Goods Trains Serving The Epsom and Ewell Area, July 1926

Part Two: A Detailed Look At Services At Each Location On The South West Section

Links to Part 1 and Part 3.

In the next two parts, the 24 hour clock has been used to avoid confusion - so '0055' is 55 minutes after midnight. All trains ran Mondays to Saturdays unless indicated. In addition to the booked workings described, there would also be special 'one-off' workings as required, such as additional coal trains, Christmas parcels traffic and in the case of Epsom race days, horsebox trains.

The 'Up Line' or 'Up Side' is that towards London, the 'Down Line' or 'Down Side' is that away from London.

Worcester Park Goods

Worcester Park Station and Goods Yard before expansion.
Worcester Park Station and Goods Yard before expansion.
Click on map to enlarge, opens in separate window.

Strictly speaking this is just outside the Epsom & Ewell Borough boundary, but like Epsom Downs and Tattenham Corner, has been included in this article for completeness as there are many residents of this borough who use these stations.

Worcester Park Station and Goods Yard
Worcester Park Station and Goods Yard, showing how it was
subsequently expaned in 1934. Diagram from 'Track Layout Diagrams
of The Southern Railway Section S9' by G.A Pryer,
courtesy of the Signalling Record Society
Click on map to enlarge, opens in separate window.

Worcester Park Goods Yard had only been open for two years and consisted of two sidings to the north west of the station leading from the up line situated on the site of the current Lower Green Gardens. Traffic was miscellaneous goods and coal, but was to significantly increase in the coming years as the housing boom took place, requiring additional sidings to be built.

Worcester Park Goods Yard shortly before closure in 1965.
Worcester Park Goods Yard shortly before closure in 1965.
Worcester Park Goods Yard shortly before closure in 1965.
Images courtesy of Robert Carroll

It was served by two early morning trains, the first arriving at 0348. This was the 0250 from Epsom to Wimbledon West Yard, which was the return part of an out-and-back trip. It required a heavy brake van due to the amount conveyed, despite delivering what would be categorised as less urgent goods. Deliveries and empty wagons for Wimbledon West Yard and beyond would be attached before the train departed at 0430.

The second train arrived at 0509, this being the 0455 from Wimbledon West Yard to Bookham. It consisted of wagons conveying more important goods for delivery (foodstuffs, perishables and other urgent supplies) as well as a road box wagon. This train arrived on the down line, so whilst the wagons for delivery were being shunted across as described in the technical section above, the box wagon would be loaded and unloaded from the platform. The train would depart at 0526.

Cunliffe Sidings

This siding was used to deliver coal for the kilns at Worcester Park Brickworks, located three quarters of a mile south of Worcester Park station between the current Inveresk Gardens and Cunliffe Road. It was named after William Cunliffe, who signed the original agreement with the London & South Western Railway to provide a private siding leaving the up line near Ardrossan Gardens. Being in a remote position, the points accessing this siding were operated by a locked ground frame built alongside, the key to which was held at Ewell West Signal Box. This siding was normally served by one train, the 0250 Epsom to Wimbledon West Yard, arriving at 0325.

The Lower Mill
The Lower Mill, with the elevated conveyor to
the railway siding in the foreground.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

At Ewell West itself, the goods yard was located alongside the down platform where the inevitable car park is now situated. This included a small crane capable of lifting four tons and a goods shed. A recent addition was a gated private siding to a yard owned by the local council.

Ewell West Station area
Ewell West Station area.
Click on map to enlarge, opens in separate window.

Ewell Goods Shed two years after closure in 1963
Ewell Goods Shed two years after closure in 1963.
By this time it was used by a builder's merchant.
Photo by P.Nicholson and taken from 'Wimbledon to Epsom'
with the permission of Middleton Press

To the south of the station was another reception siding, this one being off the up line. From this a locked gate allowed access to Ewell Exchange Sidings where main line locomotives would be swapped for small Industrial Locomotives to work the London County Council's extensive Horton Light Railway system serving the Epsom Hospital Cluster.

The area south of Ewell West
The area south of Ewell West, including the Exchange sidings and Up
Reception siding. A footbridge now stands at the end of Lower West Street.
Click on map to enlarge, opens in separate window.

The key to this gate had to be collected from Ewell West Signal Box. Demand from there was at its peak during this time, with 15,000 tonnes of coal and 4,000 tonnes of stores being delivered annually.

