Recently, the Financial Times celebrated 125 years of publication and reproduced, by way of remembrance, a copy of its first front page, of 13th February, 1888. The front page makes interesting reading for LR readers, as there were no less than three references to the railways serving London, copies of which can be seen below.

The first article is a preliminary glimpse of the half-yearly report of the Great Northern Railway. This is largely self explanatory. It gives a good snapshot of a high-Victorian railway company, at the peak of its prestige. Of note also are the monies set aside for extensions, future works, the (very new & daring) “electric lighting of carriages”, and the replacement of the Kings’ Cross station roof structure in iron, as opposed to the timber originals.

The Great North Railway

The Great North Railway

The second perhaps needs more explanation. Its a letter from a correspondent signing himself as Sapere Aude (“Thinking hearer”, or “thinking auditor”) and can only be described as a rather impressive rant against the chairman of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR), James Staats Forbes.

The Metropolitan District Railway

The Metropolitan District Railway

Suffice it to say that, nothing came of “Mr Hearer’s” rant, and J.S.Forbes remained in charge of the LC&DR until their Joint Committee was established in 1898/9. This letter was, of course, written only 4 years after the “Inner Circle” had been completed, with the Corporation, other business interests, and Parliament, having “leant” very heavily on both the railways and their chairmen, to put aside their bitter personal quarrelling for the financial and structural benefit of London. Sir Edward Watkin was, of course, chairman of the Metropolitan Railway, as well as the South Eastern Railway (SER), the Great Central Railway (GCR), and the Channel Tunnel development company that existed at the time. He was also on the board of the Nord in France!

Matters continued in this rather dubious fashion until Watkin resigned his directorships in 1894, due to illness. Forbes’ iron grip, however, was not relaxed on the LC&DR until the Joint Committee was founded, and even then he “persuaded” the Joint Committee to retain him as a consultant, which post he filled until his death in 1904. The Metropolitan & District then almost immediately fell under the control of the very epitomé of the railway “Robber Baron”, Charles Tyson Yerkes, who assumed the Chair in 1905.

The Southern Railways

The Southern Railways

The third article refers to an set of just-broken-off preliminary talks between Watkin (as chairman of the SER) and Allen Sarle, the chairman of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR). These apparently concerned an amalgamation of the two railways, which ultimately came to nothing. Surprisingly, there is no reference to these in Dendy Marshall’s history of the Southern companies, so they must have been tentative at best. There were, however, many ongoing financial and running/operating difficulties between the two companies, and these talks may have been an attempt to sort these problems out without going expensively to law or Parliament. The diagrams below highlight some of the complexities of their relationship.

Pre Grouping railway junction around Bricklayers Arms & New Cross, Midhurst

Pre Grouping railway junction around Croydon, Norwood & Woodside

Pre Grouping railway junction around Croydon, Norwood & Woodside

Purley, Redhill & Stoats Nest Junction

Purley, Redhill & Stoats Nest Junction

The LB&SCR and the SER had running powers over each others’ lines between London Bridge and Redhill/Earlswood Junction. The tracks were crowded to capacity, causing a great deal of conflict, and the LB&SCR Quarry line bypassing Redhill was not opened until 1899/1900, 11 years after the date of this communication. The dispute had started as far back as 1883, and the impasse was not resolved until 1889, when Sir Henry Oakley of the GNR was asked to arbitrate, leading to a permanent financial settlement. This article highlights nicely some of the facets of that dispute.

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There are 36 comments on this article
  1. Anonymous says:

    “Sapere aude” means dare to think, dare to know or dare to be wise, and not as stated – it’s the motto of Manchester Grammar School.

    It may not be a coincidence that Forbes’ great rival, Sir Edward Watkin, chairman of the Metropolitan District’s great rival the Metropolitan, was a Mancunian by residence (he was born in adjacent Salford).

  2. Anonymous says:

    The District came under the control of Yerkes, but the Metropolitan remained independent until the formation of the LPTB.

