Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Eton opposes a railway line 1835

Meanwhile, the Windsor council had given support to the newly formed London and Windsor Railway Company. This company aimed to build a line from the capital to Windsor by way of Osterley as the first stage of a much grander route down to the southwest of England. A key problem was that the route envisaged crossing Royal lands. King William IV was consulted and gave his permission for a line to be built over the Home Park so that it entered the town by way of Datchet Lane.

Eton, as ever, opposed the construction of a railway anywhere near the College. The influence exercised by the college on peers of the realm, together with growing worries over the financial stability of the project, ensured that the London and Windsor Railway Bill was defeated in the House of Lords.

The GWR promptly put forward a new Bill to Parliament seeking permission for its own branch line to be constructed along roughly the same lines as previously envisaged. Eton objected again, though a newly elected council at Windsor did not. The Bill was passed by Parliament, but only after Thomas Carter, Provost of Eton, had managed to get so many restrictions and conditions imposed that the GWR judged the project to be commercially unviable. Once again the branch line idea was dropped.

from "Lost Railways of Berkshire" by Rupert Matthews

Buy your copy HERE

Book Description

4 Oct 2006 Lost Railways
This illustrated book covers the history of the county's railways from construction in the 1840s to, in many cases, closure in the 1960s. It includes Brunel's GWR mainline and branch lines to Windsor, Wokingham and Bracknell, Cookham and Steventon.

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