Ewell Exchange Sidings
Ewell Exchange Sidings, serving the London County Council's
Horton Light Railway System, as seen from Chessington Road Bridge
over Ewell West station, 4 June 1922.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

As all five goods trains on this route stopped, Ewell West was in effect a 24 hour operation, so a more proscriptive account of arrival, departure and a summary of activities are deserved:
  • 2206 - 2323 (2001 Horsley to Wimbledon West Yard and Nine Elms). A long train, much of which would be empty coal wagons returning north via Wimbledon West Yard and Feltham. Small deliveries from Horsley, Bookham, Ashtead and Epsom would be made to the platform from a road box wagon whilst the key, to access the Exchange Sidings, was being picked up from the signal box. Having recessed the train in the up reception siding, oil tank cars would be detached to be placed in position in the Goods Yard on the down side by a later train once the passenger service had thinned out enough to allow such a crossing move across both running lines to take place. Meanwhile, empty wagons would be collected from the Horton Light Railway and maybe a few miscellaneous deliveries made; this involved shunting to/from the reception siding and Exchange Sidings via the main line in between passenger services to London.

  • 0128 - 0215 (0108 Wimbledon West Yard to Epsom). This ran non-stop from Wimbledon West Yard and deposited empty flour wagons (originating from Nine Elms) for Hall & Davidson and loaded wagons to the council yard. The flour wagons, once loaded, would be collected by a later train. Before departing, the driver would visit the signal box to collect the key to operate the points at Stones Siding, this trains' next stop. On Mondays the train would depart from Wimbledon East Sidings at 0105 instead.

  • 0255 - 0320 (0250 Epsom to Wimbledon West Yard). This was the return working of the above and would provide the bulk of deliveries for the Horton Light Railway, mainly coal. With no passenger services running at this time of night, the locomotive was also able to shunt the oil tank cars deposited in the up reception siding earlier across to the yard on the down side. The key to Stones Siding (visited on the outward journey) was returned and the one to access Cunliffe Sidings, this trains' next stop, was collected.

  • 0535 - 0544 (0455 Wimbledon West Yard to Bookham). This train conveyed what were regarded as the more important wagons (foodstuffs, perishables and other urgent goods) to the goods shed at Ewell West. As the locomotive was running round its train to enable it to shunt wagons to the shed, small deliveries were made to the platform from a road box wagon.

  • 1404 - 1643 (1128 Leatherhead to Wimbledon West Yard). Formed from an earlier Bookham to Leatherhead service, i.e. the return of the above working, this was the only daytime train and therefore required moves to be carefully made around passenger services. These had increased from hourly to every twenty minutes following electrification a year earlier. The locomotive needed to make multiple crossing moves between the main lines, hence the extended amount of time allocated. After recessing its train in the up reception siding, the locomotive was detached and collected the wagons from the goods shed, running round these wagons in the station before propelling them into the down reception siding. Here they would be joined by the empty oil tank cars, empty council wagons and loaded flour wagons. The locomotive would leave this partly assembled train in the down reception for now and cross back to the up reception siding where it would leave with wagons for Raynes Park Goods only; space there was too restrictive to accommodate an entire train. These wagons were at the front at this point. The locomotive would later return to shunt the wagons from the down side to the remainder in the up reception siding and leave for Wimbledon as booked. The flour wagons were ultimately bound for Nine Elms.

Goods services ceased in 1961.

Model layout of Ewell West
On Brian Angus's layout of Ewell West, a Q1 Class locomotive
heads a mixed goods train from Wimbledon West Yard past the
Exchange Sidings, whilst shunting takes place on the Horton
Light Railway.
Layout built by Michael Ball, photo by Nick Winfield

Stone's Siding

Epsom Brickworks from the west
Epsom Brickworks from the west; note the main line on the
embankment and the sewage farm in the foreground, now the site
of Longmead Industrial Estate.
Click on map to enlarge, opens in separate window.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

This siding had only just opened and served Epsom Brickworks, owned by Stone & Co (who also owned Nonsuch Brickworks - see 'Epsom Town' below). It was situated on the current day Kiln Lane Industrial Estate and received coal by rail for the kilns.

Stone's Siding
Stone's Siding, on the site of the Kiln Lane Industrial Estate.
Click on map to enlarge, opens in separate window.

The brickworks themselves also featured two narrow gauge railway lines worked by horses. Like Cunliffe Sidings (above) the points accessing this siding were operated from a locked Ground Frame positioned alongside; this could only be unlocked by a key held in Ewell West signal box. This was served by one train, the 0108 Wimbledon West Yard to Epsom, arriving at 0218.

You can see from the diagram the need for a double reverse
You can see from the diagram the need for a double reverse
as a safety measure and to hold the rest of the train whilst the
loaded wagons were delivered. Diagram from 'Track Layout Diagrams
of The Southern Railway Section S9' by G.A Pryer,
courtesy of the Signalling Record Society
Click on map to enlarge, opens in separate window.