    And the southern limit of LBSCR/SER mutual running powers was Redhill, not Earlswood. Beyond Redhill was solely LBSCR territory, and Earlswood didn’t become a junction until the Quarry line opened, after the formation of the SE&CR.

  3. Greg Tingey says:

    In reverse order ….
    Anon 05.22
    – agreed – but we’ve only got copies of the “Railway Juction Diagrams” in the 1914 edition, unfortunately!

    Other Anon 05.14
    Thanks for the Manchester Grammar School tip – I would never have known that one, without “local knowledge”
    It is fairly well-known that the Metropolitan would have much preferred to become part of the LNER in 1931-33.

    On re-consulting “Dendy Marshall”, I find that no exact date is given for the widening of the main lines, but I presume that it was after 1894, at about the same time that the LBSR widened Clapham Jn – East Croydon.
    The construction of the Quarry line by-pass of Redhill started immediately thereafter.
    Unlike modern times, this extension was easy to get permission for, since it was in “open country”, & the SER made no objection (indeed, supported the move) following the arbitration referred to, above.

    Would that such simple ways of overcoming bottlenecks obtained today – note the difference between the ease with which NR have been able to get the Nuneaton & Ipswich freight by-passes under construction & the potential transport strangle from the absence of even so much as a proposal (AFAIK) to consruct a North-facing relief line from Thamesport.

  4. Fandroid says:

    Good one Greg.

    Which keyboard did you use? The article is not full of the characteristic ?!!*!!s, typos and aliases that we have come to love.

    To revert to the topic, did the original Redhill line belong to LBSCR? The lines from Stoats Nest north are shown as green on the map (LBSCR) (and on the other map for south of New Cross) but not the Redhill line south of Stoats Nest. I appreciate that both branches (east & west) from Redhill were SER, but the whole original main line was LBSCRs.

    Back off topic –
    As for Thamesport, I guess that NR would want the port company to pay, and as they haven’t shifted a single box through there yet, I suspect that they will hang on until it becomes blatantly obviously necessary.

  5. Greg Tingey says:

    The LBSC/ SER situation was wierd & a result of political interference, most unusally in Laissez-faire Victorian Britain.
    The lines between London Bridge & Victoria & also LB – Redhill were LBSC/SER – joined end-to end, because of the original insistence that one line was quite enough for both Brighton & Dover, so the SER ran to Redhill & turned left.
    Look at the “Railway Junction Diagrams” further up the page – you’ll note that South of S Bermondsey/Corbetts Lane Jns, the track belonged to the LBSC, but that S of Stoats’ Nest/Coulsdon it belonged to the SER.
    Similarly, although, generally speaking the LBSC used the Southern pair & the SER the Northern pair, between Clapham Junctions/Battersea & Peckhan Rye, that was not the track ownership.
    Look Here AND here, too … & you will see the situation …
    From Factory Jn to E Brixton/Loughboro’ Jn the track bleonged to the SER, & then to the LBSC on Eastwards.
    Complicated, isn’t it!
    And, very unsuprisingly, it made for strained relationships between the two companies, as alluded to in the “FT” article. It wan’t a simple matter of “Running Powers” over another Coy’s line to access a terminus or goods station, it was 24/7/365 running over each others’ lines, with all services.
    IIRC the singnalling was as installed by each company on its’ “own” sections, even if the majority of trains were the “other” company’s.
    Of course, Watkin wanted a merger with the LBSC [ On HIS terms, natch ] partly to get around this perennial problem, but also to wipe the eye of the LCDR & J.S.Forbes – but the SER was in a weakened state, as a result of its’ perpetual “war” with the LCD, whereas the LBSC had, by this time completely reformed itself, with Sarle as General Manager & Stroudley as CME … (Stroudley died the following year, having cought pneumonia after/at the Paris exibition)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Croydon, Norwood & Woodside

    Oh look – a direct connection between Bromley and Croydon!

