John Speller's Web Pages Lambourn Valley Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Narrow Gauge

Lambourn Valley Railway
The Lambourn Valley Railway was built under the Light Railways Act of 1896 and opened on 4 April 1898. At first it did not have enough money to buy rolling stock, so the Chairman, Col. George Branston Archer-Houblon (1843-1913), bought four coaches from Brown, Marshalls & Co. of Saltley, near Birmingham, and two 0-6-0 side tank locomotives, "Aelfred" and "Eahlswith," from Chapman & Furneaux of Gateshead, at a total cost of just under three thousand pounds, which the company paid back in instalments. The use of end-balcony coaches and minimal stations with platforms only nine inches high helped to minimize cost, though the engines were very well turned out in a handsome dark blue livery. The Great Western Railway took over operating the line on 1 July 1905, and proceeded to rebuild Lambourn station in the standard Great Western style of the day, and to provide all the stations with standard height platforms. This was a piece of economic stupidity. Why should anyone spend money making a light railway into a main line railway when this was not necessary especially as the LVR still had a maximum speed of 25 mph and a maximum axle load of a mere 8 tons? The line was fully absorbed by the GWR at the Grouping of 1923. Passenger service ceased on 4 January 1960 but a limited service continued until 3 November 1973 to serve RAF Welford.
Map of the Lambourn Valley Railway
Lambourn Valley train behind 0-6-0T ""Eahlswith" in the early 1900s
One of the four composite coaches purchased by Col. Archer-Houblon from Brown, Marshalls & Co. for the Lambourn Valley Railway. They were 26 ft. 6 in. long and each seated 32 passengers.
William H. H. M. Gipps (1865-1903), General Manager of the Lambourn Valley Railway. He was also the Traffic Manager of the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway, and had previously been Assistant District Superintendent of the London & North Western Railway at Whitehaven
Site Contents Untitled