Author:   Rudi Newman

Published:   2022
Edition:   Hardback
Pages:   144
Condition:   New

Status:   Available


Railways Round the Chilterns by Rudi Newman. The counties of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, encircling the Chiltern Hills, have long played a major part in national history. A key element has been transportation, both through traversing these hills and its position around north London – a gateway to the Capital. Featuring roads, waterways and even aircraft companies, it was another form that particularly stood out: the railways.

From 1838 to 1925 some 45 networked lines were built across this region by 35 individual companies. Each has its own history reflecting elements of rail development. The first were in days when railways were still a new technology, something to be feared. As their success and profitability became clear this turned to enthusiasm – exemplified by the three great ‘Railway Manias’. Some lines built were indeed necessary, but others stemmed from rampant competition or civic pride with settlements clamouring for a station. Remarkably, only one third of all proposals were actually built – potentially worsening what was already a convoluted tangle of lines.

The Chilterns has a lengthy history, its railways playing an important role in
that local chronology. This profusely illustrated book presents every railway in the area that was part of the national network – some large and nationally important, others small and scarcely remembered. Whether running to this day or just a distant memory, they helped make the Chilterns what it is today, and tell of the railways’ role in the transformation of Britain.