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The Lambourn Valley Railway
The LVR Today
What remains of the old line in the 21st century
From Newbury to Lambourn

West Fields to Boxford
Newbury: Craven Road
Above: Long before the houses were built here, in the West Fields area of Newbury, this was the point at which the LVR crossed the alignment of the road - or to be a little more precise somewhere near the greenery on the left. A short distance away to the left was the site of West Fields Halt.

Speen: Former Lambourn Valley Railway
Above: This is the trackbed viewed looking towards the former Speen station and Newbury. There were plans to preserve the line as a heritage steam railway, but they did not come to fruition and now any new similar proposals would have several major civil engineering feats to overcome, not least how the line would now cross the new A34 Newbury bypass which is immediately behind the photographer here.

Speen: Site of the former Speen railway station
Above: Speen station opened in 1898 and closed in 1960. The driveway follows the course of the old railway and the station was on the left where the sunlit hedge is now. The driveway leads to a new private residential estate somewhat tweely called "The Sydings" and odd because contemporary map and photographic evidence shows that of all the accoutrements of railway infrastructure a siding, yet alone more than one, was never warranted here.

Speen: Former Lambourn Valley Railway bridge
Above: This bridge used to carry the former LVR over Moor Lane. The route of the Lambourn Valley Way long-distance footpath takes it through the bridge.

Woodspeen: Former Lambourn Valley Railway at Snake Lane
Above: This is the point on Snake Lane in Woodspeen where the railway used to cross.

Stockcross & Bagnor
Woodspeen: Former Stockcross & Bagnor railway station
The raised area on the left of the former trackbed is the platform and all that remains of the former Stockcross & Bagnor station, which opened in 1898.

Boxford
Boxford: Former Lambourn Valley Railway
The now-peaceful site of the station at Boxford is over the fence at the corner of the field in the distance.

Easton: Former Lambourn Valley Railway
The trackbed at Easton, which  must be one of the very few settlements that the railway passed through that did not have a station!

The scenes above were captured almost 50 years to the day after closure of the line to regular passenger and goods traffic.

Words & all images above by Nigel Cox, January 2010

Welford Park
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Very little remains of the former Welford Park station (above). The area where the track and sidings were once laid is now a large car park.Visitors now park here each year, when calling to see the glorious display of snowdrops in the grounds of Welford Park House.

Great Shefford
Easton: Former Lambourn Valley Railway
Above: The village hall occupies the site of the entrance to Great Shefford station.

Great Shefford: Former Lambourn Valley Railway
Above: This is the LVR trackbed, looking away from the site of the station, towards Lambourn, across an area that had a goods siding. The footpath leads to East Garston.

Words & the two images above by Nigel Cox, January 2010

East Garston to Lambourn
On 22nd February 2002, this site's originator, Ken Tarbox, set out to discover what hidden treasures, if any, could still be found along the old route. His start and finish points for this particular walk were All Saint's Church East Garston and Bockhampton Crossing respectively.
 
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On leaving the church, the embankment curves gently to the left passing two hefty metal posts, possibly the remains of the upright part of a loading gauge or signal. Halfway round the curve is a somewhat overgrown, but virtually intact, brick and concrete bridge.
 
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The sturdily built railway fencing of that era still stands today and indeed some of the actual track is still working for its living, although not in the way that was originally intended.
 
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Leaving the bridge and heading towards Eastbury, the curved embankment runs gently down to ground level. A hundred yards or so further on, the remains of a cutting becomes evident.

 
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Eastbury to Lambourn

Beyond this point, the footpath narrows dramatically and the old track bed has been absorbed into gardens and overbuilt with houses. It reappears briefly and on these occasions, is clearly defined by the continuance of the old railway fencing and hedgerows that now follow its former route. Just past the old site of Eastbury Halt, it stops abruptly.
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The route of the line from Bockhampton Crossing into Lambourn is visible only by the hedgrows along its length, but nothing material remains between here and Lambourn. The area that once was Lambourn Station was for a while a small industrial estate, with traces of the station buildings still visible uptil the 1980s. It is now however a housing development and, apart from the use of the name Old Station Yard, all traces of the station have been obliterated.

Walking the line

Berkshire County Council has published a pamphlet in PDF format on a walk that closely follows the path of the LVR. It includes this image (hover over image to enlarge):

  • Berkshire CC's walking map of the Lambourn valley

     Berkshire CC's walking map of the Lambourn valley  
In addition, you can find images taken of the route as it is today around East Garston on Beautiful England's website here.


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