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The Lambourn Valley Railway
The end of the line
1973
 

March 1973 and the US Air Force had started moving its supplies and munitions by road, saving $100,000 a year by deciding to stop using the railway. When its contract with British Railways ran out in 1973, the line reverted to the control of BR.

This meant only one thing: total closure. The LVR's days were well and truly numbered.

Photo : David Canning Photo : David Canning

Before the track's removal, BR engineers inspected the remaining track and passed it as being safe to carry a public passenger train. It drew up plans for one final commemorative day of operations: "Lambourn Valley Last Day". The date chosen was 3rd November 1973. A diesel multiple unit train was supplied consisting of three three-car sets. Four trips were made up to Welford Park and different coloured tickets were issued for each train journey. 1,997 passenger journeys were logged throughout the day.

Photo : David Canning Photo : David Canning
The DMU nine-car bearing either headcode 2A or 1Z ran in October 1969.
The 2Z headcode was used in 1973. Ironically both "Final Trips" were nine cars and and both dates saw L470 on the front.
Photo : David Canning Photo : David Canning
 
 
1969
Photo : Nick Catford Photo : Nick Catford
Westfields Halt
Speen
Photo : Nick Catford Photo : Nick Catford
Opposing views of Stockcross & Bagnor
Photo : Nick Catford Photo: unknown
Boxford
Photo : Nick Catford Photo :  Nick Catford
Opposing views of Welford Park station after the removal of the up platform.

9th September
1975

In the Welford Park area
Photo :  Martin Loader Photo :  Martin Loader
The gate on the USAF siding
The M4 bridge near Welford
Photo :  Martin Loader Photo :  Martin Loader
The sand drag
Near Welford looking north
Photo :  Martin Loader
Sign at Welford Park
 
.
Decay and desolation was the depressing order of the day for stations north of Welford Park
Photo :  Nick Catford Photo :  Nick Catford
Great Shefford
East Garston
Photo :  Nick Catford Photo :  Nick Catford
Opposing views of  Eastbury Halt
 
Lambourn
1969
Photo :  Nick Catford Photo :  Nick Catford
Photo :  Nick Catford Photo :  Nick Catford
Photo :  Nick Catford Photo  :  P.J Kelley
Photo  :  A.E Smith Photo :   John Smith
Photo :  Nick Catford
 
 
1976
The branch line, signal box and sidings at Welford Park.
Photo  :  Ken Tarbox Photo  :  Ken Tarbox Photo  :  Ken Tarbox
For three years the track and what was left of the station buildings lay unused, open to both the ravages of nature and the inevitable vandalism. In June 1976, tenders were invited for the removal of the line and in September of that year, a bid from Thomas Ward & Co. of Sheffield was accepted.
Photo  : DRC Photo  :  Ken Tarbox
All went for scrap with the exception of the signals and booking office from Welford Park and the iron waiting room from Stockcross and Bagnor Halt. These were acquired by The Great Western Society at Didcot where they can be seen today at the Didcot Rail Centre.  Boxford station's ticket office was re-sited on the main road within Boxford village, and served for many years as a bus shelter. However its function there has since become redundant owing to the re-routing of the local bus service.
Photo:  Ken Tarbox
Special thanks to:
David Canning : Nick Catford : Martin Loader
for kindly providing the bulk of the photos on this page.
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