The Wolverton–Newport Pagnell line was a railway branch line in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom running from Wolverton on the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) (today's West Coast Main Line) to Newport Pagnell. The line fully opened to passengers in 1867. An extension to Olney was planned in 1865, but this scheme was abandoned after partial construction. Earthworks along the route of the extension still exist in Bury Field (Newport Pagnell), and plaques exist detailing the history of the failed project.
Competition from road traffic starting in the early twentieth century put pressure on the railway, and it was later a victim of the Beeching cuts. The line was seen as unprofitable, and it closed to passengers in 1964, and to goods traffic in 1967. Part of the trackbed today provides a section of the Milton Keynes redway system.
|Wolverton–Newport Pagnell line|
|Dates of operation||1866–1967|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Length||4 miles (6.4 km)|
The Newport Pagnell Canal had opened in 1817 between the Grand Junction Canal at Great Linford and Newport Pagnell. The canal carried a reasonable level of traffic but, in 1845, the LNWR attempted to buy the canal to use its route as a potential railway line. The offer was refused for two decades, until 1862, when the LNWR was able to purchase the canal for £9000. The canal closed in 1864. Despite this, the railway when built did not run on the line of the old canal.
Two earlier proposals had been made in 1845 and 1846 for a railway serving Newport Pagnell: both schemes failed to attract sufficient capital.
Permission to build the 4-mile (6.4 km) long single line branch railway was obtained on 16 June 1863. The line opened for goods in 1866, with passenger services commencing on 2 September 1867. The line was officially absorbed by the LNWR in 1875. The one engine that worked the single track branch was later nicknamed Newport Nobby.
In 1865, powers were granted to extend the line from Newport Pagnell to Olney and then on to meet the Northampton and Peterborough Railway at Wellingborough. Construction was underway, and a bridge had been completed when the extension was abandoned in 1871. Olney was later served by a station on the Midland Railway's Bedford–Northampton line from 1872: that line closed in 1962.
In 1900 a spur connecting the branch to the up slow line of the West Coast Main Line was constructed. The water supply for locomotives at Wolverton was insufficient, so a water column was built at the intermediate station in Bradwell. Water came from the town's own source, with many houses losing their supply. On Mondays, housewives were known to shake their fists at engine drivers when their weekly wash was interrupted. Eventually drivers were forbidden from taking water from Bradwell on Mondays.
In 1898, the first motor bus service in Buckinghamshire began running between Newport Pagnell and Olney, followed by numerous other routes, which took traffic away from the railway line. Despite this, the LNWR considered electrification of the line in 1904, believing such a scheme would bring about considerable savings, but the idea never materialised.
The branch was included in the Beeching report of 1963 which concluded that, since 30% of the railway network carried less than 1% of the total passenger traffic, much of it should be closed. The residents of Newport Pagnell resisted the closure, demanding an enquiry which took place on 7 June 1964. Despite many objections, it was determined that the line would close. The last passenger service was the 5:34 pm train from Newport Pagnell on 5 September 1964, just under a century after the line opened to passengers. The mourning of the line was so great that a bucket of water was poured over a double dressed as Richard Beeching, the man commonly associated with the closure of over 4,000 miles of the British railway network. The crowd cheered as this happened, a mark of the public's feelings about the closure.
The line was finally closed to freight traffic in 1967, after which the tracks were lifted. Part of the trackbed is now used by the Milton Keynes redway system, the network of cycle and pedestrian routes that serves the Milton Keynes urban area.
