The Basingstoke and Wokingham Railway 

Bracknell Railway Society logo in black and white.

This is the oddest find so far! In 1895 plans were submitted for this line, with Arthur Chadwick Pain  as Engineer. Mr Pain was a prominent engineer of rural railways in the late 19th Century, building the  Hemyock and Highworth branches, amongst others.

This line left Wokingham station at the north  end of the goods yard, and curved sharply to the left, crossing Oxford Road and curving round to run  parallel to the Barkham Road. It then ran south west, passing under the Barkham Road at Folly Court  and going south of Barkham Hill. It crossed Barkham Ride near the church, a probable site for a  station, and then ran on through what is now Arborfield Garrison.

The line continued in a SW  direction to the west of Eversley to run past Hound Green, Hartley Wespall and Pyotts Green, trailing  into the LSW main line east of Basingstoke station. Apparently, it would have been jointly worked by  the LSWR and South Eastern Railway, but it is hard to see any benefits for them. The line seems to  follow a direct course between the two towns, avoiding most of the few villages in the area, and  would have been of limited value as a main line due to the sharp curve and steep gradient out of  Wokingham.

It was probably proposed – at a time of a ‘mania’ for rural railways to open up  agricultural areas – in the forlorn hope of attracting financiers; it was, no doubt, rejected by the  1896 Parliamentary Session. 

Written by Mick Hutson for Bracknell Railway Society Newsletter 7 April 1995

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