only have dreamed have long since overtaken the piece. Field and laboratory tests can be used to assess appropriate shear strength parameters for sands, silts, and clays. These properties can be used together with a number of potential techniques for the assessment of slope stability, including the Swedish circle method, the method of slices, and the respective methods of Bishop, Morgenstern and Price, and Spencer (Duncan et al. 2014). Once appropriate parameters and assessment methods have been selected, computer programs like SLIDE2 and SLOPEW, which utilize the aforementioned methods or other limit equilibrium techniques, can assess the stability of thousands of slope surfaces in only seconds (Duncan et al. 2014). More recently, reliability techniques have been introduced into slope stability, allowing for the computation of failure probabilities in addition to the traditional factor of safety (Duncan et al. 2014). However, Gregory’s piece remains worth reading and examining as much for its strengths as for its shortcomings.

Castellanos, B. A., T. L. Brandon, and D. R. VandenBerge (2015). “Use of Fully Softened Shear Strength in Slope Stability Analysis.” Landslides, 13 (4), 697-709.

Cooling, L. F., A. W. Skempton, and A. L. Little, eds. 1969. A Century of Soil Mechanics. London, UK: Institution of Civil Engineers.

Duncan, J. M., S. G. Wright, and T. L. Brandon. 2014. Soil Strength and Slope Stability, 2nd Ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Gregory, C. H. 1844. “On railway cuttings and embankments with an account of some slips in the London clay, on the line of the London and Croydon Railway.” Minut. Proc. Inst. Civ. Eng., 3, 135-145. Reprinted in Cooling et al. (1969).

Biblioteca do Congresso. ND. “Invention of the Telegraph.” Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1793-1919. Accessed December 22, 2020. https://www.loc.gov/collections/samuel-morse-papers/

Rogers, L. E., and S. G. Wright. 1986. The Effects of Wetting and Drying on the Long-Term Shear Strength Parameters for Compacted Beaumont Clay. Austin, TX: Center for Transportation Research, The University of Texas at Austin.

Sadler, J. C. 1989. “London and Croydon Railway.” Sydenham Life. Reprinted on StBartsChurchSydenham.org. Accessed December 23, 2020. https://www.stbartschurchsydenham.org/railway.html

Somma, A. M. 2014. “Charles Goodyear and the Vulcanization of Rubber.” Connecticut History.org. Accessed December 22, 2020. https://connecticuthistory.org/

Terzaghi, K. 1936. “Stability of Slopes of Natural Clay.” Proc. Int. Conf. Soil Mech. Found. Eng., 1, 161-165.


London and Croydon Railway - History

The London & Birmingham Railway (L&BR) was London’s first main line and the largest civil engineering project yet attempted in the country, on a scale rarely matched before. The experience gained formed the basis of much of the general development of civil engineering in Britain and established the construction technology of the railway age. It also precipitated the railway mania of the 1840s.

Robert Stephenson, son of George Stephenson, was appointed engineer-in-chief for the whole line in September 1833. He was not yet thirty. He lived from 1836 to 1842 in a house then called 5 Devonshire Place, on the west side of Haverstock Hill, at the corner of Belsize Grove. His wife, Frances, died here and is buried in Hampstead churchyard.

The route of the line at the London end was dictated by the desire to reach the docks. Plans for the London terminus of the railway at Maiden Lane, near Kings Cross, had been rejected by Parliament and Robert Stephenson, ordered to make economy cuts, proposed a terminus in Camden Town at a depot by the side of the Regent’s Canal, adjacent to the Hampstead Road. At Camden Station some rail freight destined for waterside locations, including the Docks, could be transferred to the Canal, while rail passengers and other freight would be discharged onto the road system at Hampstead Road (now Chalk Farm Road).

Forced by high ground to approach London from the west rather than the northwest, the railway made its way around the edge of the built up area, heading slightly north of east, and passed between the southern flank of Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill. The ground to the south of Primrose Hill was blocked by Regent’s Park and Portland Town. Gradients were kept down to 1 in 587 by means of nearly three miles of cutting and the 1120 yard (1024 metre) Primrose Hill Tunnel.

