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Much of the trackbed has returned to agriculture or has been built upon but some sections do remain. The rodding disappearing into the distance before passing beneath the running line operated the trap points. Within the cement works complex there appears to have been a third siding entered via a wagon turntable.
The next location was Francis siding, some yd beyond Quy station. The train escaped and arrangements regarding the casualties were made at Fordham. The depression during the early twentieth century also took its toll. For a photograph and potted history of Burwell cement works see here. An oil lamp was provided, and at various times posters were pasted onto a board attached to the bridge wings.
When the initial cost of the halts is added to the recurring cost of modifying dedicated coaching stock to suit, it is doubtful whether their provision was financially justified. At Mildenhall, the station has been nicely preserved and the goods shed survives whilst from the air the outline of the infilled turntable pit can still be discerned. The spur was half a mile long and served Burwell cement works which, despite the name, was some distance from Burwell and nearer to Fordham. The Mildenhall branch has therefore not entirely been forgotten.
At least one source states the oil terminal was located on the brewery siding but this is not entirely clear. As with the First World War, the line saw an increase in agricultural traffic and, as indicated above, in military personnel using the line. After the war things returned to pretty much the way they had been previously. Fen Ditton Halt, as a result of boundary changes, was later actually just within the City of Cambridge.
The roof is clearly not original. Fordham station, of course, already existed. This siding warrants a more detailed description as it was more of a branch line in its own right than a siding. The arrow-like fittings each side of the number plate were probably direction indicators, this type of indicator once being common on the rear of commercial vehicles. However, it ran only on Saturdays and Sundays.
History of Colchester
Strangely, a bus connection was also shown for Exning Road Halt. The ground frame hut had become quite dilapidated but no doubt the remote location saved it from vandalism, which was as much a problem then as now. Certainly, to date no photographic evidence of railbuses on the Fordham - Newmarket - Cambridge route has come to light. At this point things become rather mysterious. There was no form of handrail, and passengers had to clamber up or down holding the grabrails on the side of the trains while under the supervision of the guard.
It closed in and was never connected to, and thus was nothing whatsoever to do with, the Mildenhall branch despite what some sources imply. The halts were all located on the up side of the line, i. Between the arrows and the numberplate can just be seen two small circular fittings.
The original shed with the roof trusses is on the left. The proposed direct route between Newmarket and Thetford was never to be. Exning Road Halt was just off the bottom of the image and Fordham off top right.
Unlike at stations, oil lamps at the halts did not have the halt name on the casement glass. Allix therefore made another attempt to get a railway built from Cambridge to a junction with the Ely - Newmarket line. Thus the cement works was located a couple of hundred yards off the image to the left. The inherent problem with Push - Pull trains was the difficulty in adding extra coaches at busy times and their inability to operate as mixed trains. This resulted in the Newmarket and Norfolk Railways reaching an agreement to route all through traffic via Newmarket.
This last surviving stub remains in situ as of January but is now disconnected and gated-off at Barnwell Junction. The bombs damaged the track behind the train but the machine-gun attack caused a number of casualties among the passengers. The brewery siding was unusual in that it was not shunted by the branch goods train but by a Cambridge pilot loco.
It would appear that this was done for timing and pathing reasons. There was also a tramway connecting the works to the marl pit. One change at this time was the first down train of the day reverting to run via Burwell but omitting stops at Quy and the three halts.
Construction was swift and only a few minor legal matters needed dealing with. The hut contained the ground frame for accessing the siding and was operated by Annett's Key and ticket attached to train staff.
The running line, for want of a better term, ran to the right of the shed and curved behind it to the left. The private siding referred to was in fact Stephenson's Siding. Photograph by Peter Jamieson and reproduced with his kind permission The contractor is known to have used four locomotives on the construction work.
It was a different story for the lorry, which was destroyed. This was the purpose of Francis siding, which seems to have been installed soon after the opening of the Mildenhall branch. This stock survived until diesel trains took over and the final such stock in use was dedicated set No.
At the end of this second loop and on the south-west side was an engine shed. The once-per-day goods train continued as usual.
The oil siding opened late in the life of the branch but the precise date is uncertain. We have already seen that Mildenhall was provided with a turntable and pit, the latter located on the turntable road, but no other locomotive facilities. The introduction had been planned for the start of that summer's timetable but was delayed for reasons of staff training. In the distance the long-lived footbridge over the railway can be seen connecting Ditton Meadows, to its right, to Stourbridge Common, to its left. Apart from the obvious connection between individual vehicles, the interior layout was also heavily modified.
It is for this reason two sets of point rodding can be seen in front of the hut. The train driver suffered cuts but no serious injuries and no passengers, if there were any, were injured. World War Two broke out in September and this brought some increase in traffic to the Mildenhall branch. That said, Push - Pull trains operated highly successfully on many lines across the country and some survived into the s. It is not known when Stephenson's siding was lifted but a aerial view, albeit far from clear, suggests track had been lifted back to a point some yards from the junction.
The branch boasted a number of private sidings at various times. It appears that gates were provided at the top of the footpaths. At an unknown date, Mr Mansfield had acquired a Model T Ford taxi and, post-war, a Napier vehicle which had been used as an ambulance during hostilities. Two goods trains per weekday were provided, one of which commenced from sidings at Coldham Lane Junction, Cambridge. An enlargement of the picture shows the retractable steps for use at the halts at just visible but largely obscured by steam.
When searching railway company records dating back a century or more, it is easy to misinterpret entries. It is thought the Mildenhall branch was also considered for closure to passengers but, as events were to prove, latin dating los angeles it somehow managed to survive. The train was sent to the Somersham - Ramsey branch and later ended up in the London area on various routes. The Great Eastern Railway Cecil. The footpaths cut into the embankments must have been precarious during times of ice and snow.