Betchworth railway station

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Betchworth railway station is the railway station that serves the village of Betchworth in Surrey, England. It is on the North Downs Line and is unstaffed. All trains serving it are operated by First Great Western.

History

The station was opened in 1849 by the Reading, Guildford and Reigate Railway, which became part of the South Eastern Railway in 1852.

Services

The typical off-peak service on the North Downs Line is one train every two hours in each direction between Template:Rws and Template:Rws.

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Betchworth Quarry Railways

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The station was particularly significant for its connection with the Betchworth Quarry railways, which were built to serve the Dorking Greystone Lime Company's three pits north of the station.

The quarry railways had four different track gauges. The standard gauge part had a junction with the main line that passed close to Betchworth station, before reversing to run to the Eastern and Southern Kiln Batteries. A 3 ft 2 ¼ in (972 mm) gauge railway system began there and primarily served the quarry with lines diverging to the Main, Upper Western Whitestone and Eastern Greystone Pits. The other gauges serving the works were the Template:Railgauge gauge line that ran from a standard gauge siding to the Hearthstone Mine, and a short Template:Railgauge gauge section of track that ran exclusively between the Eastern and Southern Kiln Batteries.

The first engine to shunt on the standard gauge portion, Engine No. 1 of 1871, was unofficially named The Coffeepot. It is now preserved at Beamish Museum in County Durham. Another, Captain Baxter was renamed simply Baxter in 1947, the last engine ever to work the line, and the Rev. W.V. Awdry featured it in his book Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine. Baxter is preserved on the Bluebell Railway and was returned to traffic for that railway's 50th anniversary.

Two 3 ft 2¼in gauge locomotives were also preserved. Townsend Hook, is at Amberley Chalk Pits Museum, undergoing reconstruction (as of October 2010) to become a static exhibit. William Finlay, the sister engine of Townsend Hook, is preserved in private ownership. Template:Clear

References

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