About The Surrey Iron Railway

The Railway from Wandsworth to Croydon This feature was specially prepared for the 210th anniversary of the official opening of one of the earliest public railways in the world, covering the Surrey Iron Railway between Wandsworth basin and the Pitlake terminus at Croydon. Some new, unpublished elements covering the railway’s…

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The Royal Arsenal Canal today

Looking from the former canal entrance, across the coal pier, towards the Woolwich free ferry, the Thames Barrier, Canary Wharf and Central London. The flats on the extreme right are built on land where the Woolwich class narrow boats were once built. A look at the waterway The canal is…

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History of the Royal Arsenal Railway

(The following section on the railway was kindly written for London Canals by Ian Bull of the Crossness Engines Trust) The Royal Arsenal’s railways began in 1824 with a horse drawn plateway that was regarded as complete by 1840 when it had reached 15 miles in length. It’s likely that…

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The Romford Canal 6

Romford Canal – The final section The canal route passes through what is now known as The Chase nature reserve (Barking & Dagenham confusingly calls it Eastbrook End Park) After initially following the Beam River for a short distance above the railway at Elm Park, the canal changes route and…

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The Romford Canal 5

The canal route to the C2C/District railway crossing at Elm Park By these houses on Roosevelt Way, there is evidently a rise in the ground. It is totally plausible that a lock would have been built at this location. Traces of the canal are hard to find. It seems that…

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The Romford Canal 4

Romford Canal – From Rainham Road to Elm Park The canal heads slightly northeastwards towards Elm Park along a much narrower Beam Valley The crossing at Rainham Road (or is it Dagenham Road? There’s often been some confusion over which name it should be since the stretch of road was…

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The Romford Canal 3

‘The lock’ to Rainham Road A depression is obious here, although there doesnt seem to be any trace of the lock chamber walls now, perhaps the stones were taken away and used elsewhere. Who knows, but this old tree stump that rises vertically appears to indicate perhaps a hard standing…

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The Romford Canal 2

New Road to Beam Bridge lock Dagenham New Road bridge (the Beam Bridge) over the Beam River, once a busy main road but nowadays most traffic goes via the new A13 Choats Manor Way futher south. Excavations in 1972 adjacent to this site revealed remains of the Romford Canal although…

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The Romford Canal

A waterway that took 65 years to plan & construct – and unfinished! The first plans for a canal to Romford were seen in 1809 and 1812 when Ralph Walker introduced proposals using a route from Rainham Creek with a length of 4 three quarters mile and six locks. An…

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