John Speller's Web Pages Greenwich Park Branch (LC&DR)

John Speller's Web Pages - SE&CR
Greenwich Park Branch (LC&DR) Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
The London, Chatham & Dover Railway’s 2 mile 31 chain Greenwich Park Branch ran from Nunhead on the main line to a terminus in the north-west corner of Greenwich Park, near the Greenwich Observatory, with intermediate stations at Lewisham Road and Brockley Lane. The only major engineering work on the line was a short tunnel at Blackheath Hill, and even this was a mere 55 yards long. The line was originally intended to continue to central Greenwich and, by means of a tunnel under Greenwich Park, through Charlton, terminating at Woolwich Dockyard, but with the building of the South Eastern line to Woolwich in 1849 this was no longer necessary and in any case the LC&DR did not have the funds. Even the part of the line that was built proceeded very slowly. The Greenwich Park Branch was authorized by an Act of 28 July 1863, but by 18 September 1871 was only open as far as Blackheath Hill, pending the completion of the tunnel. Powers for the final section to Greenwich Park were allowed to lapse, and the line had to be reauthorized under the London, Chatham & Dover Railway (Further Powers) Act of 18 July 1881. The final section finally opened on 1 October 1888. Traffic was always disappointing and the line closed in World War on 1 January 1917, and was abandoned beyond Lewisham Road by the Southern Railway on 1 January 1926. A new link was made at Lewisham Road to the former South Eastern Railway at Lewisham, enabling through running between Victoria and Dartford, and this service was inaugurated on 7 July 1929. Electric train service over this line was inaugurated on 30 September 1935.
Postcard view of a Push-and-Pull train at Greenwich Park shortly after the introduction of Wainwright's "P" Class 0-6-0 locomotives in 1909
The eight locomotives that comprised Wainwright's "P" Class 0-6-0, built by the SEC&R in 1909-10, were primarily designed with the Greenwich Park line in mind, since only trains of minimal weight were required. Nos. 178 and 323 have happily been preserved on the Bluebell Railway. Image © copyright ElsieEsq and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
A Kirtley "C" Class 0-6-0 in the goods yard at Brockley Lane in around 1905
Postcard view of a Kirtley "C" Class 0-6-0 at Brockley Lane in around 1905
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