  7. Greg Tingey says:

    Closed & lifted 1966
    Now much built-over
    No regular paasenger service – certainly not after WWI

  8. timbeau says:


    It wasn’t the LCDR that shared the South London Line with the Brighton – it was the LCDR (note that the map is post-1899, by which time both the LCDR and SER were operated jointly as the SECR, and are hence shown undifferntiated). Although the Brighton had difficult relationships with both companies, it was nothing to the bitter rivalry between the two Kent companies.

    The original Brighton main line (originally the London & Croydon) was run by the LBSCR, but it relied on the London & Greenwich for the last couple of miles into London Bridge. The South Eastern, in turn, used the L&G and LBSCR to get as far as Redhill, before branching off towards Tonbridge and Dover in one direction, and Guildford and Reading in the other. It also used its running powers to gain access to its Caterham and Tattenham Corner branches at Purley, both of which largely duplicate LBSCR branches (Epsom Downs, and the Oxted line). It is the SER origin of these branches which was the reason Caterham/Tattenham Corner services operated, until quite recently, all the way to Charing Cross – the only services from the Brighton Line to do so.
    The situation was further complicated when the SER bought out the London & Greenwich, and of course later built their cut off between Lewisham and Tonbridge, allowing them to avoid the Brighton line altogether.

    The Chatham and Brighton, both of which originally only had access to London via the SER (in the case of the Chatham, using the spur between Beckenham Junction and the Mid Kent line) pooled resources to get access to the West End at Victoria, initially via the jointly-funded West End & Crystal Palace Railway, using connections via Birkbeck and Norwood Junction respectively. Later they each built their own separate access to Victoria, the Brighton’s via Norbury and the Chatham’s by two separate routes, via Sydenham Hill and via Denmark Hill.

  9. timbeau says:

    OOps, typo – I forgot how the first sentence started by the time I got to the end. It should read

    “It was the LCDR that shared the South London Line with the Brighton – not the SER”

    or, if you prefer

    “It wasn’t the SER that shared the South London Line with the Brighton – it was the LCDR”

  10. Anonymous says:


    It is the SER origin of these branches which was the reason Caterham/Tattenham Corner services operated, until quite recently, all the way to Charing Cross – the only services from the Brighton Line to do so.

    I never knew why that was and always wondered. Keeping a service although operationally inconvenient to pacify the travelling public is nothing new then!

    By the way, we refer to it today as the Tattenham Corner branch but for many years ago it was generally referred to as the Tadworth branch as trains only ran to Tattenham Corner on race days. There are old pictures of the platform indicators at London Bridge with “Tadworth and Caterham” visible.

  11. Greg Tingey says:

    Confusion setting in … and, of course, that would have given Watkin even more incentive to merge (or come to a working agreement) with the “Brighton”, as he could then royally screw with the LCDR’s ex-Victoria workings …..
    A fascinating book on the approaches to London Bridge is: “The First Railway in London” by Alfred Rosling Bennett, orignally written in 1912 – I was fortunate to find a 1971 re-print – another reason why second-hand bookshops are better than on-line browsing, you find things you didn’t even know existed!

  12. Pedantic of Purley says:

    But I didn’t know that book existed until I found it when browsing online! Try

  13. Steven Taylor says:

    @Greg Tingey

    Re your observation

    QUOTE Similarly, although, generally speaking the LBSC used the Southern pair & the SER the Northern pair, between Clapham Junctions/Battersea & Peckham Rye, that was not the track ownership. UNQUOTE

    At risk of going off-topic, your observation is an interesting one, which reminded me of how respected authors can be wrong on a topic.

    I have often stood on the existing Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street stations – represented by the LBSC `Southern pair` of double tracks, which were always owned by the LCDR (SER) and were leased to the LBSC. These platforms were first served by the LBSC in 1867 when the South London Line fully opened. Looking towards Victoria, from observation, I could never reconcile what I saw, with what several authors has written. The existing straight platforms at both stations always looked to be the first line ie straight, and at Wandsworth Road went straight down to the original Stewarts Lane route of 1862.

