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Disused Tracks in Surrey

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by robgolding96, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    Here is some very interesting information provided to me by a friend. Being as we both grew up around Godalming and have a love of Narrow Gauge it was only logical that passions were aroused.

    This is a copy of his mail to me which he agreed to be posted here..

    "Firstly, I’d emphasise that I fully respect Mr Ramptons concerns re privacy/security etc, so no trespassing or “nosing about” took place and the observations below are based purely on what could be seen from simply walking along the roadway shown in the photos linked to the thread previously, which is designated as a public bridleway. Similarly I took no further photographs as the situation looks virtually the same as those photos.
    The turnout shown is still there although slightly more overgrown. Alongside the roadway/bridleway, the track is also still in place and clearly visible, although for most of its length, one rail is buried in the accumulated gravel, undergrowth etc at the side of the road. Where it leaves the roadway and curves off to go around the edge of the field, the track that can be seen from the bridleway is in reasonable nick and still fairly clear of vegetation. Despite this, from the condition of the rail heads, it appears that nothing has run on it for a very long time.

    There are a number of sheds/barns making up the farm buildings either side of the roadway.
    I made no attempt to approach any of these and none of them appeared to be rail connected. Whilst there was a fair amount of typical “farmyard junk” surrounding them and adjacent to the road, there was nothing visible amongst this which looked to have any railway origins other than a small pile of sleepers.

    So to hopefully put peoples inquisitiveness to rest, other than the disused track already shown on the previous linked pictures there is no sign of anything else relating to “Collection X” being visible at this location, so basically “nothing to see”. The sheds themselves remain secure with whatever is inside. There are no rusting remains out in the open for all to see. There is quite enough of that at some of our well established “preservation” sites! I do however hope that developments at the VoR, mean that at least some of the collection ultimately reveals itself.

    With regard to what members of the PRT collection might be in operating condition, I remember being told many years ago by one of our members at the Guildford MES (sadly now deceased), who lived very close to this location and had seen various locos arriving by road, that he thought at least one loco must either have arrived still in working order or been subject to a quick restoration job, as he saw a loco being steamed on at least one occasion. This is pure conjecture but I’d guess that steaming may well have taken place on the track that has now been abandoned. From the description of the loco he gave at the time, I think the most likely candidate was the Renishaw heisler from Natal. Before people get too excited at any imminent prospect of that particular gem running up to Devils Bridge, I’d estimate that steaming must have been at least 25 years ago, possibly even longer.

    Hopefully, good things will ultimately come to those who wait!"

    End of mail
     
  2. robgolding96

    robgolding96 New Member

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    Thanks ilvaporista for that really interesting post!

    Is it possible Lillian once ran here pre-Launceston?
     
  3. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    I think Charlie may be able to ask the question directly. I remember pictures of Lillian steaming before going to the West Country but have no idea where that took place.
     
  4. Charobin

    Charobin Member

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    Peter Rampton has publically stated on at least one occasion this year that items in the collection, which is spread over several sites, are owned by the Vale of Rheidol Railway or himself personally.

    As I understand it from those who know Peter Rampton, the equipment still stored on his property is that which is owned personally. Happy to be proved wrong if there are publically available documents which unequivocally state "items x,y and z are owned by the Vale of Rheidol Railway and stored on the property of Peter Rampton".

    Western Queen ex. Surrey Border & Camberley - which I was reminded of in conversation the other day when I was shunting with the "Rampton escapee"....

    Depends who you want me to ask - Nigel or Peter? ;)

    The answer to Rob's question is online in a very obvious place anyway!



    Charlie
     
  5. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    Found it Charlie... ;-)
     
  6. Rumpole

    Rumpole Well-Known Member

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    A very obvious place indeed...! ;-)
     
  7. Jordan-Leeds

    Jordan-Leeds New Member

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    Myself i have interest in the rampton collection and all i can say is theres either going to be the mother of all auctions in the years to come or we will find that items have been transferrd over night to the VOR/brecon/LSR.
     
  8. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    Having done a little more investigation, this is the only known photo of a loco being unloaded at the Surrey site - and what a loco it is!

    What a sight that would be restored, and probably very useful too for a line like the WLLR.

    Chris
     
  9. Allegheny

    Allegheny Member

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    I followed the link from "Collection X" onto this thread.

