Wood Siding railway station

Wood Siding
Short wooden platform on top of a bridge. A small wooden hut in the background is the only visible building.
Wood Siding is located in Buckinghamshire
Wood Siding
Wood Siding
Location of Wood Siding in Buckinghamshire
LocationBrill, Buckinghamshire
Local authorityAylesbury Vale
OwnerWotton Tramway
Number of platforms1
Key dates
1871Opened for freight
1872Opened for passengers
1899Leased (Metropolitan Railway)
1935Closed (London Transport)
Other information
Lists of stations
WGS8451°49′59″N 1°01′28″W / 51°49′59″N 1°01′28″W / 51.833; -1.0244
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London Transport portal

Wood Siding railway station was a halt in Bernwood Forest, Buckinghamshire, England. It opened in 1871 as a terminus of a short horse-drawn tramway built to assist the transport of goods from and around the Duke of Buckingham's extensive estates in Buckinghamshire and to connect the Duke's estates to the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway at Quainton Road.

In 1872, a lobbying campaign by residents of the town of Brill led to the tramway being converted for passenger use and extended a short distance beyond Wood Siding to Brill railway station, becoming known as the Brill Tramway. The railway was cheaply built and ungraded, and used poor quality locomotives; services were very slow, initially limited to a speed of 5 miles per hour (8 km/h). In the 1890s it was planned to extend the tramway to Oxford, but the scheme was abandoned. Instead, the operation of the line was taken over by the Metropolitan Railway in 1899. Between 1908 and 1910 the station was completely rebuilt on a bridge over the newly built Chiltern Main Line of the Great Western Railway, which passed directly beneath the station.

In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway was taken into public ownership and became the Metropolitan line of London Transport. As a result, Wood Siding became a station on the London Underground network, despite being over 45 miles (72 km) from the City of London. London Transport's new management aimed to move away from goods services to concentrate on passenger services. As the line served a very lightly populated rural area, the new management believed it very unlikely that it could ever be made viable. Wood Siding was closed, along with the rest of the line, from 30 November 1935. All infrastructure associated with the station was removed in 1936; the remains of the bridge which supported the station are still in place.

Brill Tramway

Small green steam locomotive
One of the original 1871 Aveling and Porter locomotives used by the line

On 23 September 1868 the small Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway (A&BR) opened, linking the Great Western Railway's station at Aylesbury to the London and North Western Railway's Oxford to Bletchley line at Verney Junction.[1] On 1 September 1894 London's Metropolitan Railway (MR) reached Aylesbury, and shortly afterwards connected to the A&BR line, with local MR services running to Verney Junction from 1 April 1894.[1] Through trains from the MR's London terminus at Baker Street commenced on 1 January 1897.[1]

The Duke of Buckingham had long had an interest in railways, and had served as Chairman of the London and North Western Railway from 1852 to 1861. In the early 1870s he decided to build a light railway to carry freight from his estates in Buckinghamshire to the A&BR's line at Quainton Road.[2] Because the proposed line ran on land owned by the Duke of Buckingham and by the Winwood Charity Trust, who consented to its construction,[3] the line did not need Parliamentary approval and construction could begin immediately.[2][4]

The first stage of the line, known as the Wotton Tramway, was a 4-mile (6.4 km) line from Quainton Road via Wotton to a coal siding at Kingswood,[5] and opened on 1 April 1871.[2][6] Intended for use by horse trams, the line was built with longitudinal sleepers to avoid horses tripping on the sleepers.[5][7] In November 1871 the tramway was extended to Wood Siding, in a surviving fragment of Bernwood Forest 1 12 miles (2.4 km) from the town of Brill and 1,500 yards (1,400 m) from the nearest settlement at Dorton.[4]

Lobbying from residents and businesses in Brill for the introduction of passenger services on the line led to a 1,840-yard (1,680 m) further extension from Wood Siding to Brill railway station, at the foot of Brill Hill ​34 of a mile (1.2 km) from the hilltop town of Brill itself,[5] in mid-1872.[6][8] Two mixed trains ran each day in each direction, and the line was renamed the Brill Tramway.[6][8] The Duke bought two Aveling and Porter traction engines modified to work as locomotives for the line, each with a top speed of 8 miles per hour (13 km/h),[8][9] although a speed limit of 5 miles per hour (8 km/h) was enforced.[3]

Balding man with a dark bushy beard
The Duke of Buckingham, founder of the Brill Tramway

The Duke died in 1889, and in 1894 the trustees of his estate set up the Oxford & Aylesbury Tramroad Company (O&ATC) with the intention of extending the line from Brill to Oxford. Rail services from London to Oxford were very poor at this time; despite being an extremely roundabout route, had the connection from Quainton Road to Oxford been built it would have been the shortest route between Oxford and the City of London.[5] The Metropolitan Railway leased the Brill Tramway from 1 December 1899,[1] and from then on the MR (the Metropolitan line of the London Underground from July 1933) operated all services on the line.[10] Throughout the operation of the Brill Tramway the track and stations remained in the ownership of the Oxford & Aylesbury Tramroad Company;[10] the MR had an option to purchase the line outright, but it was never taken up.[11]

Other Languages