    Several books state that the current existing stations (served by London Overground ) are the `new` LBSC stations of 1867 (build by the LCDR for the LBSC) and the original LDCR stations of 1863/2 respectively are represented by the platforms (3 tracks) which closed in 1916. What actually happened is a follows.

    When the new triple line (High level route from southern end of Grosvenor Bridge to Brixton ) was completed in 1866, the LDCR trains transferred to the new lines and the `old` original double track route of 1862 was leased to the LBSC railway in 1867.

    Trust this is not too `off-topic`.

  14. Greg Tingey says:

    No this is exactly the sort of thing & response I was hoping for, because the present track arrangements make no sense at all, unless viewed through a prism of understnding the past history of these layouts.
    “Complicated” doesn’t even begin to describe it, sometimes ….

  15. Anonymous says:

    @ Timbeau

    “The South Eastern, in turn, used the L&G and LBSCR to get as far as Redhill” – no, only as far as Stoats Nest (lovely name!), whence the LBSC used the SE to Redhill – see the Purley etc map above. The LBSC was in the peculiar position that the middle section of its main line was owned by another railway (the SE) until it built its own, parallel (Quarry) line, at great expense.

    The LBSC line was quadrupled between East & South Croydon (on the up side) on 1 September 1865, from South Croydon to Stoats Nest on 5 November 1899, with the Quarry line (source – J T Howard Turner’s The London, Brighton & South Coast Railway trilogy. Well worth a read).

    A peculiarity until Windmill Bridge was sorted out and Coulsdon North (ne Stoats Nest) was closed was that the Coulsdon North stoppers to/from Victoria, on the fast (western) lines, and the Cat/Tatts to Charing X, on the slow, ran parallel to each other between Purley and E Croydon at almost the same times (so much for co-ordination!), and fast trains generally ran on the up fast and the down slow.

  16. Anonymous says:

    @ Steven Taylor

    Interesting theory about the “LBSC” being the older of the two pairs of lines – could you share your sources for this information? Howard Thompson’s very detailed LBSCR history has the contrary view, saying on vol 2 p186:

    “The LBSC Rly would construct four tracks over a distance of 1 mile 77 chains from Peckham along a new route to Brixton, the eastern extremity of this length being designated Cow Lane junction (Cow Walk or Cow Lane is now known as Consort Road) and the western extremity being known as Barrington Road junction, at Brixton. The LCD Rly would construct two more tracks in addition to the two already in use, westwards from Barrington Road junction to the west side of the present Wandsworth Road station, a distance of some 1 mile 30 chains. From Cow Lane Junction over the Brighton’s four-track length to Barrington Road Junction, the southern pair would be used for the Brighton’s own traffic whilst the northern pair would be used by the LCD Rly trains to and from Crystal Palace on the unaltered part of the Crystal Palace & South London Junction’s route. Near Barrington Road junction, the northern pair of tracks were to join the existing LCD Rly line from Loughborough Junction round to Brixton, so enabling the Chatham to establish through working between Victoria, Stewarts Lane, and the Crystal Palace & South London Junction line. The southern pair of lines approaching Barrington Road Junction from the Cow Lane Junction direction would connect with the two new tracks to be provided by the LCD Rly between Barrington Road Junction and Wansdworth Road, so enabling LBSC Rly trains to work between east of Peckham and Victoria/Stewarts Lane.”

    And on p199:

    “The South London Line from Loughborough Park to York Road Junction, with the station at Clapham and the appropriate platforms at Wandsworth Road, and on to Battersea Pier Junction where it joined the Brighton’s low-level line up from Stewarts Lane, was opened on 1 May 1867”.

    Consistent with this, the map as at 29 July 1863 on p187 shows the northern lines through Wandsworth Road as open, the southern as “in hand”, agreeing with the several books that you refer to.

