Thursday, January 07, 2021

A memory of the days when you could explore Lubenham station

Lubenham railway station used to stand just to the north of this bridge at the western end of the village. It closed, along with the rest of the Market Harborough to Rugby line, in 1966.

It's all fenced off now, but in 1973 you could wander up what had been the station approach and explore its remains. What I remember most is that one of the platforms looked as though it had just been resurfaced.

And that may well have been done just before the station closed. Matthew Engel, in his history and survey of the state of Britain's railways Eleven Minutes Late, published in 2009, records an incident at another station on this line, Clifton Mill:

The departments of British Railways didn't talk to one another. David St John Thomas noted that some of the maddest acts of all came because the commercial and engineering departments failed to communicate.

"During the 1950s several branch lines were extensively relaid or resignalled shortly before closure. At one station - Clifton Mill [in Warwickshire] - the office was actually being enlarged to take a new stove, which had just arrived, two days before total closure."

1 comment:

Tom Barney said...

'In 1960 it was announced that the York to Beverley line was to become the subject of... far reaching changes. The route was to be singled throughout... 19 level crossings would be modernised [and] the whole route was to be controlled by track circuit block from a panel in York power box...

'A contract was placed with Westinghouse in May 1961. Some preliminary work was carried out and materials delivered to site. Then in February 1962, the scheme was halted "for reassessment" and materials began to be recovered.

'A year later the Beeching Report was in print and the York to Beverley line was listed for closure...'

Martin Bairstow: Railways in East Yorkshire

This passage has always made a sharp impression on me because it implies closures were decided on from the start and that, contrary to what some people believe, no amount of rationalisation or cost reduction would have stopped them.