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Industrial & Private Lines: Hertfordshire

Signal Fact 13

Cooke and Wheatstone successfully demonstrated their telegraph system to the London & Birmingham Railway in June 1837.

The London & Birmingham decided not to use it but it was put into use by the Great Western Railway.

This page should be regarded as “Work in Progress”. The webmaster will welcome additional information for this page.

County pages contain details of Industrial and other Private lines that do not form part of any of the principally listed companies on this web site. RailRefs generally remain un-numbered in the county lists.

In the list below the information is set out in tabular form, spread over four columns. The column entries are -

RailRef The Line Code used in RailRef system.
Line Detail The principal locations included within the Line Code. They are arranged in 'down' direction order. Locations shown are primarily stations and junctions to allow easy cross check against published atlases. Signal box names appear in italics where these are 'intermediate' to stations or have been shown to facilitate links from other pages on this web site. The inclusion of a station or junction name does not imply that there was always a signal box of that same name!
SBR The section reference used in the relevant Signal Box Register published by the Society.
ELR The corresponding Engineer's Line Reference(s). This will be blank for railways that never came within British Railways terms of reference. It will also be blank where British Railways had no surviving responsibility for infrastructure at the time the ELR system came into use.

RailRef Line Detail SBR ELR


Shockcrete Products Ltd, Hoddesdon.
Off GE027
Ryde House Works, Rye Road (538625 209538).
Private siding plus narrow gauge internal.

Concrete Utilities Ltd
Off GE027
Great Amwell Works (TL 370 130). Private siding connection near St Margarets.

Eastern Gas Board, Hertford
Off GE027
Branch off GE027 about half a mile east of Hertford East station (533280 213212).
18 September 1936: private siding agreement signed (none in GER days).
1956: rail traffic ceased.
1976: part of branch still used for Printar Industries Ltd, tar distillation works.

Central Electricity Generating Board, Hoddesdon
Off GE040
Rye House Power Station, Essex Road, Hoddesdon (538706 209036).
c1954: opened, coal fired power station, 14 miles of track.
later converted to oil fired.
March 1982: closed, sidings later lifted.
1994: gas fired power station opened on the site.

Redland-Inns Gravel Ltd, Hertford
Off GN010
Waterford Workshops (TL 317 150).
Private siding agreements 1921 and 1927, terminated 1953.
Maintenance and loco storage facility, most if not all narrow gauge.

Eastern Gas Board, New Barnet
Off GN030
Barnet District Gas & Water Co, Station Road, New Barnet (526490 196460).

John Mowlem & Co Ltd, Welham Green
off GN030
Marshmoor Works (523563 206138).
Connection to GN030 plus internal railway.

Welwyn Transport Ltd, Welwyn Garden City Light Railway
Off GN030
Private siding to 20th Mile Gravel Pit (TL 237 114), siding agreement 1927.
Extensive narrow gauge system round Welwyn Garden City for construction works.

Norton Grinding Wheel Co Ltd, Welwyn Garden City
Off GN030
Private sidings off east side of GN030 about half mile south of Welwyn Garden City (TL 242 131).
2001: still operating (as Norton Abrasives Ltd).

Nabisco Foods Ltd, Welwyn Garden City
Off GN030
Shredded Wheat Company, accessed from Goods Yard east side of GN030. Own loCo (TL 231 063)

Josiah Smart & Son, Woolmer Green
Off GN030
Woolmer Green Gravel Pits (old TL 248 181, new TL 249 183).
1898: Private siding agreement.
1908: request for private siding between bridges 74 & 75 declined as impracticable.
Ceased trading by 1933.

Bowaters Packaging Ltd, Stevenage
Off GN030
Gunnel's Wood Road, Stevenage (523590 223715).

Hertfordshire County Council, St Albans
Off GN031
Hertfordshire County Asylum, Hill End (TL 175 066).
Private branch line c20 chains long. 1896-1964.

J F Owen & Co, St Albans
Off GN031
Hill End Brickworks (TL 172 069).
Private siding (south side of line), west of Hill End Hospital. Agreements 1899 and 1901, replaced in 1926. Sold to government in 1941 and closed early 1950s.

Redland-Inns Gravel Ltd, Wheathampstead
Off GN032
Wheathampstead Rubbish Tip (TL 190 144). Connected to GN032 by c1900.
Private siding agreements 1920 and 1930.
Also Gravel works at Blackbridge Farm (TL 190 144).

Redland-Inns Gravel Ltd, Cole Green
Off GN034
Holwell Hyde Rubbish Tip, Holwell Hyde Farm (TL 264 109).
Sidings attached to GN034 at TL 272 107 used to tranship to narrow gauge internal railway.