  17. Steven Taylor says:


    This is a most interesting topic. I just accepted what I had read over many years as well.

    1)On one level, if you look at any large scale old Ordnance Survey map of Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street station, if you came across the maps for the first time (published in Middleton Press South London line) you would guess that the Southern platforms were there first. They are straight whilst the new 3 -track lines curve around the double track straight tracks. This however is not a robust way to do `history` but it is a start.

    2) The lovely existing grade 2 Clapham High Street station building – now upmarket flats – was built in 1862. This to me says it all. This must be the first station. When Clapham Station opened on the 25th August 1862, it was only a 2 track railway. I cannot really imagine a scenario where you would build a Station building not alongside an existing platform.Although I guess there are some examples.

    3) If you Google an image of Wandsworth Road Station, and find a view looking North, you will see the existing platform line descends straight down the gradient to the low-level Stewarts Lane route of 1862. The new 3 track high level route sweeps down, and the route then originally curves away around the existing station to give room for the platforms which closed in 1916.. If we assume the existing station was the new one of 1867, it would mean that the Stewarts Lane formation of 1862 which was straight up the grade from Stewarts Lane made a very tight reverse curve to reach the formation where the closed 1916 platforms were situated. Not impossible but why have a severe reverse curve for no apparent reason.

    4) The quote from the book is ambiguous. The old 1862 formation was 2 track and the new formation was 5 track between Wandsworth Road and just west of the current Brixton station. The LCD constructed 3 new tracks between these points, not 2 as mentioned in the book. I appreciate there are only 4 tracks now, but the reversible used to run eastwards past Clapham Hugh Street station for a further mile.

    5) Also, again not conclusive, but the original 1862 formation was 2 line, and the new formation off the new 1866 viaduct is 3 track. The existing station is 2 track, and the station which closed in 1916 was 3 track. If you look at an old photograph prior to 1916 – there are a couple – you would always guess that the 2 track Southern platform were there first.

    Apologies for this epistle. Here are the references.

    1) Kent Rail web site – Wandsworth Road station.

    2) The well known Andrian Gray book The London Chatham & Dover railway (1984). Page 57.

    3) Refer London Railway Record – still available – July 2012 Issue Page 103 and 104. Notes by Jim Connor, who is respected as an historian .

    I must confess to getting quite obsessive about this issue having being an occasional user of these stations since 1959

    Trust this is helpful.

  18. Steve Taylor says:


    Just a quick further note

    I have just looked at Page 186 – Vol, 2 in Howard-Turners famous LBSC trilogy.
    It does not necessarily contradict – namely would `connect with two new tracks provided by the LCD railway`. The wording could be better perhaps, it depending how you define new. The South London Line was handed 2 tracks by the LDC.

    Howard-Turner is wrong when he states the LCD would construct 2 more tracks, when in fact 3 were constructed, although I guess he was looking at this from the view of the LBSC Board.

    I was in correspondence with him about 1980 about a disagreement over Oxted Tunnel. It took a lot of time to convince him his source was wrong. This was only correct. As an historian he wanted substantive proof.He correctly wanted proof. Lots of trips by me to Kew and the British Museum.

    It made me realise how much respect we should have for historians going back to original sources. It takes a lot of time and expense.

  19. Steven Taylor says:


    I felt it may be useful to quote the passage on Page 57 from Adrian Gray`s book, which reads:

    QUOTE Accordingly the LCDR`s proposed solution was to provide three tracks for its own use from Stewarts Lane to Barrington Road , and two tracks for the exclusive use of the LBSCR. These two tracks for the LBSCR were handed over on the 1st May 1867; the LBSC`s route in fact used the old LCDR line between Clapham and Wandsworth Road but had an entirely separate station at East Brixton. The three tracks that the LCDR provided for itself between Stewarts`s Lane and Shepherds Lane opened sometime earlier than this , probably on 1st May 1866 though station buildings at Clapham and Wandsworth Road were only temporary and were possibly not completed until July. UNQUOTE

    I should add that Barrington Road is where the South London Line viaduct commences at Brixton and Barrington Road is where East Brixton Station was situated and where ownership changed from LCDR to LBSC railway.

