Railway proposals, 1845

Drawing of a train with an open carriageWinslow got its place on the Buckinghamshire Railway which opened in 1850 (see Railway) but in the middle of the railway mania of the 1840s there were some alternative proposals which didn't get off the ground. The image on the right comes from the Oxford Chronicle, 1845.

This advert appeared in the Oxford Chronicle, 19 July 1845:

London, Buckinghamshire & Warwickshire
Central Railway to Birmingham.

A COMPANY is formed with the co-operation of the Nobility, Gentry, and other Landowners and Persons interested in the neighbourhood of the intended Line, for the construction of the above Railway, connecting the important towns of Leamington, Warwick, Banbury, Brackley, Buckingham, Winslow, Aylesbury, Wendover, Missenden, Chesham, and Amersham, with London and Birmingham.

A detailed prospectus, with the names of the Provisional Committee, will be issued shortly, and in the meantime further information may be obtained on application to Messrs. JOSEPH or RICHARD ROSE, Aylesbury;  Messrs. HEARN and NELSON, and Mr. HENRY SMITH, Buckingham, the solicitors to the Company. – July 12, 1845.

This was originally intended to be in competition with the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR) which opened in 1838 and ran through Bletchley and Wolverton. In the Banbury Guardian on 16 October 1845 an article was published on a slightly amended proposal: the London, Birmingham and Buckinghamshire Railway Company (which had replaced the original company) was to provide a rail link to principal towns of Buckinghamshire and other counties.

The project then was to be known as The Buckinghamshire Railway and Oxford and Wolverton Junction, and the L&BR, as lessees in perpetuity, were to receive "four per cent on the outlay, with a conditional arrangement as to the surplus profit."

The article suggests that the use of the termini of the L&BR would reduce the Buckinghamshire Railway to a mere extension of the older company and would confer a means of controlling the traffic – and therefore profits – of the projected line.   It suggests that many landed proprietors in the counties through which the line would pass supported the project.

The line was to pass through or near Uxbridge, Chalfonts, to "Birmingham [sic - did they mean Amersham?] and Wendover, and thence to Aylesbury, by Winslow to Buckingham".   It was then to go through Brackley and Banbury, Leamington and Warwick to Birmingham.

Applications for shares were to be made to the Secretary at the temporary offices of the company, or to Messrs Edward Ellis and Co., Share Brokers, 53 Threadneedle Street.

The Aylesbury to Brackley part (without coming through Winslow and Buckingham) finally materialised 50 years later as part of the Great Central Railway, but the plan was listed as one of many abandoned railway projects in the 1846 Railway Register.

A different route was outlined in the Bucks Herald on 8 November 1845 when it was reported that the Wolverton, Buckinghamshire, and Basingstoke Railway was to be formed to construct a railway from Wolverton Central Station (on the L&BR) to Stony Stratford, Buckingham, Winslow, Thame, Watlington, and Reading, forming a junction with the South-Western Railway at Basingstoke.

Further information was available from Mr John Parrott, Solicitor, Stony Stratford, to whom applications for shares could be made. This was also listed as abandoned in the 1846 Railway Register.

Another project would have put Winslow on the main line from London to Dublin:

Bucks Gazette, 6 Sep 1845

A preliminary announcement has appeared of a Grand London and Dublin Approximation Railway, designed to avoid the present circuitous route, and to effect a very considerable saving both of time and distance, between the two capitals of England and Ireland, running in a straight line from London to Bangor and Holyhead.   And the following is the very singular way in which the route proposed to be taken is set out :  “through Shrewsbury, passing by Stratford-upon-Avon, and touching or accommodating in its route the following towns and places amongst others – namely, Hampstead, Stanmore, Rickmansworth, Aylesbury, Winslow, Bicester, Deddington, Chipping Norton, Banbury, Kineton, Shipton-on-Stour, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Leamington, Alcester, Bromsgrove, Hales, Owen [sic], Kidderminster, Brewdley [sic], Dubley [sic], Quatford, Bringnorth [sic], Morail [sic], Wenlock, Broseley, Madeley, Ironbridge, Coalbrook Dale, &c.

This too was in the 1846 list of abandoned projects.

See also:

Copyright 26 February, 2018