Having collected the empty wagons, the train departed at 0233.

Epsom (formerly Epsom LSWR)

Plan of Epsom (LSWR) Station before rebuilding
Plan of Epsom (LSWR) Station before rebuilding
from the author's private collection
Click on map to enlarge, opens in seperate window.

This station, being the junction between the two lines, saw the most number of goods trains - thirteen - in the area. All the former LSWR line trains would call, but only one from the former LBSCR - and that was purely to recess during the rush-hour. The station area suffered from being built on an embankment so space was limited; the cramped goods yard on the down side featured two sidings, one of which was often used for horsebox traffic. This was deemed important enough to have schedules provided in the timetable, with the trains running 'as required'. Otherwise, single horseboxes detached from passenger services generally used a short dock siding further west on the down side. On the up side was a cattle dock.

Coal being delivered
Coal being delivered for Mssrs Furniss in Epsom's small goods yard.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Looking east with the station in the background, a horsebox stands in the short dock siding.
Looking east with the station in the background,
a horsebox stands in the short dock siding.
Image courtesy of Lens Of Sutton Association

Within two years, most goods services would be concentrated on the now-closed Epsom Town station and Epsom (LSWR) rebuilt, so this represents its final era in service as a regular goods station.

Being the area's freight 'hotspot' it deserves a detailed summary of all services, including horsebox trains, plus passing trains in italics, as follows:
  • 2104 (2035 Norwood Junction to Horsham, Wednesdays Only, or 1905 Willow Walk to Fratton, Saturdays Only)

  • 2148 - 2201 (2001 Horsley to Nine Elms): According to the Working Timetable, this ran via the 'up bay road' to allow access to the road box wagon and for any other wagons to be detached; I presume this refers to the Cattle Dock.

  • 2300 (2003 New Cross Gate to Horsham)

  • 0013 (2300 Willow Walk to Fratton, Wednesdays Only)

  • 0036 (2320 Horsham to Willow Walk)

  • 0047 (0005 Norwood Junction to Horsham, Tuesday to Sunday)

  • 0236 (0108 Wimbledon West Yard to Epsom), returning at 0250 (0250 Epsom to Wimbledon West Yard). This out-and-back working served all the yards and sidings between these two points. The locomotive would also detach wagons for stations west of Epsom and shunt these into the yard; these would be taken forward on the 0455 from Wimbledon. It would then attach to the rear of the train to work the return journey.

  • 0426 (0300 Horsham to Norwood Junction, Not Mondays)

  • 0517 (0415 Norwood Junction to Dorking North) (Note that 'Dorking North' is the station now known as 'Dorking')

  • 0549 - 0601 (0455 Wimbledon West Yard to Bookham). This would stop to detach the more important wagons for Epsom and attach the less important wagons off the 0108 from Wimbledon West Yard for Ashtead, Leatherhead and Bookham and beyond. It would also deposit and collect small deliveries in a road box wagon. When required, it would also deliver coal to the remote (and now closed) Epsom Common Signal Box, the only signal box in the area not connected to a station.

  • 0703 - 0900 (0640 Dorking North to Norwood Junction). The locomotive of this former LBSCR line service deposited its wagons in the sidings west of the station normally used to stable passenger trains outside peak-hours. This was to avoid running when the line would be at its most congested. The locomotive performed passenger shunting duties during this stay. En-route it would also have stopped at Ashtead to marshal horseboxes for Epsom onto the 0836 passenger train from Guildford, arriving at 1001.

  • 0846 - 0904 (0759 Clapham Junction to Guildford Horseboxes). This ran as required and used the longer horse dock in the goods yard on the down side.

  • 0942 - 1001 (0836 Guildford to Clapham Junction Horseboxes). This ran as required and used the longer horse dock in the goods yard on the down side.

  • 1221 - 1359 (1128 Leatherhead to Wimbledon West Yard). Conveyed goods from Leatherhead and Ashtead and picked up any wagons for Ewell West, Raynes Park Goods and beyond. Running during the daytime meant careful manoeuvring between passenger trains and this service used the spare up line platform to keep clear before smartly following the 1354 to Waterloo.

  • 1622 - 1645 (1530 Clapham Junction to Guildford Horseboxes). This ran as required and used the longer horse dock in the goods yard on the down side.

  • 1747 - 1807 (1655 Guildford to Clapham Junction Horseboxes). This ran as required and used the longer horse dock in the goods yard on the down side.


Links to Part 1 and Part 3.


HV Usill
HV Usill
Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
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