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The former Marlow Railway Station stood at the junction of Station Road and Lock Road. You pass through the site as you arrive at the present ’station’, now a platform built adjacent to the then coal yard. A few years ago you may have seen a model, circa 1940s, on display in Hunt’s Hardware Store appropriately in Station Road. This model was made by members of the Marlow and District Railway Society (MDRS), some years before and has been displayed in the past at a number of events. Many local people have spoken of the memories it had for them as commuters or school children. Several had family working on the railways or employed by local companies, such as parcels deliveries or in the timber yard. The Society have kindly agreed that at some future date, given a little TLC and more room, the model could feature in the Marlow Museum.
The original station was built for the Great Marlow Railway Company (GMR) which railway opened in 1873. The line was always operated by the Great Western Railway (GWR) for the GMR and was eventually absorbed by them in 1897. It was a branch off the GWR Paddington-Maidenhead-Wycombe line, which was originally opened by the Wycombe Railway Company in 1854. The station at ‘Bourne End’ was first named ‘Marlow Road’. From the beginning it saw plenty of passenger and goods traffic with special trains running to Marlow on such occasions as Regatta days. There was even an idea to extend the line to Henley but it came to nothing. What a beautiful line that would have made!
Steam locomotives featured until July 1962 when Diesel Multiple Units took over the branch. The line from Bourne End to Wycombe was eventually severed in May 1970. The Maidenhead to Marlow line became a dog-leg as nowadays, with a reversal at Bourne End. At Bourne End the Marlow bay platform is now built on and the level crossing gates plus the footbridge have all gone. The modern Great Western Railway now serves the branch.
Sad to say, Marlow’s attractive Victorian station buildings were demolished in 1967. No time was lost in razing them to the ground and virtually nothing remains. That is, apart from part of the wall of the old cattle dock at the very end of the line which now features in the car park of local residences. The former Station Hotel is now the ‘The Marlow Donkey‘ public house, named after the Marlow branch train.
The Marlow Museum hold on loan from a member a GWR 0-4-2 Tank engine cab side plate No.1448 – Objects in Focus No.7 - typical of the steam locomotives that ran on the branch in latter days. In addition the museum have a porter’s trolley once used on the platform. A number of books and DVDs cover the line.
- Objects in Focus 07 -
(for most small images - select image to enlarge)