John Speller's Web Pages - L&NWR

Rugby & Leamington Railway LNWR Untitled
The London & North Western Railway's Leamington Branch from Rugby was authorized by Act of Parliament in 1846. Most of the engineering work was done by Robert Stephenson's Resident Engineer, William Thomas Doyne (1823-1877). Doyne was noteworthy as being the first civil engineer to do a scientific study of the forces in wrought iron lattice bridges. The Rugby & Leamington Branch was inspected by Captain George Wynne on behalf of the Board of Trade on 18 February 1851 and opened on 1 March 1851 as a single line 15 miles 8 chains long with intermediate stations at Birdingbury and Marton. Dunchurch, where several of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators had once met, was added on 2 October 1871. The track was later doubled. Express service from Euston was introduced in 1908 by slipping a coach at Rugby, but this service only lasted until 1912. Passenger service was withdrawn on 15 June 1959, followed by complete closure in 1965. It is a pity that there was never a spur onto the Great Central line at the east end of the branch, since this might have provided a useful through route from Sheffield via the GWR to Birmingham or via Stratford, Worcester and Hereford to Cardiff. But perhaps that was what the LMS was afraid of ...

A fatal accident took place at Draycot between Rugby and Birdingbury on 1 October 1868. A train became derailed owing to poor track and all the coaches fell down the embankment, one second class carriage being very seriously damaged, resulting in two fatalities and a number of serious injuries.
1909 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram of Leamington and Rugby. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Birdingbury Station on the LNWR's Rugby to Leamington Branch, circa 1910
One of William Doyne's lattice bridges near Marton Junction
Leamington arches. Great Western main line left, Leamington to Rugby line right. Photograph courtesy of David Stowell, Creative Commons
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