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Birmingham and Henley-In Arden Railway Prospectus Map 1889 | by ian.dinmore
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Birmingham and Henley-In Arden Railway Prospectus Map 1889

This short branch line was built to serve the small town of Henley-in Arden.

Henley-in-Arden was originally connected to the GWR's Birmingham and Oxford route originating from Kingswood (renamed Lapworth in 1902) station via a short single branch line just over 3 miles in length. It was first mooted in 1861 as a mixed gauge line but work stopped due to the lack of funding when only half of the line was complete. It remained in this state until the mid-1890s becoming overgrown until a new company, the Birmingham and Henley in Arden Railway Company, was formed under GWR influence to complete the project.

 

Opening on 6th June 1894 the branch was taken in to ownership by the GWR on 1st July 1900, a month before the GWR took over the Birmingham and North Warwickshire Railway Company as part of its strategy to open a new main line to the West of England. The opening of the North Warwickshire line in 1908 made the branch superfluous although passenger traffic from Lapworth continued until the First World War intervened. As with many little used branch lines across the country the track was lifted for reuse on the behind the lines in France.

 

Passengers services officially ceased on 1 January 1915 although the line that had been extended from the 'Old Station's' goods shed to the North Warwickshire line remained and was used until closure on 31st December 1962. There was also a single road engine shed which served the branch line. Having opened with the branch line in 1894 it also closed with the line when track was lifted in 1915.

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Uploaded on October 12, 2014