    As an aside, the existing building at Clapham is in the same style as the Brixton and Herne Hill building, as would be expected as the stations all opened on the same day in August 1862.

    (I trust I am not breaking any rules posting 3 sequential posts and that I have not broken copyright laws by the above quote.)

  20. Steve Taylor says:


    I meant to say Shepherds Lane is where the SLL viaduct commences…

  21. Anonymous says:

    @ Steve Taylor

    Very interesting, but there’s also evidence the other way, eg Gordon Biddle’s Britain’s Historic Railway Buildings says the current Clapham High St building dates from 1867, not 1862. At, TfL says the building is the original one, but also says that there were four original platforms, so it’s not clear what it means by “original”.

    As you say, original sources are very important, and unfortunately it’s not clear where Biddle, Howard Turner or Connor got their information from: is it the same for Gray? (I haven’t seen that book, or the Middleton Press one.) Presumably the documentation behind the listing of the Clapham High St building would throw some light on the matter.

    And Howard Turner seems pretty clear about which line is which, both in the text and on his maps:

    “The northern pair of tracks were to join the existing LCD Rly line from Loughborough Junction round to Brixton, so enabling the Chatham to establish through working between Victoria, Stewarts Lane, and the Crystal Palace & South London Junction line. The southern pair of lines approaching Barrington Road Junction from the Cow Lane Junction direction would connect with the two new tracks to be provided by the LCD Rly between Barrington Road Junction and Wansdworth Road.” (My emphasis)

  22. Steven Taylor says:


    First, thanks to Greg Tingey for raising this thread.

    I will try to find time to find the original plans for the Act of Parliament. The more one digs, the more interesting this stretch of railway appear. Unfortunately, the Ordnance Survey does not help us here.

    Some of the information is surely not contentious. For example, whilst several books state the LCDR built 2 extra lines, this is surely lack of basic research. The LCDR was originally 2 lines (1862), and all maps around 1869 etc show 5 lines. Namely 2 lines (the original low level route) and 3 extra lines (the new high level route).

    Some of my observations, whilst not proving what happened, added together do, to my mind, give circumstantial evidence, namely:

    1) As I said, if you stand on Wandsworth Road station and look North, the platform lines descend in a straight line down to Stewarts Lane. It seems most unlikely that this is not the first line. The levels are all wrong for a gentle reverse curve. And my understanding is that when the Act of 1860 was passed, there was no accommodation for a future South London Line. I cannot see how they would build a severe reverse curve here when they did not have to. My surmise of course is they did not – the existing straight line is the first.

    2) Clapham High Street, Brixton and Herne Hill all opened in August 1862 and all the respective station buildings are obviously by the same architect. At Clapham High Street, if the current platforms were built 1867, you have, in my opinion, the unlikely scenario of Clapham originally having the now demolished North buildings in a completely different style in 1862, and then when the line was widened, the station used by the LBSC having a new building built in 1867 to the original style of 1862. Not impossible, but surely the 1862 building was constructed like the Brixton, Herne Hill building because it was built in 1862!

    I appreciate that a lot of my observations are circumstantial, but I feel my Wandsworth Road one is pretty conclusive. Others I am sure may differ.

    I will try to contact Jim Connor – If you read London Railway Record, he always does a lot of original research with references for his articles.

    Re Middleton Press – I should add I only mentioned this for the maps – they state the existing platforms opened in 1867!

    Thanks for responding to my post.

  23. Edgepedia says:

    The Metropolitan & District then almost immediately fell under the control of the very epitomé of the railway “Robber Baron”, Charles Tyson Yerkes … you mean Metropolitan District, don’t you? I don’t know about the 1905 date: Yerkes established the Metropolitan District Electric Traction Company (to finance the electrification of that railway) with himself as managing director in 1901, and the following year the UERL (created to build his three tube lines) took over that company. He died in 1905.

