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Henlow Camp was a railway station on the Bedford to Hitchin Line which served the village of Henlow in Bedfordshire, England. Opened in 1857, it gave more than a century of service before closing in 1962.

Henlow Camp
Henlow Camp railway station.jpg
Station site in 2010.
Location
PlaceHenlow
AreaCentral Bedfordshire
Grid referenceTL165357
Operations
Original companyMidland Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
Platforms2
History
8 May 1857[1]Opened as Henlow
1 March 1933Renamed Henlow Camp
1 January 1962Closed to passengers
2 December 1963[2]Closed to goods
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
A 1902 Railway Clearing House map of railways in the vicinity of Henlow Camp (upper right, shown here as Henlow)

The Midland Railway first opened a station named "Henlow" some distance from the village of the same name, as part of its new line from Bedford to Hitchin, part of a larger scheme to allow its Midland Main Line a direct route to London without using rival Great Northern Railway metals. Passenger traffic over the Bedford to Hitchin section was minimal and services were reduced to a shuttle by 1880. The section between Shefford and Hitchin, including Henlow, was single-tracked in 1911.[3]

The establishment of RAF Henlow at the end of the First World War increased passenger and freight traffic through the station which was located opposite the airbase. The activity continued after the war when the base became the location of the RAF Signals Engineering Establishment, and a depot for the repair and construction of aircraft as well as a training centre for the engineers; it became the School of Aeronautical Engineering in 1924.[4] To reflect this development, the railway station's name was changed in 1933 to "Henlow Camp".[5]

The inter-war years saw a decline in traffic with the introduction of buses between Bedford and Hitchin. Traffic picked up again during the Second World War when troop specials were run to enable conscripts to return home from the RAF camps at Cardington and Henlow. The introduction of railbuses after the war did little to improve traffic, and the line closed in 1962.[6]


Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Shefford   London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Bedford to Hitchin Line
  Hitchin

Present dayEdit

No trace remains of the railway at Henlow, a small commercial development having been built on the trackbed.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Sparkford, ISBN 1-85260-508-1, p. 118.
  2. ^ Clinker, C.R. (October 1978). Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1977. Bristol: Avon-AngliA Publications & Services. p. 62. ISBN 0-905466-19-5.
  3. ^ Oppitz, Leslie (2000). Lost Railways of the Chilterns (Lost Railways Series). Newbury, Berkshire: Countryside Books. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-85306-643-6.
  4. ^ RAF Signals Museum, "The Henlow".
  5. ^ Davies, R.; Grant, M.D. (1984). Forgotten Railways: Chilterns and Cotswolds. Newton Abbot, Devon: David St John Thomas. p. 114. ISBN 0-946537-07-0.
  6. ^ Davies, R and Grant, M.D., p. 114-115.
  7. ^ Davies, R and Grant, M.D., p. 114.

External linksEdit