Webb & Co Ltd Hertingforbury
Off GN034
Hertingfordbury Works (TL 321 117). Private branch siding from near to Hertingfordbury station, agreement 1860 and again in 1892 for Haggar's Sidings and still later joint with Paye & Skip trading as Hertingfordbury Brick Company. Closed 1967.

K & L Steelfounders & Engineers Ltd, Letchworth
off GN035
1915: Icknield Way, Letchworth.
1916: moved to Coborn Works, Durham Way, Letchworth (south of line) (5231 2330).
1928: became Kryn & Lahy (1928) Ltd
1980: final closure of works.

Woodworkers Ltd Letchworth
Off GN035
Letchworth Joinery Works, Pixmore Avenue (TL 226 328). Off branch to K & L Steelfounders above. Also narrow gauge within the timber yard.

Executors of T Ransom, Hitchin
Off GN040
Ransom's Lime Works (Greystone Lime Works) (TQ 190 308).
Siding from Cambridge (or Midland) Line Junction on up side parallel with main line initially. Agreement 1900 construction and use of sidings and a bridge. See 1922 and 1925 OS maps.

Wallace Brothers.
Off GN040
Waggonway from Cadwell Sidings to Cadwell Farm. c1907. (TL 189 327).
Cadwell Sidings later Ellis & Everard as a coal depot.

Elstree Brick & Tile Co Ltd
Off MR070
Elstree Brickworks (5190 1960) on west side of line. Line ran over top of tunnel to east side exchange sidings.
Company seems to have been formed to supply bricks for second Elstree tunnel and went into liquidation 16 March 1915.

Middlesex County Council, Napsbury
Off MR070
Middlesex County Asylum (TL 167 038).
Private siding 1902.

Hemel Hempstead Patent Brick Co Ltd (narrow gauge).
Hemel Hempstead Lightweight Concrete Ltd
Off MR072
Claydales Brickworks, Cupid Green (507537 209183).
1897-1901: Patent Brick Co operation.
1901-1958: presumed no rail connection.
1958-1968: private siding (BR closure 29 April 1968).
1968-1979: took over Midland Railway branch to Harpenden and worked with own loco until traffic ceased by 1 July 1979.

Watford & St Albans Gas Co, Boxmoor
Off MR072
Hemel Hempstead Gas Works (TL 050 057).
East of LNWR line but connected to MR at its Boxmoor terminus.
Closed 31 August 1959 with the MR branch and replaced by connection from Boxmoor Goods Yard (NW110) which in turn closed on 1 April 1960.

London Co-operative Society Ltd, Watford
Off NW018
Station Estate Coal Yard, Imperial Road (511138 197604).
east side of St Albans Branch, loco in use 1930-1973.

Air Ministry, Watford
Off NW018
Ministry of Munitions No.1 Filling Factory off Balmoral Road (511242 198134).
15 March 1919: Air Ministry acquired for electrical stores.
23 November 1925: private siding agreement terminated, sidings and some land sold to LMSR.

Ministry of Munitions, Watford (narrow gauge internal)
Off NW018
National Filling Factories No.24 (5113 1978) and No.25 (5116 1988), Balmoral Road.
Private sidings 1915-1919.
Known as No.1 and No.2, No.1 acquired by Air Ministry (see above).

Eastern Gas Board, St Albans
Off NW018
Watford & St Albans Gas Co, Griffiths Way (514704 206102).
Served from St Albans Abbey Goods Yard.
1971: closed.

Benskin's Watford Brewery Ltd
Off NW066
Benskin's Brewery, sidings near Watford High Street (TQ 113 959).

Colne Valley Water Co, Watford (narrow gauge)
Off NW070
Eastbury Pumping Station, Oxhey (510218 194110).
From Brightwells private siding, at about 509610 194746. c1911 opened. "Included substantial girder bridge over River Colne and a gated footpath crossing complete with signal cabin and footbridge" (IR Society).
1966: rail traffic ceased, track lifted starting 1 April 1967 and took 18 months.

John Dickinson & Co Ltd, Croxley Green
LNWR boundary NW071
Croxley Mill
Croxley Green Paper Mills (508464 195395) at end of LNWR branch line.
1969: rail traffic ceased.

Eastern Gas Board, Berkhamsted
Off NW110
Narrow gauge line from Berkhamsted Goods Yard east side of line, tunnelled under NW110, and along west side of NW110 to gas works (SP 990 082). 1906-1969


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