    I'm just wondering if the J-shaped track to the west of Loxhill on the 1948 OS map below is the NG line in question.

    http://www.npemap.org.uk/tiles/map.html#500,138,1

    If you click one of the "1948" links on the right hand side it takes you to the contemporary map key. Unfortunately the scan is a bit blurred so I'm not sure, but it seems to line up with the Geograph locations.
     
  10. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    I can't see anything on that link but I can confirm you are in the right area at Loxhill on that map. Streetview has images and the track is hidden by the hedge on the road between Loxhill and Hydestile. I almost put my father's car through the hedge there one dark night. I would have been very surprised to have landed on a narrow gauge railway! I'll have another look when I go back in July. For the moment I am stuck in Manila with little chance of seeing anything railway related.
     
    zoot horn rollo likes this.
  11. John Webb

    John Webb Member

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    If you look at the several photos on Geograph, yes, the railway track runs alongside the first part of the track you refer to as far as the farm. But the farm track is considerably older than the railway. As you might gather from the earlier postings in this thread, the owner is very wary of visitors, although the farm track you refer to is marked on the 25,000:1 maps as a public bridleway, so you could walk (or ride a horse!) and see for yourself.
     
  12. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    As other have said, the currently extant railway track does not currently run alongside the J shaped track shown apart from the short length that runs through the farmyard itself.
    It runs north east leaving the bridleway through the farm yard and then curves north and then west and runs for a couple of hundred metres alongside Markwick Lane.
    As ilvaporista says, that section can be made out on Streetview through the hedge.
    It would theoretically be possible to extend the railway west from the farm alongside the bridleway but there is no sign that it ever did so in the past that I could see (although that area is now overgrown or has been cultivated) but I think gradients might become an issue if it went too far.
    As per my post on the Collection X thread a little while back, other than the short section of overgrown and gravel covered track in the farmyard area there is nothing railway orientated to see there from the bridleway itself.

    Chris
     
  13. Allegheny

    Allegheny Member

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    Chris,

    The map dates from 1948, so it would show the track that was extant at the time.

    Ilvaporista,

    I wasn't sure from your post whether the link didn't work, or you whether you missed the J-shaped line. The line I was looking at runs slightly south of due west from Loxhill for about 0.75 km (the grid squares on the map are 1km), then turns North-East, to the road near the R in "The Roswell". It then turns sharp left, and as you have said, follows the road to Hydestyle.

    I agree with the comments about respecting private property.
     
  14. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
  15. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    Right, I'll try and reply without losing my text this time!

    As you said, the map scan is a bit blurred but looking at the map key, I think the line of dots making up the "J" is just indicating footpaths/bridleways (that still exist.) Also, what's not clear from the map contours is the manner in which the ground rises up to Markwick Lane from the fields to the south of it, which I think would make a railway there pretty much impossible without some noticeable earthworks.
    I'll maybe take a walk round the "J" next time I'm out walking that way to take a look but I'm pretty sure there was never a NG railway in that vicinity until the current track was put there (In the 1960's/70's?) by Mr Rampton when he started assembling his collection.

    Chris
     
  16. Allegheny

    Allegheny Member

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    Thanks Chris, I'll look forward to hearing the results of your exploration. Unfortunately, I've got my teeth into this now. Here is the Google satellite image of the point where the tip of the J meets Markfield Lane. The smooth radius of the corner of the field looks very suspicious to me!

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.1348797,-0.5804975,152m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
     
  17. robgolding96

    robgolding96 New Member

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  18. Allegheny

    Allegheny Member

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    Thanks for the website, but I'm just as confused. The J-shaped track is also a parish boundary, and at first I thought that one symbol superimposed on the other would look very similar to the symbol for an NG railway. This can't be too uncommon though, so I looked for another location where this occurs - about 2km to the SE at High Billinghurst farm - and the track on the map here looks significantly different to the one at Loxhill.
     
  19. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    As Chris has said the ground in that area is far from flat and would make Golfa bank on the WLLR look like a molehill. I spent a long time looking for suitable sites and was convinced that Hambledon brickworks was a suitable location. Then I discovered the two traction engines stored next to The Merry Harriers pub and I became distracted.. which was also the well used watering hole of Rick P from Status Quo who used to thrash me at pool and drinking...
     
  20. 67379

    67379 New Member

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    The thing that strikes me is that it's very well laid track, good sleepers and plenty of ballast. Certainly looking at the first posted photo, the lack of weeds would surely suggest that it hasn't either been estabished or abanoned for that long.
     

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