Lambourn Valley Railway header
The Lambourn Valley Railway
History of a Branch Line: 1898 to 1973
Photo: Unknown
Above: The ex-Great Western Railway Collett 0-6-0 loco no. 2252 simmers quietly at Lambourn, having just hauled its tender and two-coach train up the branch line from Newbury. The next job for the driver and fireman, here seen peering out of the cabin, is to uncouple the Swindon-built engine, run round the train and hook up for the trip back - or maybe shunt the good yards and trundle the next goods train down the line. This seems the most likely explanation, as the single lamp headcode describes a branch freight train. This image dates from the late 1950s.
It must be regarded as quite miraculous that the Lambourn Valley Railway actually existed at all as an independent company. Especially when you consider that this area was predominantly GWR country. But for seven years, exist it most certainly did.

However, in 1905, the Lambourn Valley Railway Company was swallowed up by the mighty Great Western Railway and, although it never lost any of its rural charm, the line from Newbury to Lambourn and back again became, in essence, just another GWR branch line.

For all that, however, the LVR, both as an independent line and in its subsequent GWR incarnation, possessed a unique charm and became - as so many branch lines did - an essential part of the communities through which it passed before its official closure in 1960.

This site tells the story of that branch line and of some of the people who gave their lives to it, and helped to make it what it was. And if you have any information about the LVR that you'd like to share, please get in touch.

NB: A major redesign and content update is currently underway. Keep checking this site and soon you'll be greeted by a brand new site.

15 May 2020
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