Reviewed on Thursday 11th March 2010
The Henley branch, opened in 1857 as one of Brunel's broad gauge 'Feeder lines', provided easy access and effectively increased the town's popularity as a Thameside resort and home of the famous Royal Regatta. The increasing traffic necessitated a continuing expansion of facilities culminating in the doubling of the line in 1897.This account retraces the hitherto unrecorded history of this neglected line which terminated some 35 miles from Paddington, accommodated long trains hauled by main line express locos and yet in quieter moments seemed little more than a minor country branch line. The author was born in Henley and spent many happy hours exploring the line but the demolition of the engine shed, water tower and goods shed made him realise the need to record the railway and eventually led him to research the history of the branch. The line is still open but almost all of Henley station has disappeared and it is hoped this book will leave an impression of the line in happier times when the service was thriving and vital to the town's economy. This was one of the earliest books published by Wild Swan, in 1982, and rarely appears on the second hand market.
Hardcover, 176 pages, 242 b/w, 1 colour illustrations, numerous maps, track plans and drawings.