In late 1834 the L&BR company applied for an extension from Camden Town to allow passengers to reach Euston. The extension to Euston Grove, beside the New Road, was authorised on 3 July 1835 under the amending Act. The Regent’s Canal had to be crossed at a height that allowed boats to pass below the ground at Camden Depot therefore had to be raised, while that at Hampstead Road, close to Mornington Crescent, and six other road crossings, had to be lowered for rail tracks to pass under the roadways. The deep cutting with its handsome stone and iron bridges had massive curved retaining walls formed from about 16 million bricks.

The original plan was for Euston to serve both the L&BR, London’s first main line, and the Great Western Railway (GWR). However, as a result of Isambard Brunel’s insistence on a 7 ft (2.1 m) gauge for the GWR, and other disagreements between the rail companies, the west side pair of lines was not used by the GWR.

A stationary winding engine house was built by Robert Stephenson to pull trains up the incline from Euston to Camden Town, known as Camden Bank or Camden Incline, with a 4080 yard (3730 metre) long endless rope. Both the winding engines and the 19 ft (6 m) deep cutting to Euston responded to the concerns of influential local residents in regard to the noise and smoke from locomotives toiling up the Incline. The winding engine house formed a large vaulted underground structure, located under the main line just north of Regent’s Canal Bridge. Motive power was provided by two steam engines of 60 hp. Its two prominent chimneys became a tourist attraction. They were 133 ft (40 m) high, tapering from 12 ft (3.7 m) diameter at the base to 6 ft (1.8 m) at the top.

Later railways in the Camden area were to avoid the steep gradient imposed by the Regent's Canal either by going under it, as at Kings Cross, or by raising the rail terminus on arches, as at St. Pancras.

The first sod for the L&BR was cut at Chalk Farm on 1 June 1834. Difficult ground conditions on the Primrose Hill contract, including the tunnel and deep approach cutting, bankrupted the contractor. The work had to be taken over by the company using direct labour.

Maudslay, Sons & Field of Lambeth supplied 12 Bury-type 0-4-0 locomotives for the L&BR as well as the winding engines, delivery of which was delayed by repairs to the Regent’s Canal. A variety of Stephenson and other locomotives worked trains up the Incline until the winding engines were commissioned.

The Euston to Boxmoor section opened on 20 July 1837, and the 32 mile (52 km) line from Euston to Tring (and another section south from Birmingham) was opened in October 1837. The through line from London to Birmingham opened for public service on 17 September 1838. Initially passengers were unable to alight at Camden Station as the access road to the Hampstead Road was considered unsuitable, and a passenger station was created at Chalk Farm Bridge (now Regent’s Park Road Bridge).

In 1837 there were three trains a day going north from Euston pulled by small and slow locomotives. Only passengers went as far south as Euston. Camden handled all freight, which was transferred to road for distribution around London, or to the Regent’s Canal for transport to and from London docks.

First class passengers travelled in comfortable covered coaches but third class wagons were open, without windows, curtains or cushions on the seats. Both forms can be seen in the picture, showing Euston Station in 1837. Third class was stopped in October 1837 to be resumed three years later with third class trains and closed carriages.

At Camden the train from Euston arrived at the Iron Bridge that carried the railway over the Regent’s Canal and shortly afterwards the ‘messenger’, which attached the first carriage to the endless rope, was cast off before reaching the winding engines below. Carriages were then allowed to run along the line until they met and were harnessed to the locomotive engine by which they were pulled to Birmingham. From the stationary engine house to Chalk Farm Lane Bridge the gradient reversed from the climb up the Incline to a slight fall. This was engineered so as to check the speed of a train coming into London, and to give an impetus to one leaving London.

