Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

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PeterH
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Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby PeterH » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:47 am

On Tuesday 19th April 2011, due to the lovely weather I took a trip out on my bicycle to Croxley Tip. I have had an interest in this site as a plausible layout. A thread on my initial investigation can be seen here: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=31119

This is the site of Croxley Tip from Google Maps.
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Whilst out I documented my progress with photographs. The diagram below shows my progress:

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First off is the viaduct of the Watford Branch of the Met. Line, seen approaching from Cassiobury Park.
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Next, we see the same viaduct from the other side, as it bridges the Grand Union Canal (GUC).
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Turning around 180*, we see the bridge of the Croxley Branch spanning the GUC as well. If the Croxley Rail Link project ever goes through, this bridge will carry the Met. Line to Watford Junction, and the other viaduct and Watford Met. Station will be made redundant.
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The gap caused by the road to Croxley Industrial Estate. This is the largest missing chunk of the Croxley Branch. The Bridge is still in good condition though.
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We now leave the Croxley Green Branch, and we head towards the Ricky Branch.
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The route is fairly typical of such disused-now-cycle-route lines.
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The Met. Line passing over the Ricky Branch. My chain fell off here, I spent 10 minutes trying to put it back on again...
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Original fenceposts alongside the old line.
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A small bit of wall bridging a tiny damp ditch.
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The Ricky Branch bridge over the Met. (170B).
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What looks like the old rails being recycled into some sort of fence...
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Looking towards the Met. Line over the GUC from the Ricky bridge.
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An A60 unit passing over the Met. Bridge (170A).
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The building in the Watford Triangle. I'm not entirely sure what its purpose is.
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Met. Line Bridge over the GUC again.
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An A60 unit.

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Moving onto Croxley Tip. A hut.
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Remains of the sides of the railway part of the Tip.
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The following aren't brilliantly clear, as I was taking photos through fencing, it is however the entrance to the Tip. If you look carefully you can see the sleepers still in place.
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The entrance to Croxley Tip, as seen from the Watford-Baker Street part of the triangle.
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Some sort of structure on the site of the Tip. I reckon it has been built since the Tips closure.
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Where the rails would have been coming from the entrance.
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Looking in the opposite direction to the above.
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Back on the Canal, an A60 passes, with the site of Croxley Tip behind the train.
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The hut from the other side, taken from the canal.
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The hut again but a bridge spanning the mainline.
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From the bridge spanning the mainline. Looking to where the Watford-Baker Street part of the Triangle joins the mainline.
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Looking the opposite way, to where the Watford-Rickmansworth part of the triangle joins the mainline. I don't think this is used anymore, since I am sure the Ricky-Watford shuttle service no longer runs.
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On the Watford-Ricky part of the Triangle. A tunnel...
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And the tunnels exit...
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Some beautiful bluebells...
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And one of those funny things I have forgotten the name of...
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That is all the photos I took, missed quite a bit, but after falling into a barbed wire fence and piercing my hand, I thought it best to visit my brother and get off home asap!

I hope you have found this interesting, hopefully I shall be doing a similar such thing in due course.
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piermaster
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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby piermaster » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:57 am

In my LT days the Watford North Curve was still used for the first and last Staff Trains to get train crews between their booking-on point at Ricky and stabled trains in Watford. Before the A60/62 stock became OMO (One Man Operation), they were 'handed' with 'A' and 'D' ends and the Watford Triangle was ideal for turning units the correct way round, particularly if they've come back from overhaul at Acton Works and sent either via Rayners Lane, & Harrow on the Hill or via Earl's Court, High Street Kensington, Baker Street, & Finchley Road.

The thing you forgotten what it was is a conductor rail insulator - known as 'pots' to staff.

There was a timber-framed hut at the tip and you might've come across its remains during your walkabout.

Great photos and bring back memories of my site visits up there.
Dave
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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby PeterH » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:27 am

Thanks for your expressions of interest!

Dave - Thanks for your operational background information, and your conductor rail insulator identification! I do wonder whether that hut is an original or not. It doesn't look particularly well made, and I thought it could have been made by semi-permanent visitors to the site as some sort of shelter/house. However, it being original is probably more likely.

Spocky - I'm not really sure how I managed to post so many photographs in a single post! I think there are about 61 up. It did take two attempts to post it, but I got there in the end! If you have difficulties doing likewise, it is probably best to split the post into two or three parts to get it up. Anywho, however you manage to do it I look forward to seeing your Barrow Hill visit!
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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby Xerces Fobe » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:09 pm

Hi Peter,

Having more than a passing interest in the Croxley area if you want any info/photos of the area happy to be of assistance.

http://croxleywiggenhallroaddepot.website.orange.co.uk/

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Xerces Fobe

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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby PeterH » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:52 pm

A great model railway you have there! My next investigation will be of the Dickensons Paper Mill siding and the Colne Valley Waterworks Railway; see what, if anything remains of them. Any help on these will be greatly appreciated. I am also due a visit to Croxley Green station with a railway friend of mine in a few weeks, which will be interesting.

I was delighted to find a photograph of one of the Dickenson Paper Mills own locos, a Peckett M4 I believe.

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This business does seem very interesting, using the canals and the railway.
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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby Hertsbob » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:42 am

Hi

I'm really sorry to bump this thread after such a long period of time, and for not saying hello beforehand, but I thought you may be interested to see my interpretation of Croxley Tip and also Dickinson's.

Track layouts are based upon those from the Middleton Press books covering the area, although it's been a while since I made this and nowadays I'd use Old-Maps.co.uk for trackwork reference.

