Great Northern Railway Branches: Hatfield to Hertford (Lightmoor)

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The Great Northern Railway branch line to Hertford was a typical rural branch line, despite being only around twenty miles from central London. The line was built to provide a rail link west to the Great Northern Railway main line at Welwyn.

The line operated as a rural branch until after World War 2 when the sparse passenger service was added to by regular freight trains serving newly developed industrial sites and bringing waste from London to landfill sites in the area. The passenger service was withdrawn in 1951, with freight continuing until the early 1980s.

Today, the section from Welwyn to Hertford is part of the Cole Green Way cycle route.

Chapter List:

  • Introduction
  • A Second Railway to Hertford
  • Opening to Traffic
  • Great Northern Takeover
  • Consolidation
  • L&NER Operation
  • Nationalisation and Closure
  • The Route Described
  • Permanent Way, Signalling and Staff
  • Timetables and Traffic
  • Locomotives and Rolling Stock

Hatfield to Hertford provides a comprehensive and well-illustrated history of this rural branch line. Illustrated throughout with archive black & white photographs, maps and track diagrams. Hardback. 280 pages.

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