RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY

 
 

 

 

 

GREAT WESTERN & WEST MIDLAND RAILWAYS
Spring 1861.


In the spring of 1861 the West Midland Railway sponsored a bill to give it its own main line into London. It was the London, Buckinghamshire and West Midland Junction Railway, and its course was as follows; from the W.M.R. at Yarnton, with connections north and south to the G.W.R. at Wolvercot, passing through Thame, Risborough, Amersham, Beaconsfield and Uxbridge to Kensington (Addison Road), and a terminus in Knightsbridge and Slone Street; with a branch to Aylesbury and a fork to the West London Railway near Shepherds Bush. The capital for the scheme to be £1,250,000.


Counsel was briefed ready for the West Midlands battle with the Great Western and the London and North-Western Railways, when on the last day of April, just as the parliamentary committee was to open the Great Western and the West Midland Railways announced they were to be amalgamated!


The bill was immediately withdrawn and on the 4th. May an agreement was concluded, which included the following clauses;

  • The Great Western Railway was to lease the original Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, under the powers of the 1848 act, with running powers over the remainder; the West Midland Railway to have reciprocal powers over the Great Western.
  • The two systems would be worked as a whole. The nett receipts to be divided G.W.R. - 82.5% to W.M.R. - 17.5%.
  • A joint committee of 18 G.W.R. and 6 W.M.R. directors to manage the undertaking.
  • The narrow gauge line from Reading to Paddington and Brentford to be completed as soon as possible, as per the bill now before parliament, so as to be ready for the opening of the Worcester and Hereford, and the Severn Valley Railways.
  • Application to be made to parliament for a complete amalgamation within 5 years.

This was agreed by both groups of shareholders at a meeting on May 30th.

At the amalgamation the W.M.R. had 190 miles of railway with the right to lease or work 77 miles more. The O.W.W.R. section north of Evesham containing 76 timber bridges and viaducts.

The stock was as follows;

     
59
26
17
29
309
4064
Engines Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton.
Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford.
Shrewsbury and Hereford.
West Midland Railway.
Passenger Wagons.
Mineral and Goods Wagons