THE RAILWAY REACHES BECKENHAM JUNCTION - 1857


  

Despite the many early proposals, nothing actually got built.

Then eventually two proposals were approved that got the necessary funding . They both got as far as what is now Beckenham Junction, with plans to extend further to the South and East, many passing through Farnborough.  

This did not happen straight away, but nevertheless the links to Beckenham formed the foundation of further planned railways for the following decade or more. 


West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway

The West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway was a short-lived but nevertheless important company that built a line in South London connecting to both the Brighton main line from London Bridge, and the South Western main line from Waterloo. They were instrumental also in extending the line through Wandsworth (Clapham Junction) to what became London Victoria station. 

To coincide with the reopening of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill on 10 June 1854, the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) opened a short spur line linking a new Crystal Palace station to Sydenham station on the Brighton main line from London Bridge.

The West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway (WELCPR) was an independent company that aimed to create an additional line from Wandsworth to the LB&SCR station at Crystal Palace and then onward to Norwood Junction, from where it would have running powers over the LB&SCR to East Croydon railway station.

The intention was also to link the northern end of the railway to the London and South Western Railway at a point south east of Clapham Junction, from where trains would continue to Waterloo.

The first part of the line, from New Wandsworth to Crystal Palace, opened 1st December 1856 and the extension to Norwood in 1857.

A further extension was immediately planned and approved to continue in an easterly direction towards Beckenham. Bromley, Farnborough and beyond.

See West End of London and Crystal Palace Extension

But the line was initially built only as far as what is now Shortlands station.


Mid Kent Railway

The original proposal using this name, of 1852, had at its start the newly built railway from London to Dartford via Lewisham.  The line would branch off at Lewisham and then head south passing to the east of Beckenham, through Bromley at about the location of the future station at Bromley South. From there it would run parallel to the main turnpike road but somewhat east of it through Farnborough onward into Kent.

See Mid Kent Railway

However once it became clear that the WELCPR would be successful in building their line to Beckenham, the Mid Kent Railway changed their plan and also their route to go via Beckhenam.  The  line to Beckenham was built and completed by 1857.

Onward Extension from Beckenham

The completion of these two lines to Beckenham from the North and West led to a number of proposals, many approved under the appropriate parliamentary legislation during the period up to 1865 to extend this early main line or build branch lines to or through Farnborough. 

But it never happened. Instead the main line from Beckenham took a more northerly route, through Bromley to St. Mary Cray and Swanley and opened in 1862, see this map.

The various proposals and Acts of Parliament to bring a railway to or near to Farnborough are described in detail in the further pages on this part of the website. 


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