The Chesham Society: Celebrating 65 Years

Trouble on the trains

The subject of the withdrawal of what was then Great Central train services first arose in 1959. Chesham’s rail links to both London and further afield have rightly been an on-going concern to the Society. Today it is interesting to note that when the Society was in its infancy, it was possible to travel to Sheffield and all points north from Chesham via Aylesbury.

Looking forward to the electrification of the railway north of Rickmansworth the Society’s Chairman, Peter Walker, pointed out that the goods service to Chesham would stop (the old goods yard is now a car park) and that the passenger service to Amersham and Chesham would also suffer as there was a threatened withdrawal of through services north on the Marylebone line. The matter was taken up with the Transport Users’ Consultative Committee and the Society’s Val Biro made a statement to the public enquiry in 1962. However in 1966 the Government confirmed the withdrawal meaning that local people travelling north would have to make their journeys via Watford or London.

On a local level the Society objected to the proposal to withdraw British Railways services from intermediate stations between Marylebone and Amersham, which would affect Chesham. Until electrification, a joint British Railways and London Transport service had worked well. The Society also took exception to the Metropolitan line’s new trains introduced after electrification in 1961, the so-called ‘A-Stock’ which it found to be uncomfortable and draughty.