The Westerham Valley Railway, by David Gould
Book published by The Oakwood Press in 1999, 128 pages. Paperback (N6386)
The railway came to the delightful market town of Westerham in 1881 and was to serve the town for 80 years. It was originally intended for the line to continue to Oxted, however these dreams were destined never to come to fruition. In 1960 the Southern Region stated that it wished to close the branch. In May 1961 the Central Transport Users’ Consultative Committee recommended that the branch stay open as a social necessity (there were about 200 regular passengers each day). However, the Minister of Transport, Ernest Marples, took the undemocratic step of rejecting the TUCC’s recommendation (possibly the first time that this had happened). The line closed in October 1961.
That was not, however, the end of the story. In summer 1962 the Westerham Railway Association leased Westerham station from British Railways with plans to re-open the line for use by both commuters and enthusiasts’ with an early proposal for preservation. In the end it was all for nothing, and a line that seemed to have so much, did not reopen, despite the best efforts of the Association and its hard-working committee. The line has suffered what might be considered the ultimate indignity for a closed line, as part of its trackbed now lies beneath the M25 motorway....
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.