Trains from Birmingham would stop at Camden for tickets to be collected and for the locomotives to be detached from the front of the train and shunted to the rear to give the train an impetus towards Camden Incline. The train, now controlled by a brakeman or ‘bankrider’, travelled under gravity down the slope to Euston Station at a maximum speed of 10 mph. The endless rope can be seen between the rails of the eastern pair of rail tracks in the two pictures of Camden Incline.

After a number of trials, it was found that newer and more powerful locomotives could manage the Camden Incline, often with a second locomotive at the rear of the heavier trains. This saved time and operating costs, and the stationary engines were abandoned in April 1844. The underground vaults built by Robert Stephenson to house the stationary winding engines have survived extremely well and are structures on a truly majestic scale.

London & North Western Railway and its successors

In 1846 the London & Birmingham Railway (L&BR) amalgamated with several other companies to become the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), the largest of the Victorian era companies.

The rail freight connection to London docks was not made until the completion of the East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway in 1851. The name was changed to North London Railway (NLR) in 1853. This line proved very successful as a passenger line for city workers commuting from the new estates. With the through line from Camden Town, goods could be moved directly to and from the London docks, and the railway was a real rival to the Regent’s Canal at last.

The LNWR was a ‘main line’ railway and local traffic was largely left to the NLR. Hampstead Road station was opened in 1851. The station was re-sited four years later, renamed Chalk Farm in 1862 and rebuilt in 1871. Chalk Farm Station had platforms on both the LNWR and NLR lines with a footbridge link between the two after 1872. The four-track LNWR line out of Euston was widened between 1900 and 1906, requiring the demolition of one side of Park Village East.

Until the 20th century LNWR proper had no suburban services to speak of, except those associated with the NLR. After 1907, traffic was lost to Chalk Farm tube station, but the LNWR platforms lingered mainly for ticket collection purposes. Ticket collecting from platforms declined, however, and this, together with the need for space for the new system of sub-surface tracks, led to the demolition of the LNWR Chalk Farm station in 1915. No traces of the old LNWR platforms remain today. The North London Railway became part of the LNWR in 1922.

The next stage of major expansion was essentially for suburban services. It was based on the broad concept of an electrified system embracing all the North London lines west of Broad Street, an electrified line to Watford, and the extension of the Hampstead services by electric trains to Kew Bridge. The main lines from Euston to the North were already far too crowded to permit an intense electric service being superimposed on them. The decision was taken to build a “New Line” on which the suburban electric services would be almost entirely independent of the main lines, designed for four-rail DC electric trains. At Willesden Junction and eastwards to Chalk Farm widening could be done most conveniently on the up (into London) side of the line. The New Line was opened in stages from 1912. Various stages within Camden were completed over 1915-1917, including two single track tube-type tunnels just north of the original Primrose Hill Tunnel, but the entire project was held up pending the complete track-remodelling scheme at Chalk Farm, which created an elaborate system of burrowing junctions.

On 10 July 1922, Chalk Farm station, long closed to passenger traffic, was reopened, although with platforms only on the line to Broad Street. The lines from Euston, the exit from Camden goods yard, and the newly electrified link from Camden Town all led to the new non-conflicting junctions controlled by Camden No. 2 box. Here they were sorted out to enter the old fast (southern) and slow (northern) Primrose Hill Tunnels and new twin electrified bores. The new bores at Primrose Hill Tunnel, and new tracks from there to Queen’s Park, were the final portion of the new line to be opened.

The LNWR became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) under the “Grouping” of 1923. After nationalisation in 1948, the London Midland Region of British Railways administered Camden Goods Depot.

After the opening of a new shed at Willesden for freight locomotives in 1873, the remaining locomotive shed at Camden Depot was used almost exclusively by large express passenger locomotives. It thus became a mecca for train buffs. Steam lasted until 1962, to be replaced by diesel, but the diesels did not stay long and the Passenger Locomotive Shed (then known as Camden Motive Power Depot) was closed completely on 3 January 1966. Today carriage sidings occupy much of its site. The goods depot closed around 1980.