  24. Steve Taylor says:

    Re our discussion around the South London line ( I trust I am not boring other readers!)

    What has just occurred to me is what Adrian Gray and others are saying is that the LCDR route of 1862 between Wandworth road and Clapham was handed over to the LBSR in 1867. This is only about half a mile of the new 1.5 mile route. The rest of the South London Line between Clapham and Shepherds Lane Junction (Brixton) would have been newly constructed by the LCDR and handed over to the LBSC. So this may be where confusion has crept in. Just a thought.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Just looking at Biddle’s entry for Clapham High St (p46), and I think he gets himself into a bit of a tangle:

    “After the Grouping the Southern Railway closed the LCDR building, which still remains in use as a warehouse…More recently the LBSCR buildings and platforms have been demolished, leaving only the LCDR platforms as a ‘basic station’.

    Hasn’t he got his LBSC and his LCD mixed up?

  26. Steven Taylor says:


    I agree! I am afraid many books have errors – especially the Middleton Press. But doing original research can take over your life if you are not careful.

    Also, to try to get Jim Connor`s source for his information, I will try to contact him. I feel so certain that the existing platforms were the original because of not one, but several bits of information, that in themselves don`t `prove` this issue, but added together, they all add up. For example, reading Gray`s book on the LCDR, where he states the LCDR opened their new stations at Clapham and Wandworth Road in 1866 with temporary buildings – what new stations if they had already opened in 1862/1863 respectively. Also, going out on a limb, I suspect most authors may say `what is the issue` – the LBSC opened their South London Line in 1867, and their 1867 stations are still there… However, I have probably said enough on this issue. I will go to Kew within the next few weeks to try wrap this up. (Hopefully!)

    Going back to the 21st Century – it is excellent seeing the much increased usage of these 2 stations with the 15 minute London Overground service – and manned stations. I went on the Kensington – Wandsworth Road `ghost` train today, and there were 2 proper passengers who on alighting at Wandsworth Road waited for the next Overground train going to Highbury and Islington.

  27. Greg Tingey says:

    Qoting from “Cobb” & running W-E & N-S… ( i.e. “Reading” the page as if written normally )
    VIctoria Station & Pimlico Rly 1860
    Current Brighton main line 1867
    The two West End of London & Crystal Palace diveunders ( W & E, repectively) dated to 1858 opening & LCD connections in 1866 & 1862
    Both the Atlantic lines & the current Chatham main line, 1867
    Factory Jn – Brixton, 1862 LCDR, 1867 LBSCR
    Brixton – Peckham Rye 1865/6 9LBSC later)
    Peckham Rye – Corbetts Lane Jn 1866
    Peckham Rye – Crystal Pal HL, 1865
    Greenwich Park branch 1871
    Catford Loop 1892

    Whether this actually helps the discussion is another matter!

  28. Steven Taylor says:


    Thanks for post. I have been using R.H.Clark Southern Region Chronology and Record 1803-1965, Oakwood Press plus 1975 corrections. The discussion is around Factory Junction – Brixton. the dates are correct and not contentious. Books disagree. In 1866, the LDCR built a 3 track railway between these points, which everyone accepts. They then leased their old 2 track line to the LBSR. (In dispute). I will try to do original research on this.

    I live in Clapham Junction, and know the area quite well. I used to `visit on the quiet`Stewarts Lane Depot etc. They were the days! No security issues / safety issues.

    I like E. Course`s description of this part of Battersea as the `Battersea Tangle. Unlike the New Cross equivalent, all railways constructed between 1858 to 1867, with the exception of the LSW railway. And all are still in use, both low level and high level lines.

  29. Steven Taylor says:


    I have done some `on-the-ground` research about the earlier discussion whether the current platforms at Wandsworth Road station are the original ones of 1863.

    I perhaps should first state that Adrian Gay`s respected 1984 book on the London Chatham and Dover railway does give references to original documents, despite my earlier comment that it did not.