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The A418 road is a main trunk road in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, England. It begins at a roundabout with the A4146 just north of Ascott, near Leighton Buzzard. It then runs south as a single carriageway through Wing to Aylesbury. This stretch is proposed for a dual carriageway bypass. After diving through Aylesbury the road runs past Aylesbury College before heading out into Stone. From here it runs past Haddenham to the M40 near Thame. The road has been rerouted in two locations so that it no longer runs through Hulcott and Haddenham.A422 road
The A422 is an "A" road for east-west journeys in south central England, connecting the county towns of Bedford and Worcester by way of Milton Keynes, Buckingham, Banbury and Stratford-upon-Avon. For most of its length, it is a narrow single carriageway.A5130 road
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The Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway (A&BR) was an English railway located in Buckinghamshire, England operating between Aylesbury and Verney Junction.Aylesbury–Princes Risborough line
The Aylesbury–Princes Risborough line is a rural branch line between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England. The line is single track throughout with a maximum speed of 40 mph.Beaconsfield services
Beaconsfield services is a motorway service station on the M40 motorway in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, England. It is operated by Extra, and opened on 17 March 2009. It is the fourth and most recent of the service areas to be built on the 89-mile motorway which links London, Oxford and Birmingham. At its opening, it was the largest motorway service area in the United Kingdom. The petrol station, with 36 pumps is also the largest filling station in the country. Petrol stations are provided by Shell and a hotel is operated by Ibis Budget.Bletchley TMD
Bletchley TMD is a railway traction maintenance depot situated in Bletchley, Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, to the north east of Bletchley railway station, on a siding off the Marston Vale line. The depot is operated by London Northwestern Railway. The depot code is BY but, in steam days, the shed code was 1E.Bradwell railway station
Bradwell railway station was a railway station on the Wolverton–Newport Pagnell line. It served both Bradwell and the new village of New Bradwell in Buckinghamshire. The station, which consisted of a brick-built station building, and single platform, opened to traffic in 1867.
The last passenger train ran on 5 September 1964 but freight trains continued to pass through until May 1967. The station building was demolished although the platform remains intact. The trackbed through the station has been converted into a shared path (footpath/cycle way), forming part of the Milton Keynes redway system.Chiltern Way
The Chiltern Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in southern England in the United Kingdom. It was created by the Chiltern Society as a millennium project.Greater Ridgeway
The Greater Ridgeway, also known as the Greater Icknield Way, is a 362-mile (583 kilometre) long-distance footpath crossing England from Lyme Regis in Dorset to Hunstanton in Norfolk. It is a combined route which is made by joining four long-distance footpaths: the Wessex Ridgeway, The Ridgeway National Trail, the Icknield Way and the Peddars Way National Trail.Handy Cross roundabout
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The Milton Keynes redway system (locally known as Redways) is an over 200 mi (322 km) network of shared use paths for cyclists and pedestrians in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. It is generally surfaced with red tarmac, and criss-crosses most of the city.
Some of these Redways run next to the grid roads and local roads, with underpasses or bridges where they intersect major roads. Others run through park land and along the floodplain of the Great Ouse and its tributaries.
Construction of the Redway commenced in the 1970s with the start of the construction of the "new city". By 1980 it was the largest urban cycleway system in the UK with 22 miles (35.4 km) in use.Newport Pagnell railway station
Newport Pagnell railway station was a railway station that served Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, on the Wolverton–Newport Pagnell line. Opened in 1867 the station consisted of a brick built station building, and extensive goods facilities.
The last passenger train ran on 6 September 1964 and the last goods train on 22 May 1967. The station site is now under Shepherd's Close, a modern residential development.Shakespeare's Way
Shakespeare's Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in southern England, United Kingdom.Swan's Way (footpath)
Swan's Way is a long distance bridle route and footpath in Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, England. It runs 65 miles (105 km) from Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire to Goring-On-Thames, Oxfordshire. Although designed for horseriders by riders, it is a multi-use trail also available to walkers and cyclists.
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Woburn Sands railway station serves the villages of Woburn Sands and Wavendon in the borough of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. The station is on the Marston Vale line between Bedford and Bletchley, about 4 miles (6.5 km) east of Bletchley station. The station is served by local trains to Bletchley and Bedford using Class 150/1 and Class 153 diesel multiple units operated by London Northwestern Railway.
Newport Pagnell line
Stations in and around Milton Keynes