In 1950 Chalk Farm station became Primrose Hill station and the street building was reconstructed. Primrose Hill station closed on 22 September 1992. The island platform with its 1871 buildings remained until December 2008 when it was demolished controversially by Network Rail.


London and Croydon Railway - History

KEN TOWL reviews an extensive and exhaustive new book about the local light rail network, which opened for service in May 2000

The 20th anniversary of the south London tram network opening is this May

As former ITN newsreader and “The Voice of Tramlink”, Nicholas Owen notes in his foreword that the transport system officially called “London Tramlink” is more commonly referred to as the Croydon trams.

Gareth’s David’s new book Croydon Tramlink, A Definitive History quite rightly puts Croydon at the heart of its 20-year history of the south-east’s only tram system.

Indeed, David looks back to the years before the opening ceremony on May 10, 2000, and charts the development of the trams as Croydon’s response to the threat posed by a booming Docklands served by a light railway system of its own. Croydon was looking tatty by comparison and faced a future of decline and falling property rents.

In addition, New Addington had remained isolated and ill-served by public transport since it grew up after World War II. A tram line could be a lifeline.

Support was by no means universal: Sir Paul Beresford, Croydon Central’s Tory MP at the time, told Parliament during the second reading of the Croydon Tramlink Bill that residents of Lynden Hyrst on Addiscombe Road “feel that when they step on to the pavement, the Tramlink will virtually run across their toenails”.

Croydon Tramlink is a substantial book written by an experienced, professional journalist (David worked on the business desks of The Times, Observer e Sunday Times for 10 years) that details the system’s planning, building, opening, financial meltdown, rescue by Transport for London, and a section dedicated to photos of trams. Indeed, the book is what an advertiser might be tempted lazily to describe as “lavishly illustrated throughout”.

The book is full of intriguing vignettes that illustrate the perhaps inevitable friction between planning evangelists and the nimbyist tendency of the local fauna. A woman who lost part of her back garden to the line near the Sandilands stop (described perhaps uncharitably by a transport official as “slightly mad”) apparently informed the Parliamentary Committee that the squirrels she fed would “all be devastated”.

David’s book does not skirt around the 2016 tragedy either. The chapter “Accidents and incidents” documents a litany of apparent suicide attempts, careless motorists, tram-surfing and a handful of fatalities, setting the scene for what David refers to as “a defining moment in the history of Tramlink… 06.07hrs on Wednesday, 9 November 2016… Britain’s worst tram disaster for almost a century”.

For the first time, the fatalities were passengers of the tram itself.

David applies a light touch to speculation about why the tram came off the rails at the bend near Sandilands, briefly exploring statements made by passengers, employees, British Transport Police and the chief executive of First Group, the parent company of Tram Operations Ltd, before focusing on recommendations and enhancement to safety made as a result of the crash.

Finally, David looks at the potential expansion of the network. He is a passionate advocate for extending it.

From the long-mooted spur up to Crystal Palace to the ill-considered and ill-fated “Dingwall Loop” documented previously in Inside Croydon, none have become reality. That loop, of course, had been predicated on the arrival of the great 200,000 sqm Westfield shopping centre. Another possible extension, given tentative approval by the then London Mayor, Boris Johnson, is a Wimbledon to Sutton line which could potentially link the system, and Sutton, of course, to the Tube network via the Northern Line at Morden.

That’s certainly the transport investment which David thinks would serve south London best.

This book is something of, well, a trainman’s holiday for David, a life-long railway enthusiast whose CV includes the interesting nugget that he has travelled most of the narrow gauge railways across Europe, including the entire network of Albania. Living in Guildford these days, he is a working volunteer on the Mid-Hants Railway vintage line.

Ahead of the important anniversary of what has proved itself an enormously successful piece of transport infrastructure, we are fortunate to have David chart the history of Tramlink which is, above anything else, a Croydon institution.

Coombe Lane tram stop is one of the more remote and rural on the network

It has changed the way many of us move around, it has provided an umbilical cord between the denizens of New Addington and the burghers of Wimbledon, to the benefit of both, and it provides us all with a quick and cheap lift to places as diverse as Morden Hall Park, the Addington Hills and the Tesco at Elmers End.