    My findings are as follows:

    1) The existing bridge over Wandsworth Road looks to be originally 2 constructs, namely the abutments do not quite align up. The bridge going West to east comprises 2 tracks and then 3 tracks. One cannot from observation determine which was first, but the historical record states that the line was originally 2 tracks(1862) , with 3 tracks later added (1867).

    2) Looking North from the Station, you have the 1867 viaduct to Battersea Park, the `old` 1862 route to Stewarts Lane, initially viaduct then embankment, and then the 3 track viaduct to Battersea Pier Junction. I basically looked in the arches, getting permission first, and the first arch was the line to Battersea Park, initially not very wide, then a 2 track viaduct in line with the existing platforms at Wandsworth Road station, and then a 3 track viaduct. The 2 and 3 track viaduct did not quite align up.

    Whilst it is possible to imagine other scenarios, to me the observation `proves` that initial 2 track route is the route to the existing platforms at Wandsworth Road station. The construction indicates that the 1862 railway was kept operating whilst new viaducts were built around it, which makes sense.

    I trust me observations are of interest and are not getting to anal.
    Going slightly off topic, I passed through Clapham High Street station at 1542 today, and there were 15 people waiting on the platform for the train. Likewise, Wandsworth Road had about 8 people alight.

  30. Steven Taylor says:


    Re our earlier posts regarding whether the existing platforms at Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road are the originals of 1862/1863 respectively, or as often stated, are actually the LBSC 1867 platforms. I have just found on the web conclusive evidence. If you google London 1864 and London 1872 you will easily find the Stanford Library maps of London for the period. These clearly show that the existing `London Overground` platforms were the original platforms, which is not what is stated in several publications,

    It is `sad` to see so many publications quote incorrect data.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Re the discussion above about which came first along the SLL through Wandsworth Rd and Clapham, the southern ones used by the LB&SCR or the northern ones used by the LC&DR, Peter Kay’s conclusion in the latest London Railway Record (no 76, July 2013) is that the southern lines came first (25 Aug 1862) with the northern lines added 1 Jan 1867, and the southern lines re-used by the LB&SC from 1 May 1867 with the opening of the flyover above Brixton station from Barrington Rd Junction (East Brixton).

    Worth a read.

  32. Steven Taylor says:


    Thanks for post. I actually have the magazine – informative article.

    I think this one is sorted. I must say it increases my respect for people who do go back to original sources when writing books, which of course takes a lot of time.

    Going to a `new` topic – usage at Wandsworth Road and particularly Clapham High Street stations seems to have rocketed in the last few months. It will be interesting to see the traffic figures for the year when they are next published.

  33. Greg Tingey says:

    There is a fascinating article on the LCDR extension/doubling here in the current (just-released) Issue of “London Railway Record”

    I recommend a read of it!

  34. Steven Taylor says:


    Thanks for post.
    My appetite has been whetted.

    I will try Ian Allan tomorrow for London Railway Record.

  35. @Anonymous says:

    Re earlier post – I have just realised you were mentioning July 2013 issue of London Railway Record (LRR) – I assumed the earlier article in the July 2012 issue.

    I bought LRR yesterday at Ian Allan. It really goes into detail – and full marks to Peter Kay and LRR for publishing maps etc which I have never seen published before.

    I was wondering if perhaps Peter Kay investigated this after reading this blog. Anyway, the timing was perfect and it saves me a trip to Kew or local history libraries.

    I must make a recommendation for London Railway Record. It is published quarterley and only costs £3.95. It is truly a `record` as it quotes extensive sources when writing detailed articles. I always read it cover to cover.

  36. Anon at 0423 again says:

    I’ll second that recommendation re LRR – and a £15.80 subscription means you get it promptly (even subscribers 12,000 miles away get it within a week of publication).

    (Disclaimer – I’ve no connection with LRR, except as a very satisfied reader of many years’ standing.)

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