Croxley Tip. Rickmansworth is off to the left, Moor Park to the right and Croxley Met upwards (the strange diagonal bottom-right is the Ricky Church Street line) -
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Dickinson's can be seen in the top right-hand corner of this shot of the tip and its environs -
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When I was researching Dickinson's I couldn't understand what could possibly have been used as motive power. Now I've seen the wonderful picture that's been posted of the Peckett it all becomes clear! However, the trackwork around Dickinson's has been somewhat rationalised in my version, as the curvature of many of the tracks is incredibly tight.
(The track naming is entirely my own invention, by the way)
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I figured that the sludge lagoon for a paper mill might possibly be whiteish... But I cannot understand why they would have built a disconnected loop around it? This makes no sense to me, but it's an accurate representation of the plans I've seen!
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After Dickinson's was closed the site was raised and an office complex was built upon it (housing Marconi's head office, I believe). This was subsequently raised to the ground once again and a housing estate was built on the area. As a result, the only points of reference remaining are the canal and river. Any hint of industry has long since gone, I am sad to report.
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There are some interesting comments in response to this picture also.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dgeezer/225549562/

Apologies for intruding, but I couldn't resist.

Cheers

Bob

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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby PeterH » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:10 pm

Highly illuminating, thank you! The track plans are simply excellent, and are of a great help! Again, my gratitude. Are you local to the area?
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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby Hertsbob » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:27 pm

Hi Peter

I'm very glad you found them of interest. I spent much of my formative youth sitting on the down platform at Hatch End - mid 1970s onwards - and for many years now I've had no choice but to count Harry Potter as one of my neighbours. :wink:

Also, I have a massively over-developed sense of nostalgia which I view through double-thickness lens, rose-tinted spectacles! :D

I put this together from old-maps for you, and hopefully you can see the layout of Croxley Mills sufficiently well.
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Typically I can't find the plan I used for my route( :roll: ) but it would seem that the trackwork around the lagoon was in a near constant state of flux. The layout I've recreated is clearly visible in the 1960s plan above, although the layout represented is totally different!

Should you care to blow the cobwebs off and skim through the following thread you'll see what I've done so far.*
http://forums.uktrainsim.com/viewtopic.php?f=304&t=102751&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=my+leafy+suburbs+route

I should also say that I've been friends with Xerces Fobe for several years now (as a direct result) and he is not only an extremely nice chap, but also a wealth of fascinating information!

Anyway I'm sure I'm very boring, but can I just check you're aware of the tramway between the Ricky LNWR line and Hampermill Pumping Station?

Cheers

Bob

*The long term goal for the route is to incorporate Euston-Watford Junction and Marylebone-Rickmansworth (with the Met to Baker Street) in a sort of 1950s-era pastiche.

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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby Xerces Fobe » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:35 pm

Hi Bob

Interesting I had noticed that Croxley Tip to Croxley Mills is not along distance and it could have been the basis on an alternative route for the Croxley Link if thinks had been different. I became a member of Watford Museum a couple of weeks ago well worth a visit if you are interesting in printing and there is a part model of Croxley Mills in there!

Croxley WRD is about to be extended towards Watford and Bushey with a Benskins Brewery another pylon this one will be much bigger and 2 sides of the Croxley Triangle.

In the meantime we are adding a lot more stock!

http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc16 ... neUplt.jpg
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc16 ... CN8335.jpg
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc16 ... 279edt.jpg
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc16 ... West-1.jpg

We are at the Northolt Show on the 8th September if you are around,

Best regards,

Nigel

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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby Hertsbob » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:15 pm

Hi Nigel

I think you may have problems from the local residents and the environmentalists if you tried to propose any other route for the Croxley Link!

The extension sounds interesting, and I shall look forward to seeing how you're getting on in September. Love the new stock as well. Great to see you've now got a Pannier, and the Beattie looks superb.

Here's a website I found literally only yesterday. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing!
http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/asearch?search=croxley

It's also worth pointing out the 1945 imagery available in Google Earth which I find invaluable.

Cheers

Bob

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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby PeterH » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:21 pm

I'm at Northolt as well with Tedburn St. Mary, I'll say hello tomorrow!
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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby Kaledmutant » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:10 am

Hi Peter H,

I recently walked the branch from Bushey to Croxley Green in the footsteps of Hywel Williams, whose Abandoned Stations site had a set of pictures taken by Hywel of the old abandoned branch in 2005. Seven years later and his pictures in some cases were no longer possible due to the savage growth of vegetation, especially at Watford Stadium and Watford West stations which have now all but disappeared in the onslaught of nature reclaiming the former railway trackbed. Since that walk I have also driven out from Ruislip to Aylesbury and beyond to trace the Verney Junction and Brill branches which formed the most northerly extremity of the Metropolitan Line. At Quainton Road I was able to buy Bill Simpson's three volume history of the Metropolitan Line and was delighted to be told Bill, himself, was at the site and he duly signed all three books for me and we spent a while talking about the line and the approaching 150 celebrations.

Some of my pictures of my walk of the old line are similar to your own and I am hoping to retrace my steps later in the year or early next year when the foliage of the trees and bushes may not be so thick as to blot out the station sites as much as three weeks ago!

The possible future reopening of parts of the branch to connect Croxley to Watford Junction could mean such walks will be a thing of the past but the clearing of the line to achieve this will take quite some doing, as in the interim seven years since Hywel walked the line Watford West has been totally consumed, where Hywel was able to photograph the platform, drivers' mirrors, station lighting and the trackbed all I could see were trees and bushes!

Cheers, Phil
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Re: Croxley Tip and Watford Railway Tour.

Postby PeterH » Wed May 29, 2013 7:33 pm

I found something rather interesting on my Steam on the Met. day on Monday. I was shown the last remaining part of the Dickinson's Paper Mill, a length of rail by the side of the canal.

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