David says that his favourite stop is among its most remote: Coombe Lane. “It is such a delightful spot, and with a pleasant walk back to Lloyd Park alongside the tramway”.

You don’t have to be a light railway nerd to be interested in Croydon Tramlink, A Definitive History, but for anyone who has the good fortune to live in Croydon, it must be worth at least a look at the story of “how one corner of Greater London identified, and then created, an environmentally-friendly and sustainable solution to its urgent need for improved local transport”.

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The ghastly history of Gatwick Airport train tunnel that leads to Croydon

Whether you&aposve ever got the train from Croydon to Gatwick Airport or you would normally use the rail line to get to work in Redhill, you will know the long tunnel that sends your journey into darkness.

Obviously, we aren&apost travelling too far at the moment, but you&aposll also know the Merstham Tunnel - between Coulsdon South and Merstham stations - because your phone loses signal for ages.

Without Twitter to scroll through or the latest WhatsApp group message to read you actually look up and wonder "why are we going through a tunnel?" Or "what could we possibly be passing under between Croydon and Redhill?"

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Few passengers - even those who travel on the Brighton Main Line - will know the answers.

And even fewer are likely to know the sinister history of the Merstham Tunnel, or that it was the scene of the first possible murder on a train in the UK.

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The construction of the 1.04-mile-long Merstham Tunnel started in 1839 and took two years to complete.

It is there so that trains can get through the hills of the North Downs, with the tunnel being cut through chalk.

Tunnel built to link London and Brighton by train

The tunnel&aposs construction would be a crucial part of allowing London and Brighton to be linked by a train line.

When a railway line from London to Brighton was first proposed in the 1830s no fewer than six routes were suggested, only two of which came through the Merstham Gap north of what is now Redhill.

The winning route was an unexpected victor at the end of a Parliamentary enquiry.

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Even then, the line should have gone through or near Reigate rather than two miles to the east of it. According to one account, opposition from local landowners prevented it doing so, but it is more likely that the topography of the area was the cause.

The route chosen followed that of the new Brighton Road, opened in 1818 through the gap between Redstone Hill and Redhill Common.

At that time Redhill as a town did not exist. The area now occupied by the town centre was empty marshland devoid of any buildings. There were a few farms in the vicinity and a cluster of cottages but that was about it.

Tunnel initially fitted with gas lamps to make passengers feel safer

When the tunnel was finished, to make the public feel safe in the darkness, gas lamps were fitted to the walls which were whitewashed.

This was soon abandoned, however, after the large amount of soot emitted from the trains made it too difficult to keep bright.

The tunnel was something of an engineering marvel but in 1905 it gained notoriety for a far darker reason when it became the site of a murder mystery.

Tunnel became the site of a real life murder mystery

On September 24, 1905, a 22-year-old woman&aposs body was found mutilated inside the tunnel by a sub inspector, William Peacock.

Peacock found Mary Sophia Money shortly before 11pm, while her body was still warm, and took her to the nearest train station where police instructed him to bring it to The Feathers Inn.

Mary, a bookkeeper, did not have any identifying papers on her and the day after her brother, Robert Henry Money, a dairy farmer, had to identify her.

It was initially assumed the cause of death was suicide, as Peacock believed she had jumped from a train while it was passing through the tunnel.

However, "claw marks" were found on the walls of the tunnel which suggested there may have been a struggle.

A silk scarf had been forced down the woman&aposs throat

The theory that she had been murdered was strengthened by her post-mortem, as it was discovered that a white, silk scarf had been forced down her throat.

Scratches, bruises and cuts were also discovered on her arms and face, which led doctors to believe she had been pushed off or struggled with someone while on the train.

Her last moments were then heavily investigated by detectives as they tried to solve the murder.

On the night of her death she had bought a bag of chocolates after finishing work at about 7pm and told a friend she was going for a walk before heading to Victoria station.


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